Taming the Survey Data "Tower of Babel"

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Presentation made at NJSPLS SurvCon08 February 2008.

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Taming the Survey Data "Tower of Babel"

  1. 1. February 6, 2008 © 2008 Mercator Land Surveying Taming the Survey Data “Towerof Babel” J. R. Lemuel Morrison, PLS Mercator Land Surveying, LLC
  2. 2. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Taming the Tower Objectives: Highlight difference between the types of data collected Explain a framework to manage data both for inside the office and for clients Outcome: Show examples using AutoCAD LDD and other software . . . but first an introduction. . . but first an introduction
  3. 3. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land J R Lemuel Morrison, LS • Buckeye • Licensed: NJ, NY & OH • Instructor, Land Surveying NYC College of Technology • President & Founder, Mercator Land Surveying
  4. 4. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land The Premise We can take measurements in more ways than before There are more tools in the surveyor’s tool box Many more formats available for our deliverables Transmitting large files becomes easier every year – and will get easier However, when we combine data from different measurement types, are the ‘hazards’ being recognized and addressed? However, when we deliver the submittal to the client, do we provide them with all the data that might be helpful?
  5. 5. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Taming the Tower Data Round UpData Round Up ExamplesExamples The Pitfalls of Diverse DataThe Pitfalls of Diverse Data Data Management During DraftingData Management During Drafting Data Collection, Analysis & ArchivingData Collection, Analysis & Archiving
  6. 6. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Looking Under the Hood • Will any of the data you collect be seen by the client? Is it direct? Does it need to be processed? Does it have depth? Is it fromothers? Will the client see it? Factors to considerwhen we collect data: • How was the data collected? Was it “touched” or obtained remotely? • Is the data type inherently different from each other? (angle/range, satellite, stereoscope, astronomic) • Do we collect more data than can be shown in a traditional survey? Is there information that we collected that is outside of our professional task? (point clouds, imagery or documents) • Are you showing data that you actually didn’t collect but may be responsible for?
  7. 7. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Data Round Up Data Source Direct Process Depth From Others Client Conventional Yes, except RL Yes, Traverse & w/GPS No No Points, no CAD, yes GPS – Static Yes Yes, Process & adjust network No No No GPS -- RTK Yes No, only to modify base (if needed) No No Points, no CAD, yes Astronomic / Gyro n/a Yes, Process and network adjustment No No No Scan Data No No Yes No Points, no CAD, yes Aerial Mapping No No No Yes Yes Others (GIS, Gov, prev surveyor, othos) n/a Yes, Translation / Rotation Yes Yes Yes Utilities No Yes, Translation / Rotation & Analysis Yes Yes Orig, Maybe CAD, yes Deeds, Maps & Images n/a Yes, Analysis Yes Yes Orig, Maybe CAD, yes
  8. 8. February 6, 2008 © 2008 Mercator Land Surveying Data Roundup -- ConclusionsData Roundup -- Conclusions Use the tools necessary to meet the client’s need and budget. Use the tools necessary to meet the client’s need and budget. Make sure the data is correct, adjusted, and properly combined. Make sure the data is correct, adjusted, and properly combined. Keep the data archived (both raw and processed), while maintaining all the depth. Keep the data archived (both raw and processed), while maintaining all the depth. Convey to the client (and others) what is required. Also let the client know that there is additional info. Convey to the client (and others) what is required. Also let the client know that there is additional info. . . . Our primary function as surveyors is to show what we find. And to organize it and make it understandable! . . . Our primary function as surveyors is to show what we find. And to organize it and make it understandable! The more tools you use, the greater is the productivity and the complexity Data can be extremely precise, but complete inaccurate. You never know when you will need the originals & losing data during processing is a crime! A robust product will serve the client well and bring them back Surveyor’s Role Comments
  9. 9. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Outline Data Round UpData Round Up ExamplesExamples The Pitfalls of Diverse DataThe Pitfalls of Diverse Data Data Management During DraftingData Management During Drafting Data Collection, Analysis & ArchivingData Collection, Analysis & Archiving
