DDSI Increases Profit Margins with High-Accuracy LaserGIS
DDSI Global is a Denver-area services provider that helps architecture and engineering firms identify opportunities to expand their telecommunication footprints. A typical DDSI project involves surveying a leased cell-tower site. This includes mapping underground utilities (e.g., water, gas, electric, fiber lines) with subfoot accuracy. In the past, field crews relied on legacy handheld GPS devices.
At issue was the legacy GPS units' ability to work under canopy, where they lost signal. This left crews with the time-consuming alternatives of using either a total station or tape measures. Sometimes, drafters couldn't decipher the field data, and the crew had to revisit a site. For DDSI, that meant the margin.
"We needed an alternative solution to our field data collection methods," DDSI project manager Mike George said. "The difference between having to survey a site once or twice is often the difference between making a project profitable or breaking even."
Industry - Telecommunications
User - DDSI Global
Partner - Eos Positioning Systems
Challenge - DDSI needed a faster way to capture utility locates with subfoot accuracy, in places where trees and buildings obstructed GPS signals.
Solution - Eos Arrow Gold GNSS receiver, Esri Collector for ArcGIS, LTI TruPulse 200X, Ipad Mini 4
Result - DDSI improved profit margins by accelerating utility locates in the field with a new RTK laser mapping solution from Eos, Esri and LTI.
Eos Positioning Systems (Eos) is an award-winning Esri Silver partner and the exclusive manufacturer of the Arrow Series GNSS (GPS) receivers. With decades of GNSS experience, Eos employees are credited with creating the world's first iOS-compatible Bluetooth RTK GNSS receiver. Today, Eos Arrow receivers work seamlessly with Esri mobile apps.
Esri's Collector for ArcGIS was paired with Eos's laser mapping solution. The solution allows crews to map utility assets by either occupying them physically or performing laser offsets from afar. It requires the following:
- Collector for ArcGIS for data collection
- An Eos Arrow GNSS receiver for GNSS location accuracy
- LTI TruPulse 200X laser rangefinder for offsets
- Eos Tools Pro for offset measurements
- An iOS device to run Collector
"I can get everything I need collected on the pole at the same time without having to change gears," George said. "If I want to shoot an offset feature, it's two taps in Collector, and I can select that routine. The integration of the three technologies is so seamless."
Out of the box, the accuracy is more than sufficient for utility locates.
"We're getting plus or minus a foot out of the box, which is well within the threshold for utility locates," he said.
With the GNSS laser mapping solution, DDSI can perform all the required utility locates in three hours of steady work, allowing them to target two site surveys per day.
"We're just cruising," George said. "It's go, go, go, collect a point, collect an offset. This tool just places a huge advantage on us to complete these jobs."
LTI senior product manager Derrick Reish visited a site.
"I could not believe how fast they were going," Reish said.
The laser mapping workflow also allows for real-time QA/QC, so bad data can be discarded in the field, and repeat trips are reduced.
"We can see right then if we got the shot we wanted or move it," George said. "And the data goes right to the drafter via the cloud, so this eliminates them having to take the time to figure out what happened in the field from a ton of traditional survey point shots. With 90 to 95 percent of the work done in the field, we've made a huge time savings and ROI on each project. That's what this new system does for us."
"This laser mapping solution has saved our drafters hours. In the survey world, that's the difference between the project being profitable or just breaking even."