Ok I don’t normally buy a new phone on release day, but this one tempted me too much. A lidar hardware device in addition to nice cameras was too much to pass up. Working in an Architectural, Planning, and Geospatial consultancy and specialising in all things Esri 3D GIS and yes CityEngine (as an instructor and consultant) this seemed like an ultimate gadget. This is just a quick post to give you my immediate gut reaction to what this might mean for geospatial, architectural, and planning professions.

As an after thought whilst walking to collect my kids from school I took out my phone and used one of the many 3D scanning apps available (a separate blog is needed for that I think as I haven’t settled on one I’m 100% happy with). It was raining and I was walking fast. I came home and used the apps export function to send me a collada file. Yes I know it’s not georeferenced but I can easily add this as I did in ArcGIS Pro, CityEngine, SketchUp or even Photoshop and no scaling was required. Below are some screen captures of the results.

Bottom line: devices like this will only get more accurate and cheaper. Professionals like myself need to understand this technology and think about what it means to be able to 3D scan objects and spaces. Survey professionals need to understand that perhaps if we can do a ‘good enough’ job with a consumer grade handheld device then they need to up their game. I can see such enormous opportunities here for certain professionals.

So is this a new tool for geodesign/GIS/planning/architecture? From first impressions, it bloody should be.


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