  10. 10. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Data Collection, Analysis & Archiving Control (GPS-Static, Traverse & Gyro) ProcessAdjust Deeds, Map & Images Aerial Mapping Scan Total Station GPS-RTK FromOthers Utilities Balance Import CheckImport RegisterClean Extract CheckField Edit CheckField Edit Rectify Plot Plot Analyze Archive Prepare for CAD Data Sources Action
  11. 11. February 6, 2008 © 2008 Mercator Land Surveying Data Collection, Analysis & Archiving-- Workflow Data Collection, Analysis & Archiving-- Workflow Total Station Deeds & Maps Utilities Others Aerial Mapping Scan GPS RTK Final Product From this point forward I will focus on the CADMapping process to create the final product Direct Process (for another session) Depth From Others Client From this point forward I will focus on the CADMapping process to create the final product Direct Process (for another session) Depth From Others Client
  12. 12. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land The Pitfalls of Diverse DataThe Pitfalls of Diverse Data Outline Data Round UpData Round Up ExamplesExamples Data Management During DraftingData Management During Drafting Data Collection, Analysis & ArchivingData Collection, Analysis & Archiving Not all data is created equal
  13. 13. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Pitfalls of Diverse Data More ‘hazards’ lie in combining this dataMore ‘hazards’ lie in combining this data Deeds & Maps Utilities Others Aerial Mapping Scan GPS RTK Total Station Final Product Data is familiar, but the quality is not apparent Good quality “looks” the same as poorquality Point data is overwhelming -- extracted points are too exact; e.g. can’t tell what type of MHit is. Elevations are suspect. All data is remotely collected. Provenance of data is unclear Quality and breadth is unclear. Lots of non-survey info. Deeds, maps & images: lots of non-survey data.
  14. 14. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Data Management During DraftingData Management During Drafting Outline Data Round UpData Round Up ExamplesExamples The Pitfalls of Diverse DataThe Pitfalls of Diverse Data Data Collection, Analysis & ArchivingData Collection, Analysis & Archiving Background & Review OurProcess
  15. 15. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Typical Solution Process Foresight, leadership, and decisiveness. Deliberation and clear implementation. Followed by
  16. 16. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Mercator’s Data Management Process Given: 1) All data is not created equal . . . 2) Not everyone may know that there are differences (orcare). 3) Typical heavy workload makes good communication unlikely When viewed in CAD, the difference among data (namely points) should be self evident When viewed in CAD, the difference among data (namely points) should be self evident Workflow Visuals The result: Showing what we find in a clear and easily understandable manner The result: Showing what we find in a clear and easily understandable manner Critical Point: Two Methods Governing Data Management
  17. 17. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Framework -- Tools When looking for ways to manage the mess, I try to remember a lesson that I have a hard time following: KI S S For inside the office process, I look to existing tools: Field Codes Layers xreferences Nothing new. However . . . a wish: Easy metadata software to manage our survey data (quality, source, etc.) Nothing new. However . . . a wish: Easy metadata software to manage our survey data (quality, source, etc.) Point Groups ForClients: File Folders Thumbnail Viewers Point Cloud Viewers
  18. 18. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management – Collected Data Codes are applied Points are given a style Points are grouped Points are modified as they are imported into the CADenvironment Typical workflow after we process pointsTypical workflow after we process points Software modifies the point description, moves points into a layer& inserts a symbol with a point. Fordirect points, staff sets a large node and uses vivid colors. Forindirect points, staff sets a small node and uses subdued colors. Software groups the points by date and by type (e.g. scan orRTK)
  19. 19. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management -- Collected Data Control (GPS-Static, Traverse & Gyro) Deeds, Map & Images Aerial Mapping Scan Total Station GPS-RTK Others Utilities W-- Create Report V -- Lockpoints in CAD Generally not submitted & only referenced during CAD Similar in their limitations A separate category W- Workflow V – Visual Similar in their limitations A separate category Crucial frameworkdata, but control is not used much in the drafting process These are a surveyor’s primary measurements.These are a surveyor’s primary measurements.
