3Dsurvey 3.0 boosts field efficiency and accuracy for surveyors

3Dsurvey 3.0 boosts field efficiency and accuracy for surveyors

Helping surveyors to get the most out of geospatial data, and allowing them to spend much less time in the field. Those are the two main aims of the latest release of 3Dsurvey, known as the all-in-one photogrammetric software solution. In addition, Version 3.0 offers a wide range of new possibilities and improvements – including through a number of paid, add-on modules – in line with the company’s mission to offer a powerful spatial data processing tool in a simple-to-use and all-in-one platform.

The software developers working on Version 3.0 began with several key questions: How much could a simplified alignment process improve mapping and surveying professionals’ productivity and reduce labour costs? How would better accuracy in 3D model alignments eliminate errors and reduce rework costs? What cost savings and project efficiency gains could be achieved by integrating various data sources into a single project?

“With this software, we enter a new chapter in optimizing workflows for geospatial professionals. Our solution is made by surveyors, for surveyors; it is designed by professionals who have encountered real-life field conditions and comprehend the exact requirements of modern digital surveyors,” says Luka Pušnik, sales director of 3Dsurvey.

Land surveyors frequently face the frustration of trying to ensure software compatibility and data integration when managing fragmented geospatial data acquired using different survey instruments from different manufacturers and different data sources. Recognizing this issue, 3Dsurvey is a versatile, hardware-agnostic solution designed to unify diverse data sources: e.g. Lidar sensors, cameras, drones and various types of ground control points. Apart from offering extremely rich data extraction tools, the platform enables users to effortlessly transition between orthophotos, point clouds and textured meshes, streamlining workflows without the hassle of exporting files. This integration creates a seamless experience for survey professionals, enhancing data accuracy and overall efficiency.


Users can visualize intensity, scanning time, and return data from 3D scanners. They can also generate orthophotos directly from point clouds, including Lidar scans with colour information, to effortlessly extract valuable project information. (Image courtesy: 3Dsurvey)

Key new features

Enhanced coordinate system functionalities

Georeferencing, which relies on selecting both horizontal and vertical coordinate systems, is essential for every spatial endeavour. The latest improvements to 3Dsurvey’s coordinate system functionalities offer a streamlined path to obtaining georeferenced spatial data without the drawbacks of complex local transformations that often reduce accuracy. Importantly, these enhancements eliminate the need for third-party software, consolidating everything into a single, integrated solution.

3Dsurvey 3.0 has introduced several significant features aimed at enhancing geospatial data processing. Among the key updates is the improved coordinate system support, which now handles transformations requiring special grid files. This upgrade ensures highly accurate GPS-to-local coordinate conversions. Additionally, the platform can automatically fetch missing geoid models, simplifying the workflow for users. The revamped coordinate system selection process includes presets, making it easy for users to find the correct system by simply entering their country name, with the appropriate settings applied automatically. Furthermore, the inclusion of PRJ file support enhances compatibility with various GIS standards.

With 3Dsurvey 3.0, users can convert 3D point clouds into "CAD-friendly drawing planes." This capability is similar to an X-ray orthophoto, offering multi-directional views all at once on a single screen. (Image courtesy: 3Dsurvey)

Scan module

X-ray views:

The scan module system converts 3D point clouds into CAD-friendly planes, like an X-ray orthophoto but from any direction on one screen. Users can define planes and axes, rotate models, and use basic CAD tools to place points and draw lines, ideal for creating floor plans and editing dense point clouds.

Manual and automatic registration:

The manual registration wizard aligns two 3D models with shared features, while the automatic registration algorithm aligns different datasets, minimizing the distance between points in two point clouds for a coherent image of the physical world.

Additional attributes visualization:

Users can visualize intensity, scanning time and return data from 3D scanners. They can also generate orthophotos directly from point clouds, even with Lidar scans with colour information, to extract valuable project information effortlessly.


Videogrammetry, facilitated by smartphones, is a cost-effective solution for surveying tasks. It accelerates project timelines, streamlines workflows, and enhances responsiveness. Smartphones enable quick, efficient data collection, ideal for documenting small, rapidly changing or hard-to-reach areas. A standout feature is the elimination of overlap concerns, as video is continuously shot at approximately 30FPS.

Using an external RTK antenna with a smartphone provides unparalleled accuracy, similar to an RTK drone setup. The new 3Dsurvey SiteScan app for Android enables capturing geotagged video footage. The video is simply uploaded to 3Dsurvey to extract the best frames and to utilize full 3Dsurvey functionality with additional modules.

3Dsurvey 3.0’s enhanced mesh algorithm prevents what is known as the dome effect, saving users time and ensuring accurate, reliable mesh visualizations from oblique images. (Image courtesy: 3Dsurvey)

Additional improvements to benefit surveyors

3Dsurvey 3.0 makes life better for surveyors in many other ways. For example, when generating a full 3D mesh from areas mapped with oblique images, the resulting 3D mesh could in the past develop an impractical and inaccurate balloon-like structure. In Version 3.0, the algorithm has been enhanced to eliminate this ballooning effect, providing more accurate and reliable 3D mesh visualizations.

Another significant addition is the new Clip function. This tool allows users to manage and share 3D models and orthophotos with precision. By integrating CAD capabilities, users can import or create CAD lines within 3Dsurvey to define specific areas of interest, improving efficiency and data sharing. Alongside these enhancements, the automatic machine deactivation feature provides greater operational flexibility, solidifying 3Dsurvey 3.0 as a comprehensive tool for geospatial professionals.

Addressing all geospatial data challenges

3Dsurvey’s platform addresses all the challenges associated with processing geospatial data captured by varied systems. It offers a comprehensive, precise and reliable all-in-one solution for processing survey data, developed by a team of experienced surveyors who understand professionals’ needs.

The new features are presented in the webinar ‘What’s New in 3Dsurvey 3.0’, which can be accessed here.

This image shows return data visualization in the 3Dsurvey 3.0 software suite. Multiple returns from a single laser pulse indicate reflections from different surfaces, with the first return usually representing the highest object (e.g., treetop, building roof). (Image courtesy: 3Dsurvey)
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