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How Kimley-Horn Goes From Drones to Design

Site Scan saves Kimley-Horn weeks of surveying time and improves due diligence workflows
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About Kimley-Horn

Kimley-Horn is a planning and design consulting firm with over 2,800 staff members in more than 75 offices across the U.S. They offer full services in a wide range of disciplines, including landscape architecture and planning, land development, and more.

Their Goal

Kimley-Horn had worked with Denver Parks and Recreation to survey the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. DPR sought to make a number of infrastructure improvements to the park, and Kimley-Horn wanted to create a new, streamlined workflow with drones to conduct due diligence of the site and understand the scope and fees involved for specific infrastructure work. This is because, as the Kimley-Horn team has found, traditional data sources can be insufficient or out of date in preliminary design phases, leading to scoping mistakes, rework, lower margins, and more.

Site Scan as a Solution

Kimley-Horn used 3DR’s Site Scan drone to data platform to capture Red Rocks, and combined the results with terrestrial LiDAR data. Once they completed the flight, the Site Scan app processed the imagery, sending it to the Autodesk A360 Cloud to orthorectify, stitch, and convert into a working surface model for use in Civil 3D, AutoCad, and other Autodesk tools.

“The faster we collect high quality data, the better off we’re going to be in doing the preliminary design of a site.”

Bobby Valentine, Project Visualization Lead, Kimley-Horn

Key Results

For Kimley-Horn, a traditional due diligence survey takes around 2 to 3 weeks: They receive a request from the client, accept and complete the survey within a week, and complete the final deliverable approximately 2 weeks later. By augmenting their survey process with drones, they can cut this workflow down to 1-4 days. With Site Scan, it takes under a day to mobilize to the site and scan it, and just a day or two later to export a final CAD file, contours, orthoimagery, and point cloud.

Aerial Photo


Better due diligence and preliminary plans

With Site Scan, now Kimley-Horn is able to get current, up-to-date data as part of any due diligence process. They no longer have to worry about preliminary data being out of date or unreliable, and can quickly capture useful information without a major expense or time commitment. Also, they’re able to get the most out of Site Scan by combining it with LiDAR data and using ground control points to improve accuracy, helping ensure that preliminary plans are as close as possible to the final version. Overall, this helps Kimley-Horn get a better sense of their site, avoid repeat work, and improve project margins.

Digital Elevation Model

Point Cloud

“Site Scan combines intuitive software, best in breed camera capabilities and integrates seamlessly with the GIS and CAD systems we use daily.”

Bobby Valentine, Project Visualization Lead, Kimley-Horn

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