Why Point Cloud Visualization Software Is the Future of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering projects of all natures – from wastewater treatment plants to bridges to facilities construction projects – have been revolutionized in recent years by the advent and increased usability of 3D reality capture and digital twins. Point clouds are an efficient way to keep track of the as-built status of any project for its entire lifecycle. These data sets reduce the need to visit remote sites, enable global, centralized collaboration, and cut costs and time, keeping projects on time and on budget.

The use of point clouds will only increase in the years to come, and the industry is on the cusp of a changed game as 3D reality capture hardware and software continues to evolve and improve.

Civil Engineering Has Evolved

Technology has evolved over the past few decades across all sectors, and civil engineering is no exception. Engineers were still using slide rules and hand drafting as recently as the 70s when HP calculators took over calculations and CAD took over 2D design. Before long, 3D CAD emerged, and then parametric design. Cloud technology and the internet of things (IoT) let sensors send data to remote locations; BIM models let engineers handle more complex projects easily; and 3D printing has revolutionized many aspects of construction.

In fact, technology has changed nearly every aspect of civil engineering – from how engineers communicate with clients and contractors, to digital marketing, to the use of big data to predict patterns and risks to increase safety and improve designs.

3D Reality Capture and Point Clouds

Now a new evolution is taking place: that of 3D reality capture which lets engineers view a project as it’s being built without having to visit the site every time. Whether it’s using drones for aerial surveys before a project, implementing terrestrial scanning, or a combination of scanning tech, surveyors on the ground can create a detailed point cloud – a set of points representing 3D space which describe a project site in detail.

Of course, a point cloud detailed enough to accurately represent a facility such as a new wastewater treatment plant or factory floor contains a large amount of data, and in its raw form is no more readable to humans than any other set of random numbers would be. So, software is needed to visualize this data and make it usable to engineers and clients alike. This kind of software, called point cloud visualization software, is the backbone of the 3D reality capture revolution, giving engineers a centralized view of projects as they’re built, as well as throughout their lifespan.

Transferring and Sharing Large Data Sets

As point clouds first came into use, a few problems cropped up quickly. Most importantly, point cloud data is huge. So big that sharing this data among stakeholders was unwieldy. Typically, entire hard drives were shipped or carried, and separate proprietary software was used by each team member to view and interact with models. This meant risking corruption if hard drives were jostled too much in transit – and even worse, various team members may not be looking at the same version of a project, making decision making and information sharing all but impossible. Data about projects such as design changes or maintenance records were disjointed and scattered, making communication and planning difficult.

Transferring and sharing point cloud data needed to be easier. What teams lacked was a centralized, single place to view, interact with, and communicate about projects – an accurate, up-to-date, single, digital twin representing a project.

Centralizing and Streamlining Data

Now, the solution that makes point clouds and 3D reality capture truly useful is JP Interactive Viewer. In one cloud-based platform, teams can manage digital twins from point cloud data originating from almost any source. All stakeholders – engineers, surveyors, construction managers, clients, facility managers, and owners – can view the same model simultaneously, always looking at an up-to-date, accurate 3D model of the facility as it is on the ground.

Centralizing a digital twin this way means all pertinent info can be kept in one place, connected to the facility and components it describes. All CAD models (as-built and as-designed), all facilities changes, as-is documentation, operational data, custom workflow development, advanced analytics, procedures and specs, maintenance records, and operational KPIs attach directly to the digital twin. This centralized data means a streamlined process which reduces waste, error, and travel, vastly improving overall cost and profitability.

Step Into the Future Now With Point Cloud Visualization Software

Point clouds and 3D reality capture have already revolutionized civil engineering, and these methodologies stand ready to change the game forever. If you’re ready to see what a truly functional point cloud visualization software package can do, contact JP Global Digital today and request your free trial of JP Interactive Viewer.

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Ivan Marten

Senior Partner Emeritus at Boston Consulting Group

Ivan Marten is a senior partner emeritus at Boston Consulting Group. He is also a member of JP Global Digital Advisory Board as from April 2019. He has supported various companies in the energy, Oil & Gas, power, and environment sectors on developing their strategic visions for over 30 years. Ivan holds a degree in economics and business administration, and a Ph.D. in business administration and economics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He was named one of the" Top 25 most influential consultants of the year by Consulting Magazine in 2003.

