3D laser scanning, also known as LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a non-contact technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects by using non-destructive low power infrared lasers.

3d Surveyor with Wind mills in the background

How Does It Work?

A laser scanner utilizes infrared light, which bounces off objects and returns to a sensor. Based upon either the time of flight or the phase shift between the emission of the light and its return to the sensor, points of measurements are collected at the face of the object. A collection of these points is known as a point cloud and creates a visualization that represents the objects being observed, allowing for the accurate measurement between points.

Laser scanners collect millions of 3D points per second while performing 360 degree scans. Distances to all 3D points are collected to +/- 2mm accuracy. Scanners also provide rich panoramic color photographs of all scanned areas, creating rich point cloud data.

Laser scanning is unaffected by humidity, air pressure and temperature, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use and areas where safety is a concern, or it is impractical to obtain physical measurements.

3D laser scanning can provide planners, architects, engineers and contractors with digital tools to assist in the planning, design and execution phases of any private or public project.

3d Surveying machine


  • Complete digital as-built data
  • Day or night use
  • Higher level of detail and accuracy
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Safer data capture
  • Speed of data collection
  • Unobtrusive data capture
  • Reduced need for site re-visits

3d Laser Surveyor


  • ADA Compliance Surveys
  • As-Built Documentation
  • Exterior Building Facades
  • Overhead Clearance
  • Volumetric Surveys
  • Existing Condition Surveys
  • Roadway Intersection Surveys
  • Bridge/Overpass Surveys
  • Construction Documentation 

To learn how this service can benefit your project, contact us at 630-820-9100 today to speak with a Compass Professional.