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When it comes to assessing the country’s infrastructure, or that of any town or area for that matter, there are plenty of different factors that come into play. Whether you are looking at transportation planning or civil engineering structural design, you will need a complete set of data to work with in order to build or improve the needed roads and buildings that will help the community grow and successfully thrive. As technology has changed and advanced over the years, there have been multiple ways to approach this process. One of these methods, LIDAR surveying and photogrammetry, has proven to be quite effective, and quite fascinating on top of that.
What is LIDAR surveying and photogrammetry?
LIDAR surveying and photogrammetry is an involved process that uses light and photographs to produce accurate models and measurements, taking information from 2D images of different surfaces, areas, and buildings. LIDAR, or Light Detection And Ranging technology, is also sometimes referred to as Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging quite simply uses light and radar to determine distances and map different surfaces. Combined with photogrammetry, which is involves determining measurements from at least two pictures or other 2D images, this method can be used to create 3D models for more accurate and efficient planning processes.
This method might be used in a civil engineering company, aiding contractors in the construction, maintenance, or design of bridges, roads, or structures. And it is no small job.
An infrastructure in need of repair
Across the country, there are plenty of examples showing the need for an advanced technology and process to improve upon the way our society has built our everyday lives around certain structures.
- One estimate shows that more than 33% of the major roads across the United States are in either poor or mediocre condition.
- Of all the dam failures or almost-failures recorded since 1874, more than one third have occurred just in the last decade.
- Over 25% of the bridges across the country are in need of vital repairs, or are currently having to carry more traffic than they were originally meant to hold.
- Around 33% of all the fatalities that occur on the highway are somehow tied to road conditions that are not up to par, outdated road design, or hazards along the roadway.
- And the EPA has estimated that drinking water utilities are going to need to spend almost $335 billion over the course of the next two decades in order to fix the deteriorating infrastructure.
The problems that need to be addressed cover the spectrum of different infrastructure branches. Every aspect requires adequate monitoring and maintenance.
It took time to build the society that we know today. But as time progresses, and we as a species continue to build, our collective conscious and knowledge about how to build not only for our own existence but also in harmony with the planet we inhabit must be paramount.