12d Model proves asset for surveyor on the go
Communication is key when it comes to construction, which is one of the
reasons Colin Taylor has used 12d Model for more than 15 years.
When working on a large design project,
communication between team members is vital to ensure production goes smoothly.
Each surveyor on a team will need to work together to cross reference and verify
the information to ensure everything goes to plan.
Colin Taylor has been a surveyor for more
than 30 years and currently works for spatial solutions company VERIS. When he
leaves the office, at his side is his tablet which houses a powerful program
that helps keep everything organised.
The 12d Model software package has
assisted him in both the field and at the office for more than 15 years.
Mr. Taylor says he often uses 12d Field,
an additional module to 12d Model software. He says the system maintains most of
the functionality of the desktop version but adds greater flexibility by
communicating with GPS or survey instruments.
“While I am in the field, I can use the
tablet to connect to the surveying equipment and instruments via Bluetooth,
which can then connect to the cloud via 12d Synergy, Dropbox or OneDrive,” he
“When I return to the office, the tablet
automatically connects to the Wi-Fi and syncs with my computer and the models
appear. The same can be said vice-versa, letting me access updated designs in
the field automatically.”
Mr Taylor says that this connectivity is
vital for a large project or worksite where multiple surveyors are needed.
“On larger projects, it’s important to
make sure multiple field crews or surveyors can send and receive in real time.
Because 12d can synchronise information via the cloud, team members can ensure
their methods, procedures and coding are correct,” he says.
“For example, field surveyors collecting
data will be able to return the office to synchronise if they come within range
of the Wi-Fi. If necessary, they could even turn on the 3G or 4G SIM card to let
the tablet synchronise from the field.
“This means you can have a surveyor 20
kilometres away and still able to access new designs or send the latest field
data to be processed,” he says.
Mr Taylor says that one of the most
helpful features is 12d’s efficient management of data, allowing compilation of
information from survey field crews, which is then accessible at the push of a
“Information like lines, points, surfaces,
offsets and thickness of certain materials are able to be accessed whenever
needed. 12d Model is even able to have them conform against dimensional
conformances for a prefabricated piece of concrete or steel for example,” he
Mr Taylor says this helps surveyors find
the true dimensions of the structure and determine important measurements prior
“Crane time is expensive, so making sure
the data is correct avoids costly production delays. It could be anything from
as simple as setting out one point on an X, Y, Z axis and set that out to
compare it to where the design point is,” he explains.
Mr Taylor is currently working with the
New South Wales Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) and uses 12d’s software for
accurate data inquiry.
RMS has its own designers that send
through updated design revisions which can be loaded into 12d Model via a map
file. This enables design layers to be separated into different models for the
base design,” Mr Taylor says.
“This helps with construction of roads as
companies are able to access information like the width of the road, any
cross-falls, the longitudinal grade, and where traffic barriers, line marking,
sign markings and the kerb will go.
“12d Model provides a footprint of the
road and whether a batter is available, which helps companies work out the
volumes needed to cut and fill alongside additional volumes for the road.”
Mr Taylor says 12d Model is customisable
and allows for custom macros that can automate processes and increase its
“The system has its own powerful
programming language based on C++. By taking advantage of this, companies can
manage their data with custom programs and combine commands together,” he
“It can be used to design reports, models,
design points and graphics. There’s also a forum that provides helpful
information on programming executables and can help semi-automate processes,” Mr
Moving from a paper field book record
system to a digital interface has helped Mr. Taylor and helped to verify
information across the team. While paper can still be used, 12d Field is able to
store the quality attributes, meaning it is compliant and can be checked against
RMS specifications. Quality data can be traced back to the field data collected
from the surveyors and verified.
“There’s a lot of manual work that is
still written down today on paper. 12d has an inherent ability to be able to
access information anywhere, whether it is in the field or in the office at the
push of a button,” he says.
Mr Taylor says the system has helped him
efficiently and accurately survey project sites, from roads, to buildings or
“With one click, I’m able to find all the
attributes, verify the accuracy, scale factors and prisms used. Any queries, or
if I need to respond to an audit, can be quickly satisfied and sent off,” he
“Construction projects can be complex with
large data sets. When multiple crews are working on the same project, cross
referencing data can be difficult to do efficiently. With 12d, you’re able to
make sure everything and everyone is working together.”
--as featured in Roads and Civil
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