Underhill Geomatics Ltd. Exhibits its Photodocufy Service at CanBIM Vancouver

Photodocufy booth at CanBIM

Underhill Geomatics Ltd. Exhibits its Photodocufy Service at CanBIM Vancouver

What is CanBIM and Why Was Underhill Geomatics There?


As in countries such as the UK and the US, in Canada we are fortunate to have a well-established industry group whose focus is on providing the professional, educational, construction, fabrication, and supply-chain members of Canada’s construction industry with a collective voice dedicated to Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies and practices.

Throughout the year, the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM) holds meetings across the country in this capacity. With a long history of serving the construction industry in Vancouver and Western Canada, the CanBIM Regional Session in Vancouver on February 7-8 provided an excellent opportunity to present our Photodocufy construction site documentation service in the exhibition hall.

In addition to being a professional surveying firm based in the Vancouver-area since 1913, Underhill Geomatics has been an early adopter of reality capture technologies to service the construction industry. These technologies include UAV mapping, laser scanning, and 360-degree photography. The data that they collect is used to provide 3D measurements and information to assist onsite verification. However, simply collecting this data does not necessarily help progress on a project, so Underhill provides services such as Revit modelling to convert point clouds into useable elements for onward BIM coordination tasks.

Underhill Geomatics was one of the first firms to recognize the efficiencies that 360-degree photography brings to collecting and managing compliance photography at each phase of a building project. This resulted in the development, over 4 years ago, of the original Photodocufy service:  the capture, online management, and delivery service for photographs and 3D data collected on the construction site that are aligned with site plans and phases in the build, and then served to stakeholders and team members across the project.

In recent months the Photodocufy service has been rebranded, and its online data management platform has been redeveloped and completely updated. As a Vancouver-based firm, CanBIM Vancouver presented the ideal opportunity to engage with Photodocufy’s local customer base.

BIM, Coordination, Communication, and Photodocufy

It is often said that BIM is not necessarily about technology or 3D models, but about coordination and communication. This is the essence of why Photodocufy was created. Obviously, the types of capture technology used brings advantages, but consistently captured and managed data, aligned with project phases and accessible across the project team, greatly facilitates consistent understanding of project progress. This is in addition to helping to satisfy contract compliance items.

A vendor exhibition that included representation from solutions such as Fieldwire, dRofus, and BIM Track, which all focus on communication and coordination in aspects of the BIM process, was the ideal forum for Photodocufy.

What Else was Eye-catching?

GeoSim Virtual Vancouver Interactive 3D Model

Screenshot from the Virtual Vancouver promotional video by GeoSim

In addition to productive conversations with existing and new customers on the Photodocufy stand, members of our team were also able to see some of the presentations during conference sessions. One that stood out was the product of GeoSim’s work in Vancouver.

Effective use of 3D technology is nothing new to the Photodocufy team, and we could really appreciate the effort that will have gone into producing such a complete, realistic, and visually pleasing model of such a large urban area. The presentation by Chris Wiesinger on “The Role of Game-Like 3D City Models in Accelerating Sustainability,” really helped illustrate how virtual reality can now bring tangible benefits to not only tourism, but also to city planning decisions.

[1] http://geosimcities.com/

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