12d Model proves asset for surveyor on the go - Colin Taylor

LocationAustraliaContractorColin Taylor

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 says.

“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 button.

“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 says.

Mr Taylor says this helps surveyors find the true dimensions of the structure and determine important measurements prior to fitment.

“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 efficiency.

“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 explains.

“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 Taylor says.

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 tunnels.

“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 says.

“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 Works Magazine

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