Vive La REVO-lution
Geoperspectives, originally a classic surveying company founded in 1987 has grown to 60 people with their head office in Paris. Over the past four years they have transformed themselves into a highly specialized, 3D expert services provider. Since 2013 the company has scanned about 5 million sq. meters of building space. Alain Pape, Director commented, “Today our specialty is to use the proper mix of sensors in order to obtain the best result for each project.”
Over the past four years Geoperspectives has made a significant investment in 3D technology. This includes tripod scanners, a drone, a number of software products, including CAD, image processing and visualization products like 3DSMAX. They have also been early users of both the ZEB1 and more recently the ZEB-REVO from GeoSLAM.
When asked how they became aware of the GeoSLAM products Alain recalls, “When we saw the videos from CSIRO (the original developers) on the web, we found their operation to be quite different. We did some research into CSIRO and decided to investigate the system further. We went to the GeoSLAM office in the UK to test it and compare it with our “traditional” solutions. We came back to France with our first ZEB1. Today, we have 7 systems. We haven’t found any other solution that is as versatile and practical to use for scanning complex indoor scenes with crowded spaces, rooms and stairs.”
Alain continued, “We achieve centimeter accuracy in every configuration. And now, with the new REVO, it’s just incredible. The REVO data quality is better and operation is even easier than its “older brother” the ZEB1.”
Geoperspectives’ typical workflow includes the use of tripod scanners for large buildings or outdoor scenes and the GeoSLAM systems for small or complex parts. They then calibrate and fuse all of the data with software like RealWorks. For 2D deliverables they work on top of a raster image background. For 3D models they import the calibrated point clouds directly into CAD software from Autodesk or Bentley to create a 3D model.
Geoperspectives is digitizing all the Galeries Lafayette Stores. They are producing 100% digital models at all sites. The overall project includes more than 1,000,000 sq. meters of space. They are capturing small spaces, storage rooms, offices, cellars, terraces, stairs and more. Alain commented, “It would be impossible to scan this without a very fast, portable, and accurate system. We are using a combination of a tripod scanner and the ZEB1/REVO systems.”
A second project involved an old underground quarry and the streets above the quarry. Using only the REVO they provided the first use of 3D scanning on a project for BRGM (French Mining and Geological Agency). Alain recalls, “We scanned for 20 minutes underground, 20 minutes in the streets, 20 minutes decoding and matching the 2 point clouds together, and we provided a direct measurement of the ground thickness from the point cloud. Needless to say the customer was impressed.”
A third project was done for the French Special Forces. “We were able to scan a large, 12-storey building in only five 5 hours, build a 3D model used for a simulation scenario, and an immersive tactical model. It would have been impossible without the REVO,” Alain explained.
Return on Investment
Alain reports that, “GeoSLAM systems are immediately cost-effective. You only need to use it to be totally convinced that this solution is 5 to 10 times faster than any other system on the market. When there are issues with a data set the tech support people are able to solve 98 % of your “problems” in a short time period.”
He explained, “The software people at CSIRO are really magicians. The algorithms are incredibly efficient! This software is the heart of the solution, and that’s why GeoSLAM will hold their leadership in SLAM technology systems for many years.”
The Galeries Lafayette Project taught Geoperspectives that the available old 2D plans – as obtained using “classic” optical surveying methods often turned out to be simply incorrect, when compared to their digital scanned scenes. Alain noted, “It was an astonishing conclusion for us, but a clear fact. Other optical methods are far behind.”
Alain believes that 3D, BIM, and interactive/immersive models are only at the beginning of their take-off, and Geoperspectives wants to be part of this launch. He thinks this the right time for digitizing the world.
3D data capture is the new standard. Geoperspectives teams have accumulated valuable experience in order to control all the digital data chain. They can ensure their customers – from scanning to delivery – that the project is accurate and reliable at the LOD (Level of Detail) they need in every corner of the project.
Alain noted, “Geoperspectives is determined to be the leaders in France in this development, and actually we are well on our way!
Alain Pape, Director of Geoperspectives, one of the Top 10 surveying firms in France is the President d’Honneur of the French Surveyor’s Union (UNGE).