GSA Awards ARC $30 Million IDIQ Contract for Nationwide Laser Scanning Services

Written by Architectural Resource Consultants

Irvine, California (September 27, 2009) – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Public Building Service (PBS) has awarded Architectural Resource Consultants a five year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract worth up to $30 million for Nationwide Laser Scanning Services.

“This is a great example of how Architectural Resource Consultants’ expertise in providing 3D laser as-built surveys and Building Information Modeling (BIM) provides the best solutions for our customers,” said John Russo, AIA, President and CEO of ARC.  “In this case our expertise in managing High Definition Survey (HDS) services made us the right choice for GSA to advance its initiative for using 3D laser scanning to help manage its building assets.”

The contract calls for ARC and its team of sub-consultants to provide HDS laser scanning services to document existing conditions of GSA’s building assets and create 3-dimensional building models which will assist GSA in managing its buildings throughout all four phases of the facility life cycle.

3D laser scanning is the most effective technology currently available to quickly and accurately gather 3-dimensional data of buildings and sites.  As the laser paints across an object’s surface it creates what is called a “point cloud”.  A point cloud generally consists of millions of data points, each relative to a project coordinate system that allows precise measurements to be obtained.

From the point cloud a Building Information Model can then be created.  The BIM can be used for planning and design, construction sequencing, clash detection, fabrication of building components, analysis (i.e.: square footage, energy usage, blast analysis, etc.), and maintenance and operations functions such as asset control, scheduling routine maintenance, etc.

The GSA sees the potential for revolutionary change through the use of technologies such as HDS 3D Laser Scanning and BIM to help manage its over 350 million square feet of building space.

The work for the Nationwide Laser Scanning Services contract awarded to ARC will be managed from ARC’s Irvine, California headquarters just south of Los Angeles and will be performed locally by ARC and its team of professional sub-consultants.

About Architectural Resource Consultants
Architectural Resource Consultants is an award winning firm and has been providing professional technology/support services to the AEC+FM (Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management) communities since 1997.  Our expertise in HDS laser as-builts, BIM, architecture and 3D Visualization has been utilized by AEC firms, building owners and property managers across the U.S.  To find out more, please visit

Augmenting Aerial Earth Maps with Dynamic Information

The rapid speed at which technology is advancing seems to amaze me every single day and today is no exception. Below is a video demonstrating ongoing research being done out of the Georgia Institute of Technology funded in part by a Google Research Award. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of this post. Below is some information from the research site.

Kihwan Kim, Sangmin Oh, Jeonggyu Lee and Irfan Essa,
College of Computing, School of Interactive Computing
GVU Center, Georgia Institute of Technology

* Paper to appear in ISMAR (IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality) 2009, Orlando Florida USA

** This work was in part funded by a Google Research Award (


We introduce methods for augmenting aerial visualizations of Earth (from tools such as Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth) with dynamic information obtained from videos. Our goal is to make Augmented Earth Maps that visualize the live broadcast of dynamic sceneries within a city. We propose different approaches to analyze videos of pedestrians and cars, under differing conditions and then augment Aerial Earth Maps (AEMs) with live and dynamic information. We also analyze natural phenomenon (clouds) and project information from these to the AEMs to add the visual reality.

System Overview


(1) AVI/Divx 6.8, 80MB: Download

(2) Youtube (5:21) :

SAM, Inc. adds Optech LYNX Mobile Mapping System

Austin, Texas-based SAM, Inc. announced that it has added an Optech LYNX Mobile Mapping solution to its inventory. The company will feature this new technology in the Optech booth at the AREMA 2009 Conference to be held September 20-23 in Chicago. The Optech system was evaluated along with offerings from several other manufacturers. The decision on Optech was due to the engineering of the system and the amount of data it is able to collect, says SAM Senior Project Manager Gordon K. Perry, RPLS, PLS. To date, the system has been used on a multitude of internal projects around Austin and will be utilized on rail projects–a key industry for SAM–in the future. Perry says the company has teamed with nationally acknowledged consulting teams on rail projects and is short-listed for a major project in the Northeast. Perry says SAM’s mobile services will be offered nationwide.

Optech Lynx

The LYNX Mobile Mapping system recently adopted by SAM, Inc. will aid the company’s rail services and introduce new applications, as well. Photo courtesy Business Wire.

SAM, Inc. has had scanning experience for years and owns a terrestrial-based ScanStation. Perry joined the firm in January of this year and was soon tasked to examine mobile scanning technology and product offerings for railway surveying as well as other industries. Perry has more than 10 years’ experience in the rail industry combined with measurement experience using GPS and conventional technology.

