Project Profiles - 3D Scanning

Pier 78 Rail Freight Grant Repairs Project

posted Feb 17, 2016, 10:29 AM by

Professional Land Surveying Services for the Pier 78 Rail Freight Grant Repairs Project. 

Invincibly improving our city and its infrastructure- that’s what we do best. The new project we’ve started working on recently is a part of the bigger redevelopment undertaken by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. Our Crew had the chance to work at the Philadelphia’s port, which is one of the busiest ports on the North Atlantic range. Over 3000 ships load and offload at this port each year, make it a pretty busy location, which became a challenge for our team to get there and be able to conduct a survey.

Rodriguez team provides professional land surveying services for the entire parcel of the existing paper warehouse at Christopher Columbus Blvd, Pier 78 and the Delaware River to the East. The survey plan our team is preparing, will serve as the base document for the design of the necessary repairs to the Pier 78 Rail Track System Project. 

Pier 78 is a very old construction, built in 1915. It’s located at the Forest Products Center complex in South Philadelphia. This building is currently used for the storage and loading of paper products. Rail service to this building is critical to the servicing of the various tenant customers. The current rail track system at Pier 78 is in rather poor condition.

Rodriguez team was collecting data using our Faro 3D scanner. I’ve asked Joseph and Joanna, our Geospatial Specialists, about the details of the project and their involvement on various stages of the work. 


Joseph: As the head Party Chief on site, I assisted Shaka and Alban (Surveyors at Rodriguez) in collecting road topography and locations as well as utilities along Columbus Blvd and Snyder Ave. I started the job by using GPS to set survey control so that we could have our site georeferenced to State Plane Coordinates. We then used conventional survey methods utilizing our total station to set other survey points throughout the site, which we used to collect more topography and locations of utilities. These points would then be used to georeference our scan data which I will explain in more detail below. The true basis of the job was to collect valuable information for the future upgrade of the rail system that was in desperate need of repair. We needed to collect precise measurements along the rail system and surrounding topography and utilities. We decided that using our Faro 3D laser scanner would be a great tool in the collection of this data. We would end up with millions of points that would all be tied to our survey control that we would later use to draft the existing features and rail system. I completed 32 individual scans spread out throughout the interior of the site and along the frontage where the rail system entered from Columbus Blvd. A big hurdle for us to overcome was that Pier 78 is one of the busiest ports in the Northeast. There are vessels unloading cargo most of the week and the only downtime is on weekends when no vessels are scheduled to arrive. It took us 2 Saturday's to collect all of the information we needed. The Faro allowed us to move quickly and smoothly throughout the site. We had to supplement some areas with other conventional survey methods, which were difficult for the laser scanner to get, but I would say we probably picked up most of what we needed utilizing the Faro 3D laser scanner. It is an extremely valuable tool to have. Millions of points of data were collected.  

Aerial Photo showing extent of survey

Point cloud of site from FARO SCENE
 Joanna was working in the office on the data our Surveying Crew collected. She explained below in greater detail, how we processed the scan data and how the end results look like.

Accurate and detail drawings of the railroad tracks were crucial to the success of the project, and were used as a base to document existing conditions, as well as for the design of restoration work. Multiple scans were made around the building. These individual scans were later registered together in Faro SCENE software, to form one point cloud, which essentially becomes a 3D spatial image. Registration of the scans was possible due to the scanned targets (common points), placed in between scan stations. It helped to connect and combine all of the scans into one point cloud. 

While collecting millions of points of data, the Faro Focus X330 also takes a series of pictures associated with each scan, allowing point cloud data to be supplemented with digital color imaging. These images were aligned to the point cloud data, so that it gained the true colors.

A network of GPS control points was set up around the building. Scan targets, were set up over these control points. I was then able to georeference the point cloud. In order to do that, I imported the file with control points into SCENE software. In the final point cloud there were over 60 million points created.

The next step after point cloud registration and georeference, was exporting the point cloud to the format which can be opened in AutoCAD Civil 3D. AutoCAD is compatible with a RCP file. I exported that file and worked in Civil 3D with PointPlant Scene kubit to draft the existing condition plan. 

As an end result, I was able to deliver, to our client, cost efficient accurate drawings with great detail.

Photo of building in intensity detention and Photo from VirtuSurv

Photos taken by Joseph Coe, scans prepared by Joanna Sajewska.

New Bus Shelters in Philadelphia

posted Feb 17, 2016, 10:28 AM by

We are going to have hundreds of new bus shelters in  Philadelphia over the next five years. 

