TWM Contributor: Derek Twente, PLS, EI
Vice President & Director of Geospatial Services

Discovering a New Gold Standard: A Digital Map of Active Data

As technology continues to evolve, it’s challenging to stay on the leading edge. With each advancement in technology, A/E firms must re-evaluate increased efficiencies, additional benefits, learning curves, costs, and added value that such advancements will bring to their arsenal of data capture tools.

With so many options available, and the reality that all sensors are not created equal, firms really need to do their homework to ensure they are making the best investment for the type of work they are doing. Over the last decade, TWM has strategically invested in a variety of reality capture technologies, leveraging the benefits of these vital tools for every new advancement in efficiency, accuracy, and versatility.

Last month, TWM added another dynamic tool to its robust set of reality capture resources – the NavVis VLX. The NavVis is a wearable mobile mapping system that delivers 3D high quality images of any site in every direction to capture a full 360-degree panoramic view, from interior spaces to exterior locations. TWM is one of the very few firms in southern IL and MO to invest in this equipment!

A Powerful Tool for Data Collection

Having tested a variety of different brands of equipment for a wearable solution, the quality and outstanding accuracy of the NavVis led us to invest in this equipment over others. A key benefit of the NavVis is the Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) technology that allows for real-time updates and ensures all necessary data has been captured before leaving a project site. SLAM technology is constantly tracking the system’s position, fusing the data together, and building a detailed map of the surrounding environment.

While there is no one tool for all applications, TWM believes the NavVis will bring additional efficiencies on smaller projects that might not need the level of accuracy of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS). While TLSs are by far more accurate, a significant amount of additional time is needed when capturing data with these scanners. Regardless of the equipment, LiDAR is dependent upon line-of-sight, and the NavVis system allows our crews to walk around any obstructions to minimize these issues. The ability to supplement our other aerial, mobile, and terrestrial LiDAR equipment with data from a wearable system offers added value to projects.

We also see the advantage of addressing capacity – a challenge most firms are facing today. With an increased focus on efficiency and flexibility, it’s an opportunity for our surveying crews to capture more data in less time with limited staff.

In addition to addressing capacity challenges, the ability to quickly capture data, minimize disruptions, and identify/tag control points were other key factors in our decision to acquire the NavVis system. Regardless of your project and scope, it’s all about having the right tools…and then using the right tool to do the job. By owning and implementing the newest reality capture technologies – including seven high-definition 3D laser scanners, two mobile LiDAR units, and four UAVs – TWM is positioned to serve our clients quickly and cost-effectively.

For more information on TWM’s reality capture data tools or to schedule a lunch/learn presentation of any of our geospatial services, please contact Derek Twente, PLS, EI at

Read more about our Geospatial and Reality Capture services.