Smartphone-Bases Reality Capture for Subsurface Utilities: Experiences from water utility companies in Denmark

Lasse H. Hansen, Torbjørn Mandahl Pedersen, Erik Kjems, Simon Wyke

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Inaccurate and inconsistent documentation of subsurface utilities is a reoccurring problem in the construction industry affecting not only the end-users, but all actors involved in designing, constructing, and maintaining pipes, cables and other utilities hidden underground. In this study, a new method for 3D capturing of subsurface utilities, based on a newly developed Smartphone-based Reality Capture (RC) solution is explored. The research was divided into two parts. Firstly a testing of the method accuracy and secondly, an investigation of the usability of the method. The research results firstly showed that the RC solution is a feasible surveying method, that facilitate capturing of as-built utility assets, which can be used as a supporting tool to conventional surveying methods or alone, as the testing showed an accuracy of ±5 cm for the generated point clouds. Secondly the usability testing revealed that the RC solution benefited the utility owners by allowing time-savings on construction projects, as well as generating visual-realistic 3D models of exposed subsurface utilities to be used for quality assurance and planning of future utility work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Archieves of the Programmetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
EditorsL. Truong-Hong, E. Che, F. Jia, S. Emamgholian, D. Laefer, A. V. Vo
Number of pages7
Publication dateOct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Event16th 3D Geo Info Conference - New York (online), New York, United States
Duration: 11 Oct 202114 Oct 2021


Conference16th 3D Geo Info Conference
LocationNew York (online)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address
SeriesInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


  • Reality capture
  • Point clouds
  • Photogrammetry
  • Subsurface utilities
  • as-built documentation
  • Water pipes


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