When it comes to measuring, mapping, and recording the physical environment where a road or bridge is going to be constructed, even the slightest mapping or surveying mistake can be costly for the project. As software advances, construction companies have more capabilities within technology that helps determine property lines, design building and amenity layouts, geospatial imaging, and mapping.

In the past five years, the use surveying and mapping technology has actually been on the downswing, due to tight construction markets, but the next five years are anticipated to represent a period of growth, according to a recent market research report from IBISWorld, www.ibisworld.com, Santa Monica, Calif.

As the construction industry looks to technology to enable more efficient mapping and surveying, a number of platforms can provide a way to more accurately gather data. For example, Carlson Software, www.carlsonsw.com, Maysville, Ky., announced its GIS360 product earlier this month, which allows for field data collection using both GIS (geographic information systems) and surveying technologies.

With the software, users can navigate maps and collect data in the field on Android devices, and then integrate the information with Google Earth, AutoCAD, and Esri ArcGIS products. The company says anyone on a jobsite can use the technology with minimal training.

Being cloud-based, the data is always backed up and data can easily be shared between the field and the office. Other capabilities within GIS360 include mobile workforce management, GPS data collection, and asset maintenance.

As another example overseas, Hexagon AB, www.hexagon.com, Stockholm, Sweden, a provider of design technology, announced the acquisition of Listech, www.listech.com, Melbourne, Australia, a provider of LISCAD technology that gathers data in land management, construction, and engineering projects.

According to the company, by integrating LISCAD with major surveying, engineering, and CAD systems, it puts the power of the office in the field, allowing teams to do surveying and stakeout in realtime. Integration between CAD (computer-aided design) systems in the office and surveying in the field is a growing trend in the construction industry as of late.

As more solution providers come to market with advanced capabilities for surveying and mapping, construction teams have more options to improve processes in the field—and ultimately eliminate costly mistakes in the surveying process.