Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) is a ground-based, active imaging method that rapidly acquires accurate, dense 3D point clouds of object surfaces by laser range finding. Due to the speed at which it can be recorded, this technology adds tangible and unsurpassed value to situations where time and/or access is restricted, whilst simultaneously delivering a vastly superior survey product in terms of accuracy and precision.

This survey technology is commonly applied in two ways viz: 

Terrestrial Laser Scanning has become an integral part of our survey service delivery across industry sectors and survey disciplines – either by complimenting conventional survey techniques or replacing the more established survey techniques.  Once collected, the information can then be imported into a wide variety of data processing and manipulation software designed to turn that data into a visually appealing and meaningful deliverable.  The unsurpassed quality and quantum of acquired data affords us the flexibility to tailor 2D / 3D / BIM solutions, 3D fly-throughs and/or visual impact assessments to our Clients exact requirements and budget.


  • Engineering Grade Accuracy – suitable for final engineering design

  • Ideally suited for smaller (0 – 200 Ha) areas with low – highly detailed infrastructure which need to be surveyed.

  • Our survey data deliverables can easily be integrated with all engineering design – and cad software

    • Planimetric Accuracy – from 50cm (31cm GSD) up to 10m RMSE (subject to the fixing of post identification of survey control)
    • Vertical Accuracy (DEM / DSM) – from 50cm up to 30m RMSE


Typical applications will comprise the following (but not limited to):

  • Enable the acquisition of a much larger data set in superior detail and in substantially less time than conventional survey techniques – ideal for time-critical or restricted access sites

  • Perfect for surveying hazardous or restricted areas such as highways, dangerous structures, confined spaces and railways without employing expensive and time consuming SHEQ mitigative measurements.

  • Reduces the survey acquisition time required on site – resulting in less downtime, fewer revisits and reduced risk to our Clients;

  • The quantum of very accurate and detailed data collected on the outset improves decision making, allowing further measurements to be carried out without the need for additional data acquisition on site;

  • This survey technology renders high resolution and high definition data, which in turn enables the production of stunning 3D models, walk-throughs, virtual reality environments, site visualisations and more – tailored to the specific requirements of each client or project


Trail Surveys offers the following typical survey deliverables for remote sensing surveys:

Survey Control Co-ordinate List (only) Soft Copy File MS Excel PDF ASCII Txt
Co-ordinate List included in Survey Report Soft Copy File MS Word PDF
Separate Survey Control Report Soft Copy File MS Word PDF
Terrestrial Laser Scan Surveys Digital Terrain Model (DTM) Point Data ASCII Txt (AutoCAD) .DWG .DXF
Triangles / Surface File Modelmaker.tot Civil Designer.cdm Land XML
Tile Index (If Applicable) (Microstation) DGN (AutoCAD) .DWG .DXF
Contours 3D Un-smooth, Labelled (Microstation) DGN (AutoCAD) .DWG .DXF
Contour 2D Heat Map JPEG PDF
Drawings 3D Drawings (Microstation) DGN (AutoCAD) .DWG .DXF
AutoCAD ReviT .IFC
FEM Ready Drawings (Microstation) DGN (AutoCAD) .DWG AutoCAD ReviT
3D Viewer File (Freeware) Navisworks.nwd
3D Interactive PDF ADOBE PDF
Videos Fly-through Video AVI MP4 WMF


We understand that every project, site and client is different – as are their expectations of the required survey deliverables.  In order to “sharpen the pencil” and offer you the most cost and time effective geomatics solution, fit for the purpose you require the survey, we would need to acquire the following information from you:

a) Data Acquisition

  • Location of the survey – ideally a “Google Earth Placemark” send to us in kml/kmz format

  • The purpose of the survey – this serve as an indication of the required level of accuracy required

  • Required accuracies (planimetric and vertical)

  • Specific detail which need to be surveyed

  • Specific logistic constraints getting access to the specific area of interest

  • SHEQ Requirements (Medicals / inductions / onboarding / PPE / Mine-ready vehicles etc)

  • Schedule / Program – Should a staggered delivery be required we can work with you to provide critical data at key dates throughout your project.

b) Product Compilation

  • The modelling of this survey data can be extremely simple or extremely complex and equally time and cost expensive. It serves that it will be critical to define the exact level of detail to which the survey data need to be modelled.  Please contact us to provide you with guideline Level Of Detail categories (LOD’s) together with the time and cost implication of each LOD.

  • Details on the presentation of the survey data

    • Hardcopy / Softcopy
    • CAD Specifications / Drawing Layout
    • Digital data formats required for integration into your design / cad software

It is strongly recommended that a site visit of the area of interest be arranged with Trail Surveys in order to ensure your exact requirements are met at the lowest cost.