Data visualization: The good, better, and best

By Eric Vallejo 

New technologies for visualization and reality capture are expanding what the AEC industry can do when assessing a site—an often-arduous task that doesn’t always capture the big picture or the small details. While photos and drawings can offer a small glimpse of an overall site, it can be challenging to visualize and understand how all elements relate to one another, especially when a facility has outdated or limited drawings of an existing space. 

Advancements in reality capture technology can provide significant benefits to clients and make it easier than ever to access visual and geospatial information. With tools such as 360-degree cameras, drones, laser scanners, and smart phones, design teams can proficiently provide data and share it across the entire design and construction team to improve designs and make better, more informed decisions throughout the process. Where contactless technology is essential, typically in healthcare facilities, reality capture tools can provide increased visualization with a limited footprint and reduced site visits, protecting a facility’s security and the health of its occupants.  

These tools provide high levels of accuracy, save time, and improve team coordination. IMEG’s variety of tools and capabilities provide “good, better, and best” options for clients looking to acquire information about their site. “Good” options primarily provide increased visualization of a site and include mobile app technology that anyone on a design team can use to capture data. “Better” technologies use photogrammetry software and scanning technology to extract measurements to create a 3D point cloud that can be used in a Revit model. “Best” options involve high-tech laser scanners and LiDAR that provide more complex and highly accurate data. 

All options have benefits to owners, from cost-effectiveness to high levels of confidence in the data. Each option also provides unique applications for owners and design teams. Reality capture technologies are expanding the ways design teams can serve clients and are creating new opportunities to experiment with team collaboration and innovation.  

Read more about these technologies in our latest feature article, Reality Capture and Site Assessments: Making the Most of Data.