“There’s not that many surveyors that understand that railroads are very different from roads,” Perry says. “We won’t be the first [to use mobile on a non-road platform], but I told Sam [Hanna, president, SAM, Inc.] at the beginning that we need to get involved with this, or we’ll get run over.”

The key drivers for adopting mobile scanning for SAM include safety for personnel and the general public; the ability to provide a “more complete picture for a surveying and mapping request” (including both accuracy and amount and type of data collected); and data mining–the ability to scan something today to meet clients requests and to revisit the data later for further requests, which saves both the client and the company personnel time and travel cost to the field.

More and more users are finding that the remote technology of mobile scanning allows them the ability to manage rail, road, pipeline, waterway, electric transmission lines and design-build projects non-invasively and safely. We’ve reported on how mobile scanners have succeeded on roadways and bridges, on waterways and on rough terrain. Perry says a future application he looks forward to includes scanning the underside of shipyard docks that stand 20-30 feet apart and an equal distance in height. “The worst applications [for mobile scanning],” he says, “are those that nobody will come out and say.”

District Attorney lauds use of Leica Geosystems 3D laser scan data as demonstrative forensic evidence in homicide trial

(Norcross, Ga., 03 September 2009)  District Attorney Joe Mulholland of the South Georgia Judicial Circuit added yet another legal case reference to the growing number of U.S. court cases in which Leica Geosystems 3D laser scan data has been admitted into evidence when he successfully proffered and tendered to the jury a visually compelling Leica TruView.

During the murder trial of Antonio Jerome Greenlee in Decatur County Superior Court, witness and crime scene investigator, Andy Forte of the Thomas County Sheriff’s Department, used Leica TruView to virtually place the jury at the crime scene and to show them how the homicide could have occurred.  The case stems from the homicide of 21-year-old Ebony Clarke of Bainbridge, GA, who was shot and killed on August 12th, 2008, during a street altercation between two men.

Leica TruView is a free, web-enabled panoramic point cloud viewer that allows users to view, pan, zoom, measure and markup the incredibly rich point cloud captured by the Leica ScanStation 3D laser scanner.  The Leica ScanStation allows investigators to first photograph and then make millions of measurements of a crime scene in just a few minutes thus “freezing the scene in time” forever.  A Leica TruView data set can then be generated in minutes after scanning for briefings or analysis or as in this case as a jury exhibit.

“The jury really, really liked it and we had jurors comment afterwards about how effective it was” said District Attorney Mulholland.  “We not only used the TruView to support Andy’s testimony, but the judge then allowed Andy to show it again during my direct examination of other witnesses as I asked them questions about where they were standing or where the shooter was.  TruView is basically a high-tech picture.  It is not testimony.  It is offered as an exhibit and demonstrative evidence.  This seemed to play well with the judge.  The Defense did not object and I think that they thought the same thing.”

Mulholland went on to say that after the trial the judge called him to the bench and commented on how effective the use of the Leica TruView was and encouraged him to use it again.  “We certainly plan on doing so.  The scanning software was absolutely fantastic” said the D.A. The judge also contacted Thomas County Sheriff R. Carlton Powell to thank him for his agency’s assistance with the case and to compliment him on the professional nature of the exhibits generated by his investigators.   Sheriff Powell was instrumental in bringing ScanStation technology to Georgia law enforcement and has made it available to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and other agencies as a courtesy.

“The Leica ScanStation has been the choice of police and sheriff’s departments, state patrols, crime laboratories, prosecutor’s offices, coroner and medical examiners and tribal justice agencies” said Tony Grissim the Public Safety and Forensic Account Manager for Leica Geosystems.   “The high volume of traffic we are seeing on our web site at is an indicator to us that word is really getting around within the law enforcement community.”
Leica Geosystems – when it has to be right

With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3’500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

For further information please contact:

Leica Geosystems Inc.
Andre Ribeiro
Director of Marketing
Atlanta, GA 30092
Phone:   +1 (770) 326-9557
Fax:         +1 (770) 447-0710

REVIEW: Leica Geosystems ScanStation C10 and Cyclone 7

On Sepember 1, 2009, Leica Geosystems and Point of Beginning Magazine hosted a webinar titled The Business of Laser Scanning — hype or competitive advantage? Presenters Michael Harvey and Frank Hahnel along with Kristi Grahl discussed using laser scanning technology to:

  • Submit more competitive bids — and win more jobs — for both high-end projects and routine surveys.
  • Meet the requirements of customers who increasingly incorporate HDS into their project specifications.
  • Lower your labor costs and increase profit margins on every job.
  • Increase customer satisfaction with more accurate and detailed surveying reports.