  20. 20. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management – Collected Data Total Station GPS-RTK W-- use codes & many layers V -- Text EL60; Point node shown with a size respective to scale Workflow and appearance are conventionally the same “Vf” for Survey - Field W-- use same codes but with an ”R” prefix V -- shown as regularpoints Reflectorless Workflow and appearance are the same. Points are in a different layer “Vd” forSurvey-Digital W-- use same codes V – shown as regularpoints W-- Points are exported with a PNEZDQ format. Points w/unacceptable or poor quality have a the text ‘NGCQ’ added to the code. V – shown as regular points Workflow and appearance are the same, but quality needs to monitored and noted. “Vf” forSurvey - Field Quality W- Workflow V – Visual Workflow and appearance are the same, poorquality is flagged “Vf” forSurvey - Field
  21. 21. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management – Collected Data Scan -- High-Definition Survey Extracted Points W-- points are exported with “R” codes. V -- Text & Node shown at ¼ size; colors are subdued Workflow is similar. Appearance makes drafting easier and clarifies the type of data. “Vd” for Survey - Digital Entities Workflow is different and still evolving. “Vd” for Survey - Digital W- Workflow V – Visual W– Draw and then export for point cloud software. Store in a “recycle” directory. Insert into CADand modify. V -- colorand layerare created by point- cloud software and then renamed in CAD once the entity has been reviewed.
  22. 22. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management – Collected Data Codes are applied Points are given a style Points are grouped Points are modified as they are imported into the CADenvironment Typical workflow after we process pointsTypical workflow after we process points Software modifies the point description, moves points into a layer& inserts a symbol with a point. Fordirect points, staff sets a large node and uses vivid colors. Forindirect points, staff sets a small node and uses subdued colors. Software groups points by date and by type (e.g. scan or RTK) Simple tools to organize data -- makes the origin and nature of the points self-evident. Simple tools to organize data -- makes the origin and nature of the points self-evident.
  23. 23. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management – Data from Others Data fromOthers Aerial Mapping W-- Keep aerial mapping in its own drawing and use as an xreference. Field edits go into a new drawing. Staff moves revised items into a redundant layer that does not plot. ‘<<layer name >>-R’ V -- use ourline types & line weights. Redundant layer is visible but shown with a dark brown colorto signify that it has been changed. Workflow keeps the aerial mapping as a separate drawing. Modified items are not deleted, but are shown with a subdued color Adjacent Survey GIS Orthophotography W-- Keep other workin its own drawing and use an xreference. Use XCLIPto hide areas not needed. V -- change colors and line types through the xreference, as needed. Workflow keeps the data by others in a separate file. Appearance can be changed without changing the original Other disciplines
  24. 24. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Management – Records Deeds, Map & Images Utilities W-- Keep scanned document and analysis in its own drawing. It is not shared with the client. Export only lines that are needed and have been reviewed. Insert these lines into a new drawing. V -- change colors and line types as needed Workflow keeps the documents and analysis internal. Only the workthat has been reviewed is prepared and provided to the client Appearance follows a company (orother) standard. All line workis drawn on a “Vd” layer Survey-Digital
  25. 25. February 6, 2008 © 2008 Mercator Land Surveying Management – DepthManagement – Depth What does depth mean? What surveyors collect often has value to the client and allied professionals that is outside of a surveyor’s perspective. Don’t forget about it; share it. A plan-view survey is limited in showing additional information (the depth) to the client. . . . Our primary function as surveyors is to show what we find. And to organize it and make it understandable! . . . Our primary function as surveyors is to show what we find. And to organize it and make it understandable!
