Mobile Technologies and Land Surveying

Association of Construction and Development
September 5, 2012 — 1,782 views  

Land surveying has come a long way from the rod and chain of yesterday.
Historically, surveying was a labor intensive effort hauling heavy, cumbersome
equipment into the wilds. Reams of handwritten field notes had to be protected
from the weather and taken back to the office. 

Today, with the use of mobile technology, surveying is more efficient, less
laborious and more accurate. The following is a quick review of two ways land
surveyors utilize mobile technology on a daily basis.

Smart Phone Applications
Smart phones are easier to carry to the field than cumbersome laptops and can
provide nearly as much computing power. Many companies are developing mobile
applications (apps) to assist surveyors in the field. One app allows workers to
take field notes which are tied to GPS coordinates. This detailed information
about a location helps with data compilation back in the office. 

Another app registers the location and attributes of various site assets using
both photo and voice recordings. This information can then be shared with other
crew members or exported to software programs. 

Other apps include mapping apps which collect data from a site and perform real
time analysis, leveling apps, apps that do survey computations and apps for
boundary and benchmark locates. There's even an app which allows users to run a
version of AutoCAD.

Cloud Computing
Uploading mobile phone data to a cloud server is improving the efficiency and
cost effectiveness of both field and office work for surveyors. By transferring
data to a cloud, all members of a crew or the entire workforce have access to
the same information at the same time. This frees up project managers from
transporting data storage devices from one worksite to another. It also
eliminates the need for field workers to wait for instructions or

Cloud computing makes scheduling workers or equipment easier. Using mobile
phones, both field and office personnel have access to scheduling. In a
profession whose lifeblood is information, cloud computing offers an immediacy
of many types of data. 

The advent of mobile phones that access data from anywhere and anytime in the
world has moved surveying into the 21st century. Mobile technologies are making
land surveys more accurate, more dependable and more necessary than ever. From
delineating the location of noxious weeds in a national park to assisting first
responders during disasters, the data gathered by land surveyors is making a
difference in everyone’s lives.

Association of Construction and Development