As we continue to navigate and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Information Technology (IT) professionals and teams around the world have been the unsung heroes, working tirelessly to ensure that internet access, remote work capabilities, online shopping and more continue uninterrupted.
The IT team at Larson Design Group (LDG) has done its share and more, transitioning hundreds of people to remote work quickly and efficiently and moving forward with process improvements that are helping its team deliver client service excellence even in these uncertain times.
Most notable among these efforts was a new approach to the handling of point cloud data: the millions of measurements, data points and photos of a space that are collected by a 3D scanner. The information is “stitched” together into a comprehensive representation of the measured space and imported into the design and drafting software, like AutoCAD Civil 3D and Revit, used by LDG’s designers and architectural technicians.
Point cloud data, however, is notorious for consuming large amounts of storage space in the data center, with some projects consisting of terabytes of data. It also takes time – lots of it – to process point clouds into a format that design professionals can use within a drawing file. As one of its major projects over the past two years, LDG’s IT team worked in close collaboration with design staff to optimize this lengthy, storage-hungry process.
The months-long venture revolved largely around identifying the underlying issues and then implementing new software technology that not only shortens the overall processing time, but dramatically reduces the amount of storage required to contain the final result. The effort was a success, improving point cloud processing time by an entire order of magnitude – meaning that point clouds can now be processed in hours or even minutes, as opposed to days, ultimately reducing the amount of time designers need to spend on a project. Reductions in storage of as much as 85% were also achieved.
In addition to requiring less storage capacity, point cloud data can now be more efficiently and reliably accessed from within drawing tools and programs that previously struggled to process the enormous amounts of data. This is crucial to the everyday work done by LDG team members, especially when they are doing some or all of their work remotely.
“The tools we’ve implemented in our reality capture operations are truly transformative,” said Scott Kantner, Chief Information Officer. “By optimizing these processes, our staff is able to perform this work more efficiently and deliver more value to our clients.”
Founded in 1986, Larson Design Group is an award-winning national architecture, engineering and consulting firm with 12 offices in five states and a vision to elevate client relationships, enrich the careers and lives of its employee-owners, and enhance the communities in which it operates. For more information, visit www.larsondesigngroup.com.
The health and safety of our team members and clients is our top priority. Click here to read about LDG’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.