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Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/21/2020 9:18 AM

I work in paleontology. We have a site with thousands of fossils. I need a device to accurately measure and record the X,Y,Z coordinates for each fossil (one at a time) relative to a single fixed point in the quarry. The device needs to have the ability to allow for input of field specimen numbers and field notes. The end result would be a database for specimen numbers with their X,Y,Z measurements and comments.

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#1

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/21/2020 10:09 AM
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#8
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 8:36 AM

I apologize that my initial description was not more correctly stated. Yes, we use a grid system so we do have x,y,z defined. We are not looking to create a 3d image of the site. We only want to locate each fossil's position in situ. So just one measurement per fossil is needed. the end result is a database or spreadsheet of each specimen with its measurements.

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#10
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:14 AM

I would use ground level average as ref point and choose center of site as second ref point, measure from center points on the compass, then up or down as the case may be....so you would have like 3 meters 180° down 1 meter as an example...use a water level to ref ground level at object location...gps location of ground level average ref...I would sink a rod at ground ref location and mark average ground level on rod with orange marker...tie a marked measurement string at that point with an inline string level...

Then you could further simplify the measurement by using these two measurements to state the position as a length and angle from the ref point...

https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/483931/length-of-hypotenuse-using-one-side-length-and-angle

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534714000871

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#11
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:29 AM

Another clarification. We have been using a grid system and manually measuring for years. What we are looking for is a better and more accurate way of recording this information. What we are looking for is an instrument that will take these measurement without the need for sting, quarry stakes, measuring tape, pen and pencil.

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#12
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:32 AM
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#14
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:38 AM

Oop. Didn't read down..

So basically you. Don't want to do the job you fell in love with and replace it with technology?

I'm sure there's an app for that.

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#16
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:44 AM

Nothing wrong with looking for a better way to do something...

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#17
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 10:11 AM

I know.. I'me just a romantic for grids and pencils.

some people call it being a jerk.

I call it appropriate given the circumstance.

It's like making a machine to chew your bubble gum and kick ass for you?

..Not everything needs to be outsourced to a machine.

I got some junk mail a few weeks ago that touted "hand crafted" insurance quotes and I haven't been the same since.

pandemonium?

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#15
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:44 AM

The total station theodolite that jhassociates identified is what you are looking for.

This picture from the Wikipedia link was taken at an Iron Age archaeology site of the use of a Leica total station to three dimensional identify the found location of artifacts.

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#13
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:33 AM

I've had great luck using a pencil, paper and a ruler. I know it makes for a budget operation, but it really and truly works.

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#25
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/25/2020 4:02 PM
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#2

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/21/2020 11:14 AM

I don't see how you can measure relative to a point.
Relative to a reference axis or set of orthoganal axis... yes.
I think we can assume up and down, but you need to define the x and y axis.
Del

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#6
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 2:50 AM

Quite. One cannot reference to a point, as one needs to reference the axes as well.

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#3

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/21/2020 11:26 AM

You are looking for surveyor equipment. The key thing you need to identify is how precisely these locations need to be located? Faro, Leica and other laser scanning companies can identify items in space to extreme levels of precision.

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#4

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/21/2020 1:41 PM

Perhaps LiDAR will help you.

"The term lidar was originally a portmanteau of light and radar.[1][2] It is now also used as an acronym of "light detection and ranging"[3] and "laser imaging, detection, and ranging".[4][5] Lidar sometimes is called 3-D laser scanning, a special combination of a 3-D scanning and laser scanning.

Lidar is commonly used to make high-resolution maps, with applications in surveying, geodesy, geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, atmospheric physics,[6] laser guidance, airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), and laser altimetry."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidar

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#5

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/21/2020 10:41 PM

Per Rixter:

Most definitely LIDAR.

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#7

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 5:26 AM

Such equipment does exist, you need to look up "total station" tools used in the building industry (Those aimed at the archeology market are the same kit re-boxed at a higher price but they may have additional features). Accuracy of ±1.5mm is quoted over a range of 1500m. Lots of manufacturers, never used this kit so can't offer a recommendation. Needs line of sight to operate. I suggest that you go for the reflective option with the reflector attached to a camera/data logger so that you can record all the data including 3D position in a single click. Then perhaps apply a tag or paint spot to stop you recording the same object twice. Some operate with multiple frequencies so several field archeologists can record different parts of the site at the same time. This kit is not cheap, expect to pay between £$€5,000-10,000

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#31
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

06/04/2020 2:35 PM

This is the correct tool for the application as described. GA.

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#9

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 9:08 AM

Isn't this just what a surveyor does with a theodolite in a fixed place then have someone stand with a height pole at each object to record the 3 coordinates?

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#18
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 11:25 AM

Right you are, just like they typically show on video clips of news-worthy archeologicical projects.

If the site is smaller, all that's needed is an old surplus transit for the X and Y distances, and a survey level for the Z distances, but it's the note-taking and the record-keeping that are tedious, and challenging to keep organized, etc.