Javier San Juan

President of the Latin America Region at L’Oreal

Javier is the president of the Latin America region at L’Oreal. He is a member of JP Global Digital Advisory Board as from January 2019. He has over 27 years of experience with a world leading cosmetic company where he held various positions across Europe and the Americas. Javier holds a master’s degree in Law, a master’s degree in Economics from the University ICADE in Spain, and a Diplôme HEC from the Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Paris He is the co-founder of Gibraltar Corporation and is one of the advisory board members.

Elizabeth Coronado

Co-Founder and Head of Marketing

Elizabeth graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication. She has three years of experience supporting the management of internal and external communications. She holds a Digital Marketing Certificate from the University of Miami.

She works hand-in-hand with multiple departments including Quality Management System, Human Resources, and Marketing. She is currently involved in the process of raising funds.

Argenis Pelayo

Product Manager

Argenis has a bachelor's degree in Geophysical Engineering and an MBA. 

Argenis is experienced in the implementation of agile methodology, and project planning. He is knowledgeable in C++, MATLAB, and Python programming languages. He has almost two years of experience in his field.

King Yung

Data Processing Specialist

King is a mechanical maintenance engineer with an MBA. He has almost 15 years of experience in the oil & gas industry. In the last five years, he has specialized and certified in laser scanning. He is focused on industrial data processing in Panama, the Republic of Panama.

Eduardo Colmenares

Technical Sales

Eduardo is a mechanical engineer with an MBA. He has more than 10 years of experience in the construction and oil & gas industry. In the last five years, he has specialized and is certified in laser scanning. Eduardo has focused on leading industrial asset digitalization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Valentin Malave

Project Leader

Valentin is a civil engineer with almost 20 years of experience as a project engineer. In the last two years, he has focused on leading industrial asset digitalization in Houston, TX. He has specialized and is certified in laser scanning.

Ana Gutierrez

Project Leader

Ana has 10 years of experience in the design and engineering area of telecommunications and networks, and digitalization. In the last four years, she has specialized and certified in laser scanning.

Customer and results-oriented. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical, electronics, and communications engineering, a Master in Management, and a MBA.

Roberto Ocando Morales

Research & Development Leader

Roberto holds an associate degree in information technology and a law degree. He has an MBA and a specialization in strategic senior management.

He has been a scrum master focused on software and applications development. He has 24 years of experience in his field.

He was second place within the 100 Best Technology Projects Executed in Venezuela in 2006- according to IT Manager 100 Empresas High-Tech 2006

Marvelys Gonzalez

Head of Operations

Marvelys is a civil engineer with a master in project management and specialized in project design and hydraulic engineering. She also holds an MBA and a master in Big Data & Business Intelligence.

She has more than 17 years of experience in her field, and for the last three years, she has focused on industrial data processing. She is located in Mexico City (DF).

Hernan Ocando

IT Team Leader

Hernan has more than 20 years of experience in computer science, cryptography, IT, data center design, telecommunications, and digitalization.

He also has experience as an information security management system auditor, and data processing platform manager in both private and public corporations.

Hernan holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a master in Computer Science, Finance, and Strategic Management.

Freddy Martinez

Partner and President

Freddy is a successful senior executive with more than 35 years of experience supporting global companies in their growth.

Freddy is a strong business development professional with an MBA from The Wharton School and an MSE focused on materials science & engineering from The Moore School, University of Pennsylvania. Both degrees were simultaneously earned from 1984 to 1986.

Daniel Coronado

COO & Co-Founder

Daniel is the chief operating officer and co-founder of JP Global Digital. He is responsible for leading the entire overall global operations of JP Global Digital and the implementation of organic growth.

Daniel has a law degree. He has over 25 years of experience founding and developing a series of corporations in the agricultural, mining, construction, and technology sector since 2015.

Ysaac Coronado

CEO and Co-Founder

Ysaac is the CEO and co-founder of JP Global Digital. He is responsible for the overall business performance of JP Global Digital and is highly committed to the development of high-quality 3D digital solutions and to obtain the highest level of client satisfaction and growth for the Oil & Gas, Large Industrial, and Maritime Sectors.

Ysaac has a law degree with a specialization in corporate law. Ysaac has over 25 years of experience founding and developing a series of corporations in the agricultural, mining, construction, and technology sector since 2015.