A necessary part of many construction projects, surveying can be labor intensive. But today technology is putting advanced mapping applications to work for surveying, allowing projects to be completed more quickly.

One communications company has recently formed a new enterprise with the aim of providing surveying and mapping services. RST Global Communications, www.rstfiber.com, Shleby, N.C., has formed RST GEO, www.rstgeo.com, Shleby, N.C., a digital mapping and engineering solutions company. RST GEO will use technology to provide construction mapping for industries such as utilities, oil and gas, railroads, highway planning, and asset management.

The company provides a mobile spatial imaging system that it says can complete survey projects more quickly than traditional methods. The system works by recording high-resolution digital images, which it can transform into geospatial intelligence. RST GEO makes use of LiDAR technology, a combination of light and ranging that senses distance by shining a laser at a target and analyzing the reflected light.

The company will also use imaging sensors, a 360-degree panoramic camera, and productivity software to complete mapping projects. The resulting geo-referenced data sets can be used to create 3D models of a site.

RST Global Communications says the creation of RST GEO is a good fit with its fiber-optic business. RST Global Communications is focused on the construction and management of fiber-optic networks in various areas through the southeastern U.S.

The company envisions fiber providing not only services like TV and Internet, but enterprise solutions as well. These could include smart grid and telemedicine applications, among others, according to the company.

IBISWorld, www.ibisworld.com, Santa Monica, Calif., says surveying and mapping is a $7 billion industry. With new solution making use of the latest technology, the industry appears ready to meet the needs of construction firms.