Mobile Mapping vs Terrestrial Laser Scanning- Unleashing the Power of Spatial Data Capture


Unlocking new possibilities

Spatial data capture plays a critical role in various industries, including construction, infrastructure development, urban planning, and surveying. Traditionally, terrestrial laser scanning has been the go-to method for capturing detailed and accurate spatial data. However, with the advent of mobile mapping technology, a new contender has emerged, offering enhanced capabilities, and unlocking new possibilities. In this blog, we explore the differences between mobile mapping and terrestrial laser scanning, highlighting their strengths, applications, and the benefits they bring to the field of spatial data capture.

Mobility and Flexibility: One of the key advantages of mobile mapping is its mobility and flexibility. Unlike terrestrial laser scanning, which requires stationary scanners positioned at specific locations, mobile mapping utilises advanced sensors and Lidar technology mounted on vehicles, drones, or people. This mobility enables data capture in various environments, such as road networks, complex terrains, and hard-to-reach areas. Mobile mapping can cover larger areas efficiently, providing a comprehensive and seamless view of the environment.

Rapid Data Capture and Real-Time Insights: Mobile mapping excels in capturing data quickly and providing real-time insights. As the sensors move, they capture data continuously, allowing for a dynamic and up-to-date representation of the surroundings. Terrestrial laser scanning, on the other hand, requires manual setup and scanning at individual locations, which can be time-consuming. The real-time data capture capabilities of mobile mapping enable faster decision-making and immediate access to critical information for project planning, monitoring, and analysis.

Versatility and Accessibility: Mobile mapping offers versatility and accessibility that terrestrial laser scanning may struggle to match. With mobile mapping, data capture can be carried out using various platforms, including vehicles, drones, handheld and bodyworn devices. This versatility enables efficient data collection in a wide range of scenarios, such as transportation networks, urban environments, and large-scale infrastructure projects. Mobile mapping also allows for easy access to areas that are challenging or dangerous to reach manually, improving safety and reducing risks.

Comprehensive Data Coverage and Integration: Mobile mapping provides a comprehensive view of the environment, capturing data from different angles and perspectives. This multi-perspective approach allows for a more complete representation of the surveyed area, including objects, structures, and their spatial relationships. Terrestrial laser scanning, while accurate in capturing details at specific locations, may have limitations in capturing comprehensive data coverage. The ability of mobile mapping to integrate and merge data from various sources, such as Lidar, imagery, and GPS, further enhances the richness and quality of the captured spatial data.

Cost and Time Efficiency: Mobile mapping offers cost and time efficiencies compared to terrestrial laser scanning. The ability to capture data rapidly and cover larger areas in a shorter time frame reduces the overall project duration and associated costs. Mobile mapping also minimises the need for manual intervention and multiple site visits, resulting in streamlined workflows and improved resource utilisation. These cost and time efficiencies make mobile mapping an attractive option for projects with tight schedules and budget constraints.

The Rundown:

Mobile mapping and terrestrial laser scanning are both valuable tools in the field of spatial data capture. While terrestrial laser scanning excels in capturing detailed data at specific locations, mobile mapping offers mobility, flexibility, rapid data capture, and comprehensive coverage, while still maintaining high levels of accuracy. The versatility, accessibility, and cost efficiencies of mobile mapping have unlocked new possibilities and expanded the applications of spatial data capture across industries. As technology continues to advance, mobile mapping is expected to play an increasingly pivotal role in the future of spatial data capture, enabling more efficient, accurate, and dynamic representations of our ever-changing environment.

Written by:

Danny McKeown

Operations Director

I am passionate about driving efficiency through effective solutions and prioritising the user’s perspective. Technology plays a crucial role in our approach, optimising our survey process and digitising our housing operations. By leveraging advanced tools and software, we enhance accuracy, reduce costs, and minimise disruptions to residents. Automation and digital platforms streamline workflows, improve data management and facilitate collaboration. Our commitment to efficiency and technology ensures high-quality services and client satisfaction.

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