Training and on-project support for SAUDI UNICOM on mobile surveying workflows using the Optech Lynx Mobile Mapping System


SAUDI UNICOM Group, with its headquarters located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is a major player in the Arabic, as well as in the global market, in many sectors (trade, industrial, telecommunications, software, media, etc). Its Geoinformation subdivision, U-MAPS, made in 2011 a strategically significant investment by purchasing a high-end mobile mapping system from OPTECH, the LYNX M1. The system was delivered by OPTECH together with the standard company’s high quality on-site setup, calibration and training services.

UNICOM, having undertaken a quite large mobile mapping project, the survey of major corridors for the “Jeddah Storm Water Drainage Program”, realized the urgent need for extended on project training and support, in order to:

  • Incorporate as fast as possible the mobile surveying technology in their standard mapping workflows.
  • Choose the most appropriate from both the technical and financial point of view post-processing software solutions and practices.
  • Create an efficient and productive field and office team, able to elaborate the undertaken project within a strict and pressing time schedule.
  • Understand all the aspects and best practices of mobile surveying projects (mission planning, accuracy, resolution, reference GNSS stations, control points, local datum conversions, pointcloud matching and georeferencing, feature extraction, modeling, etc).
  • Ensure the quality of deliverables and their compliance to specifications.

Project tasks

For this purpose, UNICOM engaged Astrolabe Engineering, investing in its extensive experience in “start to finish” mobile surveying workflows using the OPTECH LYNX Mobile Mapper. Astrolabe responded swiftly by providing training and support during field data collection in Jeddah, KSA, training UNICOM’s personnel in Riyadh, KSA and Cairo, Egypt and also undertaking some urgent post-processing tasks to assist in on-time delivery of the first project sections. On-line remote extended support was also made available according to UNICOM’s needs.

Results – Conclusions

As a result, UNICOM / U-MAPS successfully and timely completed all undertaken tasks for the project, having gained the trust of a major client in the area. Furthermore, UNICOM possesses now a fully trained, productive and efficient field and office team for mobile surveying services, having elevated mobile surveying using the OPTECH LYNX Mobile Mapper to the company’s major mapping activity.