Laser Scanning

Better data for better decision making


Reduce risk with accurate modelling and digital representations for your next project

Woolpert’s reputation as trusted advisors in the field of laser scanning provides data-driven certainty to all your planning and design needs.

With thousands of projects completed and decades of experience, we know what works and what doesn’t

Woolpert’s prescribed solution for laser scanning encompasses the entire project process. Before the work begins, we delve into understanding what you aim to achieve. This informs how your data is captured, processed, presented and delivered through meticulous laser scanning techniques. We also conduct a thorough reconnaissance of your survey site prior to scanning. This proactive approach allows us to foresee and mitigate potential issues before they arise, significantly reducing costly delays.

Our engagement doesn’t cease once your data is delivered. We ensure you and your stakeholders are proficient in reading and analysing your laser-scanned data, empowering you to reach your goals.

Woolpert’s laser scanning features include:


Having a clear picture of the existing structure (as-built geometry) helps determine the impacts of future development. Creating 3D models from point cloud data can be faster than traditional survey methods, reducing costs and allowing issues to be resolved before the installation of services, structures and features.


Point cloud data is a comprehensive record of an environment at the instance of capture. As laser scanning collects all existing site conditions within the nearby vicinity, data can be revisited at a later date. This helps to identify areas previously unnoticed or not considered importance but actually require further investigation.


As a single source of information, a point cloud can be accessed by multiple teams. The use of a single dataset makes coordination between stakeholders easier. This is especially useful for heritage-listed sites where projects consist of tasks that are highly sequential in nature but often completed independently by different teams.

Digital Twins

A digital twin is a virtual representation of an object, site or environment. When overlayed with a suburban environment, it enables all parties to view the area in relation to existing buildings and infrastructure. Digital twins are used to assist with council planning, feature overlays and shadow analysis.


Verify discrepancies between design and installation, including clash detection. The point cloud can ensure that the proposed design is correct and will fit within the allocated space and parameters. Analysis can determine considerations and modifications required for construction or installation. This information also informs safe on-site procedures.


Capture information in difficult to access areas or typically unsafe environments at distance. In time sensitive, high traffic or complex environments, laser scanning provides a safe, cost-effective solution that may otherwise be prohibitive.

Need more information on Woolpert’s laser scanning?

Quality survey and spatial data is integral to project success

Woolpert’s expertise comes from understanding your situation and identifying your goals. Only then, do we advise on the best possible solution. Our consultants won’t prescribe a course of action without first diagnosing your unique situation.

To make informed decisions for your design and construction projects, you need quality survey data and actionable insights.

We work with you to determine the most suitable products for your needs.

We provide ongoing support so you can extract maximum information from your deliverables.

We show you how to interpret and understand your data, so you can make informed decisions, quickly.

Our land survey projects in action:

Terrestrial Laser Scanning for the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne undertook redevelopment work to its site. In particular, the Old Commerce Building was demolished. Due to its façade being of significant heritage value, it needed to be retained whilst the remainder of the building was demolished. It was imperative that the construction works did not cause any movement and potential damage to the façade during the demolition of the building and the erection of a façade retention structure.

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First, we’ll agree on the scope of work and then determine the best solution for your requirements. After that we:

  • Organise the field work requirements, identifying any safety and site-specific needs.
  • Mobilise our field team to capture your data.
  • Process the data in-house, verifying for accuracy and quality.
  • Deliver your data in the formats you require.

The biggest factor of cost is time; time to capture the data and the time to process it. As laser scanning is a very efficient method to capture lots of information, it can be very data intensive—literally billions of data points. It’s for this reason we take the time before data capture to understand your current and future needs, so we only process what is essential.

In most cases, jobs commence within a week of approval. However, it is important to make sure the site is ready for survey. Commencing field capture when the site isn’t adequately cleared, cleaned or at the correct stage of construction can cause costly delays or a final product that isn’t comprehensive.

The level of detail, scope and site access will determine how many scans are required. Generally, depending on the type of scanner used, a single scan can take 2-7 minutes. This is extremely efficient considering the amount of data captured in a single scan. AAM also use survey control captured with total stations and or GNSS to ensure an accurate survey result.

There are many factors that determine the accuracy of the data. This includes the laser scanning equipment, site environment and registration processes. AAM work with you to determine the most appropriate equipment and methodology to achieve the results you require. It’s helpful to understand the purpose of the data. This can determine what type of accuracy is suitable.

Point cloud data can be coloured using colour photography at time of capture, this must be indicated prior to undertaking the survey. If colour photography is not required, it will be processed in black and white imagery with intensity colour.

This will depend on the size of the data, which is determined by the scale of the project i.e., the number of scans captured. Other factors include the required resolution of the scans and whether the scans are colourised. You will be given an estimated timeframe prior to commencing the project. Changes in scope, change deliverable dates.

AAM can deliver your data in the following formats:

  • .E57
  • .IMP
  • .LAS/LAZ
  • .LGS
  • .POD
  • .PTS/PTX
  • .RCS/RCP
  • .VPC

This is not an exhaustative list, so please get in touch if you require something else.

During the quotation process, we’ll discuss your end needs, which consultants and contractors will need access to the data and what programs are available to them. This then helps determine the most suitable product, format and methodology for capturing data and delivery.

Online and downloadable free-view software is available that lets you view and measure the data. We’ll make sure you have the most appropriate file format and viewing software for your needs.

In our initial discussions, it is critical that the scope of works is clearly defined and understood. Changing site conditions can determine what is visible and accessible at time of capture. Considerations can be made in advance for accessing difficult or concealed areas, however it is essential that both parties are aware of what may be inaccessible at the time of capture.

Reflective surfaces such as mirror, glass, polished stainless steel and water can produce ‘noise’. Noise is excess points in the point cloud that are inconsistent with the surface captured. Noise is often found behind the surface, for example, behind the mirror or below the puddle of water. In most cases, noise can be efficiently cleaned from the final dataset.

Misalignment in a point cloud can be caused by several issues: insufficient data, movement during scanning (e.g. vegetation on a windy day, people, cars, movement of a structure like a bridge), or changes to the environment during scanning.

AAM’s experienced TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanning) team have worked on many and varied projects, in remote and challenging environments. Their field experience will inform decisions on what procedures to implement to mitigate misalignment of scans in a point cloud.

Prior to laser scanning, AAM will confirm your datum requirements to make sure the data is captured and processed with the correct coordinate system. This could be MGA, a site or project datum or an arbitrary datum.

If the coordinate system requirements change post-delivery, AAM can shift and rotate the data set.

Truncated data is often useful for process-intensive modelling packages. AAM will confirm whether this is suitable prior to delivery.

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If you’re looking for improved data accuracy for your next project, book a consultation with one of our industry leads today.

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