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The Story Bridge, Drones and other interesting stories with Nick McKelvey

01/03/2018

Nick, the latest addition to our Wolter Consulting Group (WCG) surveying team, not only has some great barbeque stories to tell, but is also one of the Australia’s leading 3D spatial surveyors. He’s been working in the area of 3D spatial surveying for more than a decade and has seen a number of advancements in the field.

wolter_feb2018.jpgNick, the latest addition to our Wolter Consulting Group (WCG) surveying team, not only has some great barbeque stories to tell, but is also one of the Australia’s leading 3D spatial surveyors. He’s been working in the area of 3D spatial surveying for more than a decade and has seen a number of advancements in the field.

When Nick first started, a terrestrial scanner cost more than $300,000, weighed over 30 kilos and had to be hooked up to a laptop and other peripherals. Now, the scanner weighs about four kilos, is self-contained and is considerably cheaper.

Other advances include drones (RPAS, UAV), which are now an invaluable part of our arsenal, along with lots of other great hardware and software to provide deliverables ranging from point clouds to BIM.

But 3D photography, or photogrammetry, isn’t a new revelation. People have been making 3D images with film for decades, by viewing photographs in stereo. What we have now is computer software that takes these files and creates seamless 3D models in a matter of minutes. "This enables us to develop new services and deliverables to assist with the completion of complex and challenging projects in a safe, timely and cost effective manner", Nick says. Couple that with the drone images we can shoot and we can provide clients with the most detailed images of a site they have ever had, both of the early site work and throughout the life of the project.

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3D point clouds are a quantum leap forward from the conventional single point surveying methodologies. The high definition data enables more accurate detailed design and less construction “surprises” resulting in cost overruns.  Great project outcomes begin with great data. - Nick McKelvey.

Terrestrial scanning & photogrammetry

By integrating all the technology at our disposal, laser scanners, drones, photogrammetry and our advanced software packages, we provide highly accurate point clouds, rendered CAD DWGs and 3D images of both new sites and buildings, as well as existing buildings due for refurbishment or for asset management.

It’s not unusual when starting a refurbishment to work off the original plans, only to find things aren’t where they are supposed to be. This technology enables building discrepancies to be identified early, thus minimising project delays and unexpected redesigns. "You would be surprised at how often a scan finds a pillar in the wrong place, a wall where it shouldn’t be, or no wall where there should be", he points out.

By doing 3D modelling of the building prior to starting, you can find all those hidden problems and address them before getting too far into the job.

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Nick is a big advocate in spending a little more on the preparation saying it will nearly always save you time and money throughout the build.

Since joining us, Nick has introduced the art of 3D spatial services to WCG, working with our accomplished and professional surveying team. He’s working with the team on existing projects across the business, bringing the latest in laser scanning, 3D photogrammetry, drone images and aerial LIDAR DEM data enhancement to the business.

The iconic Story Bridge

As for his favourite project to date, Nick knows the Story Bridge more intimately than most.

Nick was responsible for the most extensive and comprehensive laser scan and 3D modelling of the bridge for the Brisbane City Council.

He crawled all over the bridge and even hung from it on ropes to get an accurate data capture of what was going on with the bridge, where the issues were and what maintenance was required, right down to where all the light bulbs are.

He was disappointed however that he didn’t get to spend more time surveying the supporting pillars that go through the Shelter Bar at the Story Bridge Hotel. He’s positive that if those pillars could talk they would certainly have some colourful tales to tell.

And for those of you playing at home – Nick tells us the Story Bridge has 647 lights.

 

If you would like more information about WCG 3D Spatial Services, email Nick at nmckelvey@wolterconsulting.com.au