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Geo Week News | What Lidar-Enabled Drones Can Add to Surveying

SPH Engineering
August 25, 2022

Article by Matt Collins

Surveying is far from a new profession, with evidence of rough versions of surveyors going all the way back to ancient Egypt’s “rope-stretchers,” who measured property lines and foundations for structures like the Great Pyramids using knotted cords. We’ve certainly come a long way since then, and the profession has particularly advanced to a notable degree over the last couple of decades, with a number of new technologies popping up for surveyors to add to their toolbox. In fact, things have changed to such a degree in recent years that Thomas Harring, president of Hexagon’s Geosystems division, gave a keynote earlier this summer in which he argued we need a new definition of what it means to be a surveyor in the first place.

One of the most impactful new additions to the surveyor’s toolbox is lidar, which can be used a number of ways, including by attaching a scanner to a drone to do complex surveying. Among the companies harnessing this technology and making it more accessible to surveyors is SPH Engineering and their UgCS software, which is used for drone flight planning. SPH Engineering was co-founded by Alexey Dobrovolskiy, who is now the company’s Chief Technology Officer, who told Geo Week he got in start in developing software for corporate functions while enjoying drones as a hobby when he came to the realization that they were just “a computer with motors.”

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