  26. 26. February 6, 2008 © 2008 Mercator Land Surveying Management – DepthManagement – Depth Point CloudsPoint Clouds Utility RecordsUtility Records Deeds, Map & Images Deeds, Map & Images Provide clients with a point cloud vieweror provide segment of the point clouds Provide clients with digital image of all records Add a references to collected documents Provide clients with digital image of all records Create thumbnail galleries Data Sources That Have Depth How to Show Depth
  27. 27. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Outline Data Round UpData Round Up ExamplesExamples Pitfalls of Diverse DataPitfalls of Diverse Data Data Management During DraftingData Management During Drafting Data Collection, Analysis & ArchivingData Collection, Analysis & Archiving
  28. 28. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Layers and Codes Use a Robust Layering Scheme Use an existing framework such as: Discipline -Majo r-Mino r-Ite m -Entity V is the discipline for Survey Vf = for direct measurement Vd = digital and non-direct Va = aerial mapping Major – Road, Util, Site, etc. Minor – Curb, Gas, Ground, etc. Desc – MH, Valve, Depressed curb Entities G- Geometry (lines, circle, etc.) S – Symbols T – Text & annotation H – Hatching P – Points R – Redundant Data
  29. 29. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Examples -- Layers
  30. 30. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Examples -- Codes
  31. 31. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Appearance of Points This is ourstandard format and common to most firms When combining conventional and scan points, the screen gets too cluttered and becomes unclear. We import scan points with a different style than conventional points. I preferan absolute size. A relative size can also be used
  32. 32. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Scan Points in AutoCAD
  33. 33. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Point Groups Point Group is a simple tool customarily used to put together similarpoints (e.g. trav, check& existing ground). It’s good practice to create a group foreach day that survey workis imported. That is a date group. Additionally, we add a designation to the date group name: such as ‘RTK’ and ‘scan’ points.
  34. 34. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Points -- Quality Using GPS in RTKis a fantastic productivity tool. Quality must be monitored continually. As points are collected good and poor quality points are generated. Sometimes you can use the good, the bad and the ugly (e.g. wetlands). Most times you can’t. When the ugly is used in combination with others, how should the CADuser be alerted to the nature of the points? Add ‘NGCQ’ in the notes during the field collection. Checkquality when exporting from GPS software
  35. 35. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Points -- Quality
  36. 36. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Files from Others When we use files that were generated by others (namely aerial mapping), I like to keep the file in its original and unchanged state. Revised entities are moved to a redundant layer. The layerhas a subdued color. Ouradditions are in a separate CADfile that is xreferenced along with the original aerial mapping drawing. The redundant layeris non-plottable.
  37. 37. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Xreferences
  38. 38. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Depth: Digital Documents In the digital age, many of the files we collect can now be easily shared. (and should be!) We organize the files so that the client (and ourteam) can readily find data. We also create thumbnail galleries forthe client. This makes navigation and finding important images intuitive and easier.
  39. 39. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land Depth: Point Clouds 3-Dscanning is a good tool to remotely collect a fantastic amount of data. The software formanipulating point clouds is expensive and hard to use. The database is enormous and has little meaning in plan view. Are there otherformats? The viewerhas limited functionality, but gives the client a way to access the data. and to answerquestions forthemselves! Animations are cool & sexy. Otherthan the gee-whiz factor, there is nothing substantive forthe client. One option is to provide the client with a viewer to access the scan. One option is to provide the client with a viewer to access the scan. However, almost of all of it is discarded and not used forthe client.
  40. 40. February 6, 2008 © 2008 Mercator Land Surveying ConclusionConclusion CodesCodes LayersLayers xreferencexreference Digital DeliverablesDigital Deliverables Point GroupsPoint Groups Here’s the concluding point: Show what you find: the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s the concluding point: Show what you find: the good, the bad and the ugly. Tools If we don’t: We are missing our rightful place in the information age: . If we don’t: We are missing our rightful place in the information age: .
  41. 41. February 6, 2008 ©2008 Mercator Land ThankYou Lem Morrison lmorrison@mercatorgroup.com 646 837 0780 Lem Morrison lmorrison@mercatorgroup.com 646 837 0780

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