Nordstrom retail and distribution group requested a site ALTA survey to be completed for their Cedar Rapids distribution center adjoining Eastern Iowa Airport property. The purpose of survey was for acquiring additional property from the City to expand their operations.


For this site, which covers approximately 40 acres (60 acres was flown for aerial mapping purposes), the geospatial team decided to employ traditional land surveying techniques as well as both ground and aerial photogrammetry technologies. Due to the size, inaccessibility and safety concerns of the site, it was decided that a hybrid survey approach would offer best results with efficiency, safety and additional deliverables for the client and plat work.

With planned operations within Class C surface airspace, careful coordination was required with the FAA and Eastern Iowa Airport authorities to ensure proper airspace safety was strictly adhered to for performing the aerial data acquisition at 300 feet AGL for the one required flight mission. Additionally, for the purpose of capturing proper building heights required, our survey team used Trimble VISION technology captured from specially equipped robotic total stations and processed the imagery captured on the ground to obtain and determine building heights as well as used reflectorless measurement technology.


The output deliverables from this project, technologies and methods used allowed Foth to create a high-detail updated site orthomosaic image, full site planimetrics 2D mapping, 3D site mesh model and complete site plat of survey. The survey data was compiled and mapped in Trimble Business Center Photogrammetry Edition and data imported into MicroStation V8i SS3 for final ALTA survey plat creation and submittal.