Survey expert CADS sees AI as latest in long line of big tech developments to benefit its sector

CADS Press room
Survey Insight by CADS Media team 22/11/2023

With nearly 40 years’ experience, measured surveying specialist CADS has witnessed enormous advances in the technology it uses to gather and present data.


Survey expert CADS sees AI as latest in long line of big tech developments to benefit its sector

However, it’s the most recent innovations which the business believes are most beneficial to the architects, contractors, estate managers and other property professionals it provides with survey data, plans and models.

“The role of the surveyor to map the physical world is largely unchanged – but technology is transforming the accuracy, integrity and power of the data and deliverables we provide.”

says Iain Tubby, Survey Services Manager at CADS.

In the most recent advances, AI is being employed through algorithms which analyse enormous quantities of survey data to identify patterns, eliminate errors and fill in gaps.

“Our clients need to make design decisions based on our survey deliverables quicker than ever and it’s the rapid advance of geospatial tools, laser scanning,

drones, software and AI which are empowering us to support this faster and more cost-effectively than ever.”

adds Iain.

Total Station and GPS rover

Extracting detailed survey information through technology

Just a few decades ago, a large group of surveyors would arrive on site and manually gather measurements, before returning to the office to prepare the information and present it to project managers in plans and drawing formats.

Today, laser scanners gather millions of points of data in a day and geospatial instrumentation allows complex physical measurements to be collected using GPS satellite signals from the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). Both can be instantly integrated with other information to create a near real-time view of a site quicker than ever.

“Technology is becoming faster and smaller, so we are continually able to unlock new potential from solutions such as mobile LIDAR scanners, 3D modelling and drone photogrammetry. Integrated with AI, we can extract incredibly detailed information – without the need to risk surveyors climbing ladders and roofs!”

states Iain.

Improved data integrity

In common with many other industries, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is currently the biggest area of new-found benefits within the measured survey sector.

Historically only able to follow their programming, AI means computers are now capable of generating new outcomes or behaviours through reasoned analysis. Machine Learning in particular uses complex algorithms to explore large volumes of survey data and make decisions based upon it, improving data integrity.

“We’ve already found the benefits of AI to be significant, improving productivity by providing powerful real-time data interpretation. However, we’re confident this only scratches the surface of the benefits it can help us deliver our clients.”

adds Iain.

reality capture
Exploded 3D Revit® model

Real-time data aiding design decisions

Modern construction and renovation projects now require surveyors to be present throughout their lifecycle, to detail the project status, validate buildings against plans and feed into ongoing design decisions.

Technology can now provide a network of autonomous geospatial building sensors which gather data and feed real-time information to project

stakeholders, reducing site visits, where AI toolsets further assist in Building Information Modelling (BIM).

As products and platforms evolve, one of the biggest challenges for surveying technology is being highly adaptive and ensuring interoperability between new and existing platforms, working seamlessly with other solutions to interpret data together. This will enable CADS to deliver projects faster with precise accuracy for their clients.

Delivering better built environments

Despite the speed of recent developments, CADS believes the next chapter may be even more exciting for measured survey technology:

“Our role will likely evolve into providing real-time 4D project models which increase accountability and speed up decision making, to deliver even better built environments – and technology is what will make that possible.”

says Iain.

One of the UK’s most trusted measured survey specialists, CADS works with architects, project managers, building contractors and property managers on a wide range of projects.

“Embracing new technology, digitalisation and automation is vital to meet the demands of our clients – and we’re proud to be playing a role in unlocking the benefits for them.”

concludes Iain.

This article was published by Design and Build UK, Dec 2023.

To find out more about CADS’ surveying services, please get in touch.

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