Rodriguez Consulting was awarded a new contract with TITAN to provide Professional Engineering & Land Surveying Services in the city of Philadelphia to support the installation of new bus shelters throughout the city.  TITAN is providing installation, and maintenance of advertising for Out-of-Home media in 31 North American markets.  This project will result in the replacement of all 300 of the city’s existing bus shelters and will also entail the installation of 300 additional bus shelters around the city in areas with high ridership and the construction of benches at bus stops with lower ridership outside of Center City.

Rodriguez has been working with TITAN on various bus shelter site designs and permitting since June 2015. We are proud to be working with TITAN on this new transportation upgrade for Philadelphia.

Rodriguez's scope involves preforming detailed topographic surveys of existing conditions and preparation of site plans for the proposed bus shelters. Rodriguez utilized a combination of conventional surveying and 3D laser scanning technology to collect extremely detailed and accurate data of the existing site locations. Our surveys were also referenced to the official Philadelphia City Plan house lines and curb lines in order to establish the right-of-way and adjacent roadway widths. Our engineers prepared site design plans for the proposed bus shelters to meet the requirements of the Philadelphia Streets Department.

Rodriguez is excited to be able to utilize our Faro X330 3D scanner and our engineering expertise to be a part of such an exciting project.

View of Point Cloud at Broad and Arch Street, Philadelphia

Walnut and 7th Street, Philadelphia

Broad and Arch Street, Philadelphia

Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA - Intersection Surveys and 3D Scanning

posted Nov 4, 2015, 12:39 PM by   [ updated Nov 4, 2015, 1:24 PM ]

Broad Street Intersections, Philadelphia, PA  - April 2015

Rodriguez Consulting LLC (Rodriguez), under contract with Urban Engineers, Inc. provided land surveying and mapping services for intersections of South Broad Street at Walnut, Chestnut, and Samson, utilizing conventional surveying and 3D Lidar scanning technologies. 

Rodriguez provided professional engineering and land surveying services to survey and prepare an existing condition plans for the following intersections:

  • Broad & Walnut (1,000 L.F.)
  • Broad & Chestnut (1,000 L.F.)
  • Broad & Samson (500 L.F.)
  • Moravian St. (50 L.F.) 
ADA ramp designs were developed as follows:
  • Broad & Walnut (8 Ramps)
  • Broad & Chestnut (8 Ramps)
Rodriguez Contribution: 
  • Control Survey – Horizontal and Vertical survey control was established throughout the project site utilizing global positioning systems (GPS) as required to perform the survey tasks.
  • Utility Survey – Existing rim, top of grate and invert elevations were obtained for storm and sanitary sewer facilities within the project limits in accordance with the RFP, PWD Standards, and generally accepted land surveying standards and practices.
  • Utility Coordination– Rodriguez contacted Pennsylvania (PA) One Call requesting a Routine Location request (street markup) and a Design Notification (utility plans/ as-builts) for the project area. Utility information was added to the base map and adjusted according to the field survey information.
  • Topographic Survey – A Topographic Survey was prepared in accordance with the RFP, PWD Standards, and generally acceptable land surveying standards and practices. The survey was prepared at an appropriate scale with a one (1) foot contour interval and/or spot elevations in General Survey areas and half foot contours on detailed survey areas.
  • Existing Conditions Site Plan Preparation– Rodriguez prepared an Existing Conditions Site Plan for the project site incorporating the information obtained via the Topographic Survey. Compiled field information was prepared in a CAD environment and includes the preparation of a survey plat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rodriguez Team scanning on Broad St.

 Estimated Cost:           Design Services: $65,000  
  • GPS Data Collection
  • Topographic & Utility Survey
  • LiDAR 3D Scanning
  • AutoCad Civil 3D
 Site Facts:
  • Site Area: 3,000 L.F.
  • S. Broad St. through Walnut, Chestnut, and Samson. 

Our Geospatial Specialist Joanna Sajewska prepared 3D scene from Broad Street Intersections project. 

Borough of Wenonah, NJ - Planning, Design, and Construction Support Services

posted Oct 28, 2015, 7:48 AM by   [ updated Oct 28, 2015, 7:48 AM ]

Borough of Wenonah, New Jersey- November 2015

Rodriguez provided engineering services to the Borough of Wenonah, to effectively utilize our vast array of public works knowledge and experience while, at the same time, function as an extension of the Borough's administrative staff and Public Works Department. Our municipal engineering services under this contract included the following: preparation of boundary and topographic surveys, base maps, water and sewer capital project design plans, bid specifications, contract documents, and all necessary permitting required for utility capital improvement projects. Rodriguez also provided construction management, inspection, and construction stake-out services for water and sewer capital projects.

 Estimated Cost:          Construction: $2.1M
  • Topographic & Utility Survey
  • 3D Laser Scanning
  • AutoCad Civil 3D
 Site Facts:
  • Established in 1883
  • 20 miles of water and sewer mains
  • Located 10 miles from Philadelphia

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