User story: Topocad is perfect for Lilla Edets municipality visions for the future
Survey engineer Motaz Hanna is a true Topocad enthusiast. After many years of working in GIS platforms, he found a new favorite when he tested Topocad. Here you get a direct insight into how Motaz uses Topocad to get good results in their projects at Lilla Edet municipality.
Text: Sandra Mickelsson
After just over 45 minutes drive from Gothenburg, you will reach the municipality of Lilla Edet, which is expanding in both Bohuslän and Västergötland. This is where the measurement engineer Motaz Hanna works, who after the surveying program and courses in GIS developed a real fascination for GIS platforms. The opportunity to work in Topocad came when the job at Lilla Edet municipality appeared.
– Lilla Edet municipality had not really had any measurement activities in the house for a long time, but instead hired subconsultants *. Topocad was available as a license, but no one knew the program well and there was no solution for how to use it when I started, says Motaz Hanna.
* Lilla Edet municipality had measurement activities for a couple of years until the autumn of 1981, when they moved to Lantmäteriet. So from 1981 the measurement business was discontinued.
Learned Topocad from the beginning on his own
Just like for anyone starting a new job, it took a while to get used to the new systems. The fact that no one knew Topocad except an employee, who would soon retire, did not stop Motaz. He decided to learn Topocad on his own.
– I could have taken a course to learn the program, but I’m a nerd so I started to look at it myself. It actually didn’t even take long before I felt how much joy it gave me, it really was a wow feeling!
Motaz thus developed a way of working that worked for him, and today has a complete solution for processing data. When a new colleague starts, it is easy for him to get started with the program as Motaz set up everything from code lists to his own symbols.
A simplified workflow
Lilla Edet municipality has understood that it is important with data information and collection and there are great visions for the future. There is a great deal of commitment and, for example, investments have been made in a new drone, which has facilitated Motaz’s work process. He works in Topocad all day and interprets, among other things, new construction maps, older detailed plans, or makes location checks before a construction is to be cast to ensure that it complies with the building permit.
– I have found a way of working where I go from DJI Terra, the program I use to process my collected data from drone flights, on to Topocad, and then from point clouds to geometries and points / lines with altitude information in DWG. What I do in Topocad I then pass on, for example in the form of new construction maps and design documentation. The simplified workflow between DJI Terra and Topocad thereby also the assignment and it ensures quality, says Motaz.
A clear language for all surveying engineers Motaz believes that Topocad suits measurement engineers so well because it is niche for measurement, processing and modeling. It saves time. So much time that Motaz can complete 2-3 new construction maps a week, depending on how much other job he has.
Features such as creating digital models, ground profiles and elevation curves are also very useful for him and he specifically highlights the value of computing capacity. But best of all is the 3D feature.
– I have not seen any program that can easily edit as well and smoothly as Topocad. With the 3D function, I can turn the whole model and make sure that everything is correct, from a roadside to a staircase. I can even edit in 3D view! Then I can not only detect errors but correct them directly, which you can not do in the same way in other programs. In other GIS programs, I needed additional programs to get the whole picture, but with Topocad I do not need anything else but have all the functions I need, says Motaz.
The vision of a seamless database in 3D
The municipality of Lilla Edet’s ambitions are high and the investment in new technology extends beyond technology purchases. Motaz says that their ambition is to create a seamless database that contains 3D information of absolute top quality, and there Topocad is a key player in the project.
– I get incredibly good data with the drone. I can see poles, streams, roads, yes, everything in 3D with incredible accuracy. My vision for the future is to work entirely in 3D. DWG as a format is also a language that everyone can use and it does not get so heavy when you send it over to others, says Motaz.
Even a primar map in 3D
The municipality also aims to have the entire primary map in 3D, where roads, buildings, ditches and everything else should have height information. Since Topocad offers the 3D option, Motaz is convinced that the result will be very good.
– I feel that I have succeeded very well with Topocad. It really simplifies my everyday life as a measurement engineer, and after showing my colleagues what we can do in Topocad, everyone is on the track!
Project in focus:
Lilla Edet’s treatment plant
Lilla Edet’s treatment plant would be rebuilt to increase capacity for future plans. Motaz Hanna was then asked to decide if there was a risk of flooding as the treatment plant was close to the river.
To help Motaz, he had solid models and standard CAD models, which were then exported to the customer in DWG format. Like other regular missions, Motaz began with a drone flight. In Topocad, he planned air support and looked over the area. After the drone flight, he processed his collected data from the flight in DJI Terra, exported and transferred to Topocad.
A simple way of working, because he set up everything there according to the municipality’s code list. After processing and creating the model in Topocad, he then exported this to a customer in DWG format.
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