During the webinar, the presenters also announced the availability of Leica’s new ScanStation C10 self-contained time-of-flight 3D laser scanner along with Cyclone 7, Cloudworx for SmartPlant3D and Forensic Map.

Some of the benefits of the new ScanStation C10:

  • No cables
  • On-board data storage
  • USB Interface for data transfer
  • Uses Internal Lithium-Ion TPS Total Station Batteries
    • Hot-swappable
    • 3.5 – 4 hours per battery
    • 4 come with scanner
  • GPS antenna and prism mount attachements
  • Automatically switches between oscillate/spin mirror mode to improve speed
  • Can still be used with a laptop
  • 180-degree sweep – scans both sides
  • Higher resolution capability
  • Integrated color touch-screen
  • Light-weight – 28.6 lbs (scanner),
  • More Portable – 62 lbs (scanner in case)
  • Dual High-resolution camera/video with auto exposure and auto focus
    • Faster target acquisition by point and shoot using the on-board color touch screen
    • Acquire full dome images in 4-7 minutes
  • Man Machine Interface (MMI)
    • Similar to Leica TPS Total Stations
  • Shorter Start-up time
  • Low scan power
  • Withstands moisture better than ScanStation 2

Cyclone 7 Features:

  • Updated Traverse Editor
  • Improved meshing capabilities
    • Leica acquired 3Dreshaper – new meshing functionality
    • Meshing of tunnels
  • Point Cloud engine is real-time indexed – faster viewing performance

View this webcast on-demand. The archive will be available for one year from the live broadcast.

Request your FREE on-site demo — Want to see the new ScanStation c10 in action? Reserve your spot at

Leica Announces New ScanStation C10 Laser Scanner

Leica ScanStation C10

The All-in-One Laser Scanner for Any Application

Today’s most popular class of laser scanner – ScanStation™ – is now in a compact, all-in-one ScanStation C10 platform. It includes scanner, tilt sensor, battery, controller, data storage, auto-adjusting video camera and laser plummet. ScanStation C10 also features major productivity advances, including a new Smart X-Mirror™ that lets users conduct full-dome scans in literally just minutes using a spinning mirror.

With outstanding performance for site, exterior, and interior applications, ScanStation C10 makes High-Definition Surveying™ (HDS™) profitable for even more as-built, topographic and monitoring surveys. The ScanStation C10 platform represents the most capabilities and best value packed into a single laser scanner instrument. Users can take advantage of surveyor-friendly, onboard total station-like control or use an external laptop for even more powerful, onsite viewing and data processing.

ScanStation C10 combines all-in-one portability with the ability of users to traverse, resection or use scan targets for maximum flexibility in dealing with site logistics. Full 360º x 270º field-of-view, high accuracy, long range (300m @90% reflectivity), and high scan speed (50k pts/sec) add to ScanStation C10’s position as the industry’s most versatile scanner.

Major Productivity Advances
ScanStation is faster than its predecessor ScanSation 2 in many ways. It does full dome scans up to 10X faster – now, less than 2 minutes for a typical room. It also conducts general 360º and focused areas scans faster, can be setup & moved faster, lets users locate targets, register & geo-reference faster, and lets users check scan results faster.

Valuable Cost Savings
ScanStation is easy to learn, with a total station-like interface and intuitive, onboard graphic color touch screen display. It is also incrementally upgradeable over time, uses standard total station batteries, and features fewer accessories – all of this contributes to a reduced cost of ownership.

All-in-One Construction

Familiar, total station-like interface
Leica ScanStation C10 supports standard field workflows with a rich, familiar total station interface. Easy to learn touch screen operation.
Integrated real-time streaming video with zoom
For fast, accurate selection of scene and targets to be scanned. The auto-adjusting, internal, high-resolution camera image can also be used for texture mapping of point clouds.
Smart X-Mirror™ design
The mirror automatically spins for fast 360º and full dome scans and oscillates for efficient, targeted scans. The same Smart X-Mirror automatically aligns the internal camera image for fast, accurate texture mapping of point clouds.
Compatibility with standard surveying equipment
Attach handles with Leica GPS SmartAntenna or prism holder, or use without handle for unobstructed overhead scans. A built-in laser plummet and tribrach mount provide added compatibility with standard field procedures and accessories.