Dynamic Marriage of Survey Technologies

This article describes a project in which technological innovations were used to overcome challenges in a road widening project in California. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) wanted to widen the road through Niles Canyon, a creek tributary flowing into San Francisco Bay. The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) worried that the road widening would interfere with their plans to reintroduce fish into the creek. In order to survey the Niles Canyon and study the impacts of the road improvements on the riverbed, three surveying technologies (laser scanning, hydrographic and topographic) were merged. Laser scanning was used to collect data from the creek bed that was out of the water and covered with boulders. Topographic terrestrial surveys were used for creek bed data in smoother exposed areas and shallow submerged areas the craft could not access. Hydrographic surveys were performed in bodies of water inaccessible along the 7-plus-mile stretch of the creek bed. This approach provided the ability to view the site from any angle in a three-dimensional environment. In addition to the inaccessible site, the survey also had other challenges that were overcome, including restricted global positioning system use and manipulating data files from the different technologies. The extensive survey data produced using the multiple-technology approach will not only be used by Caltrans to address design issues and DFG concerns, but will also be useful in other phases of the project as it proceeds.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Illustrations; Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 52-53
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01444578
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 29 2012 9:46AM