With the decreasing cost and ever increasing availability of digital information, visits to the field are being minimized. This is particularly evident in remote areas or regions where land access is difficult. For example, the possibility of using preliminary route alignment sheets built from digital engineering data for an application to construct a pipeline could provide cost and schedule savings as well as safety advantages over staging a preliminary field survey. A desktop-based approach which uses existing project data may be a valuable alternative, deferring the legal survey until after (or during) construction of each spread.

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