magery has long been a part of documenting a survey 
project. Surveyors use sketches and photographs to 
supplement written descriptions of monuments and 

boundaries, structures, landforms and worksites. As digital 
cameras emerged in the 1990s, surveyors embraced digital 
photography as a way of enhancing the point-based data 
collection process. 

Today, the digital camera has made its way into the device 
that usually has the best view of the project: the survey 
instrument. But simply having a camera isn’t enough. The 
real benefits emerge when images and video in the field are 
integrated into both field and office workflows. And that’s 
exactly where imaging technology is headed. 

For surveying applications, imaging technology provides 
the ability to collect survey data, stream video and capture 
panoramic images. Using Trimble VISION technology, the op-
erator can see things from the instrument’s perspective and 
view survey data on real-time images. In the office, software 
overlays survey data on the panoramic images for analysis 
and quality control. Systems such as Trimble Business Center 
software even provide photogrammetric processing to make 
precise measurements from the photos. 

It all adds up to a powerful and versatile combination of 
vision, measurement and data management. Imaging tech-
nology is delivering measurable benefits in safety, flexibility 
and productivity in an array of applications.

Combining Imaging and Scanning
At Psomas, a California-based consulting engineering firm, 
imaging provides valuable information for office techni-
cians. Using Trimble VX™ spatial stations with Trimble VISION, 
Psomas captures digital images in the field. Because the 
calibrated digital camera is integrated into the telescope, the 
images are automatically tied to the instrument coordinates 
and orientation. 

According to Sean Logal, project surveyor for the Psomas 
Land Surveying and Mapping Group, the combination of im-
ages and dense 3D datasets gives the company new flexibility 
in providing deliverables tailored to their clients’ needs. “In the 
past, we did a lot of manual photography during site surveys,” 
Logal said. “With Trimble VISION, all of the field information is 
captured in one place and works well when introduced into 
Trimble Business Center.” 

Trimble VISION creates a differentiator for the Psomas field 
crews when it is applied to transportation projects, municipal 


Vision of