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First came GPS/GNSS survey and machine control technology. Next was topographic measurement using drones, laser scanning and photogrammetry. The third wave in construction technology, just beginning to emerge now, is the creation of collaborative systems to bring all the digital data into forms that can be seamlessly shared with machines, operators, supervisors, civil engineers and project owners.
That sharing goes on today but the preponderance of multiple software programs, multiple websites and devices can make it hard to collaborate. There’s a great distance between the guy riding the joysticks and the people in the corporate boardrooms looking for an update to their multi-million dollar projects.
Topcon aims to bridge that gap and knit together all these disparate technologies with its Constructioneering Academy initiative, a collaborative project the company developed along with Bentley Systems. The first sessions will be held February 2018, in Livermore, California.
In 2016, Topcon and Bentley Systems announced a partnership to synchronize cloud services for a process the two companies called “constructioneering.” Product wise what this meant was that Bentley Systems’ ProjectWise Connect Edition users would be able to seamlessly connect with Topcon’s Magnet Enterprise and ContextCapture image processing for mass data collection via unmanned aerial systems (drones). In other words, Topcon is bringing the measuring technology and Bentley provides the cloud-based software to tie it all together for all the participants from the equipment operators to the project owners.
“To date, the surveying, engineering, and construction industries have separately advanced to 3D technologies,” says Greg Bentley, CEO, Bentley Systems. “But unbelievably, until now, 3D models have been recreated—rather than reused—at each phase.”
In a traditional construction project, data from survey and digital engineering models can be lost or inefficiently reproduced, explains Bentley. Constructioneering empowers engineers to extend their role within both surveying and construction, eliminate that redundancy and achieve vastly improved levels of workflow automation, he says.
Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Group, says the combination off the two companies’ products will create “a continuous representation of reality.”
“The Constructioneering Academy courses are designed in a dialogue format to allow Topcon and Bentley personnel to interact directly with attendees to cater the experience for their specific questions and demands,” said Ron Oberlander, senior director of Topcon Professional Services.