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3D Mobile Mapping


1 Introduction

Assets, condition assessment of assets and various other quantity surveying issues are difficult to manage if no proper and relevant information is available. With assets spread over a big geographical area, this problem compounds as they are more complex to locate and reach. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is a handy tool to assist in the management of these assets, but the acquisition of trustworthy data becomes its main stumbling block.

TGIS has become the first company in South Africa to acquire a fully integrated terrestrial 3D Mobile Mapping system for the acquisition of dependable GIS information. We have utilized this technology in a fully fledged asset verification process in the //Khara Hais Municipality (for Roads, Storm water, Electricity, Water & Sewer Assets) with major success and delivered to the client value added GIS information for asset maintenance purposes.

2 The System

TGIS have the TOPCON IP-S2. This is the latest military grade unit as imported from the USA specifically for asset management data capture. It is fitted to a vehicle and takes 360 degree photos and uses a GNSS and GPS simultaneously (when both are available, if only one is available it will utilise that network) for cm accurate location, combined with 45 000 XYZ points captured by three variable rotating laser scanners every second. This creates a 3D data set of the location driving from which assets can be captured.

Figure 1: IP-S2 unit, 360 degree camera, GNSS, IMU, Laser scanners and IP-S2 control box


3 Base Data

Figure 2: Route as driven by the vehicle during field process of data capture.


Figure 3: Route as driven by the vehicle during field process of data capture, with Data captured.


Figure 4: Image from vehicle with point cloud overlaid.


Figure 5: As seen from vehicle with point cloud only.

Base data is usually not supplied to the client as it is highly specialised and 3rd party software licences which are very costly are required. All the valuable information will be extracted for the client as required. The previous images are for explanatory purposes only.


4 Client Solutions

When an asset is identified in the picture, the detail (according to the data model) can be captured e.g. type of pole or height of pole together with its positional information.

Figures 6 & 7: Capture object and related meta data

This information is then overlaid with the GIS information captured, such as from as-built plans to verify existence of assets or aerial photography or topographical information and any and all other GIS displayable data as desired by the client.

Figure 8: Planet GIS with captured objects, each blue circle represent a 360 degree photo which can be viewed as in the little viewing box (bottom left).

The data set once collected in the field allows for a phased approach to data preparation and capture in the office, i.e. post processing of the captured data, setting up of the data structures and database etc. TGIS will build the database based on client needs and requirements. Once the post processing is done TGIS will supply the viewer, based on Planet GIS or the ESRI product suite, all 360 degree photos, and the rectified point cloud according to the defined model. The client may then request TGIS to capture data for them or they can do it in-house.  In the event where the client want to capture the data in house the back end data set (full point cloud) and  additional 3rd party licence’s and training will be required to gather value and utility from it as the data is highly specialised. The data gathered can be used to capture a specific set of data such as all electrical assets after which a another dataset such as water or sewer can be captured as another project without having to repeat the fieldwork  as the entire dataset is already captured.

The viewer with associated 360 degree photos will provide the client with an unprecedented level of information as compared to what was available using previous technologies. The assets are literally transported to the office where the assets managers are. 

5 Applications

  • Asset Management
  • Condition Assessment
  • Land Use
  • Surveying
  • Topographical Surveying
  • Volumetric Surveying
  • Disaster Management
  • Construction Monitoring
  • Open Pit Mine Surveying
  • Housing/Infrastructure Mapping
  • Valuations

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on +27 12 991 3624. We will gladly on request showcase the value this technology can provide your organisation!






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DISCLAIMER : This web site contains information of a general nature which is not warranted for accuracy. Specific action based on the information should only be taken after reference to TGIS directly. The copyright of all the content of this web site vests solely in TGIS.