Monitoring A World On The Move

By on 6 December, 2010

They present opportunities for surveyors to predict, prevent and analyse that movement through monitoring.  With a general consensus that surveyors should explore new areas of growth and new technologies to create new opportunities, monitoring is one of the surveying profession’s growing disciplines which offers tremendous potential for business growth.

The demand for monitoring is rising not just because of the growth in the energy and infrastructure sectors, but also because monitoring is at the center of today’s work environment in many projects. Monitoring systems:

  • Detect motion, helping ensure that workers remain safe and equipment is protected;
  • Provide data, reducing risk by educating those involved about a structure’s behavior;
  • Ensure projects compliance with regional regulations and contracts that often call for monitoring.

In  large construction and tunnel projects in densely populated places such as Europe the requirement for monitoring is increasing as damage mitigation – monitoring to detect movement or settling in the buildings above an underground project site, for example, is imperative.

Worker safety is critical in mines throughout the world including in Australia  In the mining application, you always expect things to move, but the crucial questions include At what rate? In what direction? Is it what is expected?

Effective, Integrated Choices

Monitoring solutions is a key focus of Trimble. Trimble monitoring solutions have been used on notable projects around the world and interest in the technology is growing.

Example of projects are:

  • Pitt River Bridge in Vancouver, Canada – surveyors used Trimble Total Stations to monitor deformation of the existing structure and movement in the new towers while the new bridge was being built.
  • Cape Town Stadium in South Africa  – high-precision Trimble S8 Total Stations and Trimble field software were relied upon to ensure the accuracy of the stadium’s structural elements.
  • New underground railway in Zurich, Switzerland –  with construction taking place just a few meters below historic buildings and structures, 45 units of Trimble S8 Total Stations are measuring every 30 minutes; measurement data are then automatically checked against the predefined thresholds for motion or subsidence.
  • Tolt Dam in the Seattle region – Trimble GNSS sensors and software are poised to detect movement in the dam or surrounding areas and send data to system operators in downtown Seattle for review and analysis.

Easy Entry

Advances in positioning and measuring technology,  IT and communications technology have enabled Trimble to meet the need for automated monitoring solutions.

 The Trimble 4D Control software allows customers to better manage and ensure the accuracy of data collected by combining GNSS and optical total stations on a single project. By  integrating these two technologies into a single software application for monitoring, surveyors require just one system to do all the work, not two.

The Trimble 4D Control software also includes improved support for Internet communication and better capabilities to integrate data from multiple sensors.  In a large excavation project, the Trimble GNSS receivers monitor not just individual points with long-range accuracy, but also the stability of the total station control points to ensure stability of the optical monitoring solution. If movement outside an acceptable range is detected, the software instantly sends alerts to prompt immediate action.

Now, more than ever, new technology presents surveyors with new opportunities. Trimble’s monitoring solutions make it easy for companies to make a meaningful impact on the market and expand to accommodate new business, adding more components as needed. Industry experts agree that successful companies won’t sit around and wait for the market to recover – they’ll seek out and create new opportunities for themselves. Monitoring is an area just waiting to be tapped. Are you ready?

For more information go to or contact your local Trimble distributor in the region.
Ultimate Positioning (QLD/NSW/ACT/TAS/VIC/
Haefeli-Lysnar (
Geosystems (

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