Surveying with Drones

SURVEYING WITH DRONES

The use of drones and related software is becoming more commonplace among the surveying and mapping professions.

However, even though the technology is becoming more adaptable and user friendly, the underlying legal framework for operation must still be taken into account if surveyors are to avoid breaking the law.

WHERE IS IT BEING USED?

  • Mapping
  • Coastal surveys
  • Site progress surveys
  • Stockpile surveys
  • Geological surveys
  • Surveys for agriculture using multispectral cameras
  • Thermal surveys

Keep in mind that the use of drones is not necessarily generally accepted practice in every area of application.  Also, if you’re not a surveyor, some applications will require the services or skills of a surveyor to be delivered sucessfully.

WHAT SOFTWARE IS USED?

The technique used is photogrammetry

There are a range of photogrammetry software products available, one of the most popular and flexible is PIX4D.

Other packages that our team has experience in applying include Agisoft, Datumate, Drone Deploy and Propeller.  These packages have similar capabilities and offer different advantages and disadvantages.

Man using a app mobile phone in modern office start-up.

THIS EXAMPLE

The Aerialtronics Zenith and a Sony A6000 were used to capture geo-referenced photos of the jetty on the Thames.  Ground Control Points were defined using traditional techniques to ensure the accuracy of the model captured by the drone.  The images were processed using PIX4D into a point cloud and orthomosaic of the jetty.