We have all had times where we did or had a survey done for us and just didn’t have quite enough data to do all of the things we wanted to do. I am not talking about missing a point or two I am talking about acres of topo data, or data in places we couldn’t get to. We have all been faced at some point with the task of looking to augment the data we already have, or at least find ways to get massive amounts of topo data without re-surveying it.
I remember surveying a large manufacturing plant back in Tennessee and having large areas around the plant we needed to topo. Walking around with a prism for two weeks was NOT an option. We “mounted” our GPS rover on the truck and took off. The topo was crude, but it got us the data needed. Since that time LiDAR and other types of data have become more readily available.
You often hear people talking about DEM files from the USGS. These data sets were widely available but not many people knew what to do with them. Today we even find the National Elevation Dataset, or NED available from the USGS, but again what can we actually do with those files?
Working with data is something I have spent years doing. Over the last 10 years I have spent time teaching others how to do it as well. To me data is all the same, I just need to know what format it is in and what the desired output needs to be and from there we can do anything. It does not matter if you are a contractor with a roll of paper needing points to layout a building, an officer with a crime scene that moves from a residential street inside a building, or an Engineer looking to augment the survey data you have. Start by determining what you have, figuring out what youwant to accomplish and then figuring out how to get from A to B becomes easier.
Recently for example we had a client looking to use NED data to augment the survey work they were doing. How could they get profiles from this file that no one knew about? Bring it into MAP, generate a surface, and then the rest just happens. Once you know what you have and what you need, overcoming the obstacles preventing you from getting there become easier. For example now that you know you have NED data and you need to get data out of that into MAP you know you need to be looking for ways to import the NED files into MAP. Have no fear the video posted below will show you just how to do that!