Modeling an undeveloped 10-acre property

Where should our new home and other buildings be placed? Which views would we have from our windows? Where could the driveway and walking paths be created? Which trees and bushes should be preserved, or added to the landscape? How can we avoid drainage problems, and know where to have the septic system? How can we direct the contractors to work in the correct areas? How can we best work with an architect to finalize a design and project plan?

Undeveloped, hilly property with many tall trees and bushes presents special challenges to the 3D geospatial modeling process. However this 3D geospatial model enables the property owners to work more efficiently with an architect, regulatory agencies, neighbors and contractors to finalize a design, project plan, estimates and schedule. Additional, periodic models can be superb documentation of progress on the site, and can help to resolve problems during the construction process. The model provides very clear visualization of the site from any viewpoint, for all who are involved. The number, location, age and kinds of trees, bushes and other vegetation can be evaluated for landscape adjustments. Contours and drainage direction arrows indicate those areas where the terrain may need modification. The GPS boundaries of work areas can be easily identified for onsite marking to guide contractor crews.


Geospatial models can be developed during any season. For optimal ground-level topographic details, the site should be scanned between early winter and mid-spring, when most leaves have dropped from the alders and maples. Other times of the year are best for optimal vegetation analysis, especially for estimating soil-holding capability on landslide-prone slopes.

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