If you look, I bet there is a localize-able GPS system that is (down-scalable) enough to be applicable to such work.

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#19
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 11:36 AM

You're right about the GPS, our local fire service use something like that to record the position of hazardous stores.

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#20
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/22/2020 12:53 PM

Thanks for the acknowlment, but jhhassociates (in post #7) had it right with his mention of ''Total Station'' surveying.

For the record, I actually did surveyng with a transit and metal ''chain'', way back when theodolites were becoming common-place, and they preceded Total Station.

(So, I plead guilty to forgetting how much (surveying) times have really moved on...)

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#21

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/23/2020 5:38 PM

Setup a couple datum points (i.e., stakes pounded into the ground) and use a bluetooth enabled laser measure. The manufacturers have apps that will record the data to your phone/tablet.

https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/boschtools-ocs/laser-measuring-23502-c/

https://shop.leica-geosystems.com/buy/disto/d2

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#22

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/24/2020 11:18 PM

As others have already said, you would get all the functionality your require by hiring a total station.

Failing that, hire a 3D scanner. That will give you a point cloud that you can assign a node to for each individual fossil. It will also give you the additional resource of a photo-realistic site record if you ever want to go back in time.

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#26
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/26/2020 10:50 AM

That would look totally cool in a museum! Pictures of layers by date. Something to really bore my kids with as I read each one.

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#23

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/25/2020 12:03 AM

Would suggest a Total Station. You obviously don't need a top flight professional surveyor's one (unless your ego exceeds your knowledge)
This one would almost certainly exceed what you need but can do the job quite simply i.e. without months of reading tech manuals.

2" Reflectorless Total Station with Bluetooth + USB port + SD card slot

  • Reflectorless range of up to 1,970 feet
  • Range up to 16,400 feet with a single prism
  • Internal memory of up to 20,000 points
  • 2-second angular accuracy
  • Laser plummet
  • Built-in Bluetooth for wireless data collection
  • Improved Absolute Encoder for smoother readings in fine modes
  • EDM laser for precise reflectorless measurement
  • 30x magnification
  • USB port and SD card slot
  • Dual axis compensator
  • Automatic detection and correction for meteorological, atmospheric refraction and earth curvature
  • Onboard software
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery
    About US$4,000.00 here (see link)

https://www.tequipment.net/NorthWest-Instrument/NTS03/Electronic-Laser-Level-2-Person/?Source=googleshopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwtqj2BRBYEiwAqfzur2B4SgO-WQEFFEZxhAepkt4otc5Mi5NmujEvDxnjNvgD56pL_AyqIBoC0msQAvD_BwE

Or maybe the Sokkia TX series
https://www.bandwork.my/product/pdf/62201443212PMpdf.pdf

About the same pricing

Or if you want to spend a little effort contact an instrument technician shop and see if they have trade ins that they wish to sell. You may get a pleasant surprise. (Young surveyors these days are like kid with hand phones - new model = must have). I have a Sokkia 5E I got about 20 years ago, second hand, that apart from re-calibration and alignments and 3 batteries, that is still perfectly adequate to send on site, up the bush , or where-ever my engineers roam, to do site inspections, check alignments and distances and such. They are Civil Engineers not surveyors - we leave that to the experts.

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#24

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/25/2020 7:28 AM

Try Emlid GNSS products.

Less expensive than other solutions but still very accurate readings.

Emlid folks will advise what you need and how to use the kit.

For your requirements this would be a much more cost effective solution with more than enough accuracy.

Best regards,

Director, Drone Tech Aerospace (UK)

www.DroneTechAerospace.co.uk

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#27
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/26/2020 12:31 PM

Some, if not all, Total-Station suppliers will have at least one that allows all the info in its memory to be printed out directly, or at least transferable, to a computer, from which such a map can be printed-out.

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#28
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Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/26/2020 12:53 PM

Their maps will be MUCH better than the enclosed-area-traverse Excel spreadsheet map shown on my avatar at left.

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#29

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/26/2020 9:27 PM

Most importantly, what is your budget?

Solutions exist. It also depends on your proposed work flow and how you want to integrate the information you get.

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#30

Re: Does Equipment Exist to Measure X,Y,Z Coordinates For Objects Relative To a Single Fixed Point

05/27/2020 11:54 AM

I hope that, among the many suggestions you receive here, there is a one to utilize GPS. Low cost GPS can get you plus or minus 10 yards on the X & Y coordinates. And, most likely, very poor data on the z coordinate. More expensive GPS is going to get you within 0.1 feet on the X and Y coordinate and within 0.2 to 0.5 feet on the Z coordinate.

I saw a post on a theodolite. This instrumentation will get you near perfect results. However, it is much more time consuming that a GPS and requires an already known bench mark. Thus, there may be a labor cost associated with that. If labor cost is that of volunteers, go with the theodolite. If there is real labor cost, then depending upon the extent of your project, both in space and in time, an investment in GPS may be worthwhile.

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