Langan Delivers Futuristic Surveying and Mapping with the Pegasus TRK

Using a mobile mapping system that is ‘leaps and bounds over everything else in the market’ gives the firm a significant advantage in speed, data quality, and safety.

The TRK’s real-time kinematic (RTK) ability, which no other system has, is a real game changer. It allows us to capture the point cloud very close to true elevation and true state plane coordinates—much closer than we envisionedwith less control needed, which is a significant time savings.”
—Joe Romano, PLS, Principal/Vice President, Langan

At a Glance

  • Langan is a premier engineering and environmental consulting firm headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, with more than 1600 employees and offices in more than 40 locations worldwide.
  • Langan’s surveying/geospatial group invested in one of the earliest laser scanners in the early 2000s and quickly established a leading role in laser scanning and building information modeling (BIM).
  • After a decade of success in mobile mapping, the company upgraded to the innovative Leica Pegasus TRK700 mobile mapping system in 2023.
  • The TRK’s ultralightweight design, streamlined workflow, and simple user interface are among the key advantages enabling Langan to deliver outstanding results for partners and clients.
  • The technology has had such a big impact on the team’s operations that they now call mobile mapping “TRKing”—as in, “I’ve been out this week TRKing in Texas.”

Background

In the early 2000s, Joseph Romano, PLS, watched the emergence of mobile mapping technology with interest. The experienced surveyor and technology trailblazer was no stranger to innovation, having embraced some of the earliest GPS receivers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As the surveying director for Langan, a leading engineering and environmental consulting services firm based in Parsippany, NJ, Romano was also starting to explore terrestrial laser scanning; Langan invested in one of the earliest laser scanners and quickly grew its leading role in laser scanning and building information modeling (BIM). But by 2012, mobile mapping was still cumbersome and impractical.  

“I had mentioned to people that Langan would only buy a mobile mapper if it was transportable and offered exceptional data quality,” he says. “And lo and behold, in 2013 Leica introduced the Pegasus:One, which had everything I was looking for. We jumped on board right away.”  

Romano never looked back. When the Pegasus:Two was introduced a year later, Langan quickly upgraded. Over the next decade, the company steadily grew its surveying and mapping business with mobile mapping as a key part of its toolkit. 

Then, in 2022, Leica introduced the Pegasus TRK, an ultralightweight mobile mapping system that incorporates artificial intelligence and autonomous workflows. Langan was one of the first firms to demo the system and in early 2023 made the investment and purchased a system as part of their overall strategic business approach.

“The TRK is leaps and bounds over everything else in the market,” says Romano, who is now a principal and vice president of Langan. “The workflow, the interface, the usability of the TRK—it’s so simple that you could almost sit in the office and put anybody in the vehicle and the whole thing will do itself. It’s an amazing upgrade.” 

Key Advantages

Here are six key advantages Romano cites in making the decision to move forward with the Pegasus TRK investment:

1. Fast and Easy Deployment

The compact size, light weight, and ergonomic design of the TRK was a big factor in Langan’s decision. The mounting system and how easy it is to ship were big issues,” Romano explains. “Most people see a mobile mapper as a roadway tool. For us, mobile mapping is part of our survey workflow, and roadway mapping is just one application. We use our mobile mapper all around the country on a variety of projects. When we’re out capturing data, we call it TRKing. The TRK is easy to ship and deploy wherever we want to use it. 

2. Exceptional Data Quality

The quality of the scan data and imagery captured with the TRK enables Langan to provide better project intelligence. Romano relates how he was recently in a meeting for a large department of transportation project. “When we showed the test sample area that we did with the TRK, they were blown away,” he says. “None of the other service providers who bid on the project had a data sample that clean.” 

“We only go out once to collect the data,” he adds, “so we want to collect it at the highest level we can while we’re there. With the TRK, we’re providing more accurate data and more detailed data as the project evolves. Our GIS team loves how clean the data is because they can extract elements and features from the point cloud with more confidence and fewer assumptions. We’ve also had a ton of success with adding aerial LiDAR to the data set, along with terrestrial scanning.” 

3. More Data Collected in a Single Pass

Another advantage Romano appreciates about the TRK is the wide swath of point cloud data collected in a single pass. “We’re seeing a tenfold improvement in the amount of data we’re able to capture with the TRK compared to the Pegasus:One and Pegasus:Two,” Romano says. “This gives us confidence that we have everything we need—we don’t have to worry about missing something and having to make a return trip. That provides value for us and our clients.” 

4. Accelerated Project Delivery

One of the most significant advantages of the TRK is its ability to streamline workflows. “The TRK’s real-time kinematic (RTK) ability, which no other system has, is a real game changer,” Romano says. “It allows us to capture the point cloud very close to true elevation and true state plane coordinates—much closer than we would have envisioned—with less control needed, which is a significant time savings.” 

TRK’s clean data along with its built-in artificial intelligence and automation further simplify the process. “With our previous system we would have to wait until we were done with our data acquisition, then download and start processing the data,” Romano explains. “The TRK allows us to process that data while we’re still collecting and doing the download, which is another time saver.  

“Overall, workflows have been shortened and improved tremendously,” he adds. “We’re at least 25% faster on data reduction and analysis time alone.”  

5. Enhanced Safety

Safety has been a primary driver for mobile mapping since the technology was first introduced more than two decades ago. Even the Pegasus:One provided the ability to collect data without lane closures and while keeping surveyors out of harm’s way. But the TRK takes safety even further.  

“The simplicity and automation of the TRK’s user interface is outstanding,” Romano says. “That relates to the safety of the driver and the operator in the vehicle while they’re collecting the data because they don’t have to interact with the controls as they did in the past.” 

This capability also allows better use of resources. “In the past, we would send at least two and sometimes three people for a mobile mapping data collect,” Romano says. “Now we have the option of sending just one person because of the automation in the TRK.” 

6. Increased Opportunities for Project Partnership

Langan offers impressive surveying and geospatial expertise combined with a considerable toolkit encompassing total stations, GNSS, GIS, and terrestrial, aerial, and mobile lidar technology. The company has successfully handled a number of large, complex projects. But sometimes the best approach is a partnership of like-minded service providers with complementary capabilities.  

“On really large projects, like transportation corridors, it can be an advantage to partner with other geospatial firms—including other TRK users—to provide capacity,” Romano says. “It’s amazing what a team with the best technology can accomplish.” 

The TRK is leaps and bounds over everything else in the market. The workflow, the interface, the usability of the TRK—it’s so simple that you could almost sit in the office and put anybody in the vehicle and the whole thing will do itself. It’s an amazing upgrade.”

—Joe Romano, PLS, Principal/Vice President, Langan

The Best of All Worlds

Being an innovation leader requires investing in technology that enables you to bring increasingly greater value to the market. For Langan, the value of the TRK is clear.  

“We can be onsite faster and turn around the deliverable faster, all while providing more accurate data and more data as a project evolves,” Romano says. “The TRK is another tool in our toolbox that enables us to deliver the best results for our partners and clients.” 

Overall, workflows have been shortened and improved tremendously. We’re at least 25% faster on data reduction and analysis time alone.

—Joe Romano, PLS, Principal/Vice President, Langan

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