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Traditional Surveying vs Digital Surveying

  • 6 min read

This article has been published by Surveying Group in november 2020. Surveying Group offers digital media services for surveying professionals.

The more user-friendly a program, software, or tool is, the more time people will spend using it. Certainly when it comes to digital surveying, where digitization is happening as we speak. But looking towards the future, do you choose process or result? What is most important to you?

Traditional way of survey work

You might only be familiar with the traditional way of surveying, and that’s more than okay. That is where we’ve all started. We’ve learned about geodata and what role accuracy plays in all of this. If you’re more familiar with the new way of digital surveying, you’re in luck. We’re going to explain the traditional one anyway! We’ll be using fibre optic networks as an example during this explanation.

It used to be common to choose a design network in a programme such as Cocon. You’ll use Cocon to generate a list of points and make the actual data export after that. That is a one-week job, as you see in the picture to the right. You haven’t even started with collecting new information yet, this is just some work to prepare yourself for that task! This takes a lot of time, right? Surveying one project can take up to one week, and that’s when everything goes exactly as you have planned. We have not even mentioned what happens when you get an error during surveying, or experience a problem that requires a few extra days to be fixed! That’s frustrating, right? Not only frustrating, but this adds also more days to your planning and extra money to the overall costs of this project. Nobody wants that.

The speediness of digital surveying

Where the traditional way of surveying can take up to one week, going digital allows for a one-day job. You’ll become so much faster when your field worker collects data! We believe that with our equipment, field workers can survey up to 90% of the jobs. This improves both speed and productivity, but saves a lot of money as well! Did you know you can survey pipes and cables for less than a cent per meter? What if you can survey (almost) all of your jobs yourself? Just imagine what that will do money-wise, you don’t have to hire outside help (as much) anymore. To keep the same conditions, we have used Cocon for this workflow as well. From designing the network to surveying on location, and revision and completion in the office, working digitally saves you so much time! All can be done on the same day, including the revision of results at the office, you can even ask a back-office colleague to do that while you’re out! This new and digital process leads to quicker results and more time to complete multiple jobs within the same 40-hour work-week.

The more jobs you can survey in a week, the more productive you become.

That not only means you make more money in those 5 days but leads to more happy customers as well. The data they need gets delivered more quickly, you can do that even on the same day! Just like we’ve transitioned to digital cameras and a one-day delivery or pick-up of printed photos, you too can become a one-day delivery company!

Process or result

In the introduction to this article, we’ve asked what’s more important to you: process or result. That was a trick question, sorry. Because you do not have to choose between those two. Actually, we suggest you do not make that decision at all. Digital surveying offers results quicker than using the old ways, but the process itself offers plenty of advantages as well.

In order to get started and stay ahead of the competition, marXact offers the UNI-Complete package. This set included all you need to start surveying digitally tomorrow, as well as all tools to do so with ease and precision. UNI-Complete consists of

  • UNI-GR1, the GNSS receiver that receives GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZNSS, and SBAS to get positions easily and accurately;
  • UNI-Connect, the most easy surveying software on the market. UNI-Connect works on any device with a browser and WiFi, using it is as easy as playing a game;
  • UNI-Cloud, to get your data from and to the field (or office) in no time. Connects to the UNI-Cloud API and gives the opportunity to call for help with remote and phone support;
  • UNI-RTK Premium, with hundreds of base stations all over the world, this network gives you centimetre accurate correction data.
  • Pole, tablet, and mount. Where would we be without the accessories to survey with the UNI-GR1 the easiest? A weatherproof Android tablet, 2-meter carbon fibre survey pole, and mount to hold the tablet, make your surveying job for sure easier.

UNI-Complete is priced at €4995 per set, with UNI-Cloud and UNI-RTK Premium priced at €750 per year. That combined €1500 euro per year is the only recurring cost to survey digitally for years to come. A user-friendly process and accurate results to benefit from, the investment earned back in no time!

Out with the old, in with the new

As the English say: ‘out with the old, in with the new’. Literally, in this case. You replace existing data constantly with new information, to stay up to date, and have a current starting point. It’s what you are already used to, or should be. The same goes for how you do a survey and the equipment you use. Digital surveying gives so much more possibilities than the traditional way of working does, such as getting results faster to the office for reviewing.

You’ve allowed yourself a handy smartphone to make photos and videos and share those on social media, why not do the same for your work tasks? Digital surveying is the future. Create it. Be a part of it. Become it.

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