Monday, January 28, 2013

Processing and Internal Communication

After a brief hiatus from writing for LiDAR News, I made time after the holidays to prepare an article. One of the most crucial elements to project performance is communication.  Often when working across professional disciplines, markets and office locations, the communication can become increasingly difficult.  Couple that difficulty with the perceived complexity of Mobile LiDAR (often a new technology to many of our consumers) and you are bound to need additional tools to facilitate understanding.  Therefore, I've prepared an article on Processing and Communicating - Internally to discuss some methods for collaborating within a team/project environment.

Should you have recommendations for future articles or blog postings, please leave a comment.


1 comment:

  1. Your article in LIDAR News on communications related to project scope took me back in time to the many discussions I had with my counterparts in the Middle East on many technical subjects. Invariably, we went back to the drawing board many times as we thought through our scoping.
    We worked together as counterparts and as a unified team of American and Host Country technical experts, and even though we were all experts in our own right, we often “miscued” on our many verbal discussions and our written communications on project scope. Such “miscues” are an element of the translation of those verbal or written communications, as literally such translations can be done, but context is a big issue that goes hand in hand in word choice and interpretation.

    My point is that your well written article somewhat eludes to a “picture is worth a thousand words” approach to communications. Surely that cliché fits many practical uses for diagrammatic representations of what we are attempting to convey. After all, isn’t that the real nature of cartography when it comes to mapping? Diagrams and maps are appropriate in terms of visualization to express our meanings or views on subjects.

    Now, let’s consider symbolic representations, because your illustration is not a picture it is a conceptual translation of natural phenomena and manmade infrastructure. Your concept of those realities has been turned into symbolic representations. Would it have been better to just use a picture with annotations rather than symbolize? That’s like choosing to use an orthophotograph vs. a topographic map for an engineering project.

    By using a diagram you in fact performed a selective translation (not to scale, I might add). And, you included your bias into the context of the translated message that you wanted conveyed to and from the recipient of that communication. You symbolized only what you wanted to convey and what you felt was meaningful. That is your bias. That’s not wrong, if it has the intention of defining a very limited comprehension of the project’s requirements and scope.

    It’s a very good.

    I just recall that way back when, I drew such diagrams and felt them very clear to me and others. Yet, I still recall more often than not my counterparts would start redrawing them to fit their purposes and therefore their bias.

    There is no panacea for all communications. We call just strive to do our best.


What is Mobile LiDAR?

Mobile LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems are comprised of vehicle-mounted lasers, cameras and GPS/INS navigation systems to capture highly-detailed and accurate three-dimensional (3D) topographic information for surveying and engineering applications. Michael Baker International became an early adopter of Mobile LiDAR technology by acquiring our first system in 2009, with further expansions in 2014 and 2015 that increased our fleet to four (4) Optech Lynx SG1 Mobile LiDAR systems. Over that period our systems have completed more than 300 projects throughout 29 different U.S. States (and multiple countries), and encompassing hundreds of thousands of miles. Our project portfolio includes applications in roadway design, 3D modeling, railroad corridors, signaled intersections, utility infrastructure, asset management, pavement condition assessment and airport infrastructure.