How field data collection may enhance your business | Intetics

January 4, 2021 Corporate Blog

When you see the expression “field data collection,” your first association might be with government projects, but this service is also commonly used by many businesses. Structured field data can provide managers with a holistic view of locations, sites, terrains and other places, allowing them to make informed decisions in the course of a project.

Mobile Field Data Collection

 A relatively simple process, field data collection fuels large-scale projects, such as autonomous vehicle navigation or on-time road repairs. Existing map data about roads, territories or newly opened points of interest (POIs) becomes outdated frequently and continuously, and collecting field data is one of the key sources for updates.

Let’s delve into the nuances of field data collection and look at the potential value your business may gain from the service.

What is field data collection?

The field data collection process starts by allocating a person or team to take pictures of a chosen environment, location or POI in order to map them later. POIs are not only landmarks, but also cafes, corner shops, parking lots, restaurants, medical centers and various other places. A whole field team might work on updating particular POI data using a range of devices, but often a pedestrian with a smartphone is all that’s needed. 

The ability to search POIs spurs users to download iOS and Android map apps. A good example is Google street view: the service presents value for navigation systems such as self-driving vehicles. In addition, real-world data is largely used in training artificial intelligence algorithms for various use cases. 

At Intetics, we help our clients gather field data to enhance their positioning systems, maintain POI databases, streamline road marking work, map direction signs and highway exits, and more.

When you need field data collection for your business

If you are running a project related to environmental requirements such as specific terrain or newly opened POIs, field data collection is the service to use. Companies in the construction, telecom, oil and gas, agriculture or environmental protection industries need the service above all. Their focus might be on compliance with industry or government regulations, choosing an optimal location for new constructions or monitoring road conditions and other physical assets. Lots of applications use geotags, and machine learning–based navigation systems can drive vehicles partly due to geolocation and speech recognition technology, both of which need field data to function.  

Depending on the complexity of your needs, your data collection process may require specific hardware, like cameras, microphones, GPS devices or others. Cases of LiDAR data collection demonstrate the challenges of gathering 3D data and mapping earth surface, including desert terrains or forest areas. A remote sensing system like LiDAR makes those tasks possible, but data-gathering teams will need helicopters or airplanes equipped with a scanner, camera and GPS receiver to acquire data about hard-to-reach locations.

Gathering data, however, might be only half of the job: your next steps will be data processing and verification, which is vital for confirming the accuracy and value of the data.

How Intetics collects and processes field data

Intetics has built substantial expertise in field data collection by assisting businesses in various geographic regions, from Europe to the USA. We have a well-established process of data collection that’s proved by our completed projects. Or we can tailor an individual approach to serve your business needs, and deliver a turn-key solution.

We typically start our field data collection activities by sending a team of one or two specialists to drive through the location and take photo and video information.

After that, our field specialists hand the data over to the in-house team for processing. Our team verifies business names, addresses, contacts, phone numbers and other critical data before categorizing it and complementing it with additional information if necessary. 

Upon receiving the collected data, our team can use it for various purposes: to enlarge the client’s database, deliver to the client structured data meeting particular project requirements, or create a new solution.

Field data use cases for your business 

Updating data for navigation apps might be complex because these apps have higher accuracy and security standards. For example, you will need to collect information about roads and their quality, markings, signs, traffic, etc. Data collection specialists will need a specially equipped vehicle with high-precision GPS receivers and professional cameras.

Field data serves not only to improve navigation. For example, in Sweden, a road repair project was implemented at a countrywide level. The solution was designed to prioritize emergency road sections for repairs.

For US clients, Intetics has shaped workflows to help update POI data. More than 1500 POIs are created in the US on a monthly basis, and about 1000 disappear. Either way, businesses require data verification and updates. Some projects include linguistic data processing, which is a necessity when raw data is provided in different languages for a variety of locations.

LiDAR data offers advanced opportunities when used for planning and technical servicing in utility industries such as construction, engineering or line maintenance. 3D design and visualization facilitate land classification and help identify features in images taken in a specified location. Those features can involve power lines, roads, buildings, vegetation, reservoirs, and so on. Businesses in the utility industries benefit from LiDAR data by receiving detailed infrastructure mapping, a comprehensive inventory of features and accurate detection of objects.

Conclusion

The power of field data is hard to overstate. It helps update maps and navigation apps, enhance scientific studies and improve AI-driven vehicles and machine learning applications. Field data assists in the development of self-navigating vehicles, enables machines to see and hear the world in ways similar to ours, provides access to rough terrains, allows artificial neural networks to translate images into objects, and much more. 

The global demand for field data collection is growing every year and is expected to increase due to advancing autonomous tech. By choosing to use field data collection services in your business, you can easily maintain maps used in your apps, and improve smart software solutions and navigation applications by keeping them up to date and working fast.