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Drone Mapping


Aerial surveying with drones has changed how surveying professionals conduct topographic surveys. This guide describes the technology and uses of drones for surveying and mapping professionals.



How does drone photogrammetric work?

Photogrammetric is the science of calculating measurements from photos. With systems like 3DR Site Scan, a drone can automatically take hundreds of pictures of a specified area, then use software to identify similar points across multiple images.

Using these similar points, the system constructs a three-dimensional point cloud, which is used to generate the same topographic maps, digital terrain models, meshes, and orthophotos that engineers rely on for design and build work.



Why Start Drone Mapping Today?

Autonomous drones have become the leading technology for creating topographic surveys. The cost of reality capture software and drone hardware have fallen dramatically in price in recent years, allowing a level of insight that’s invaluable to industries like agriculture, construction, land and resource management, and mining, or for gathering data for any area that needs to be looked at closely and often.



Benefits of drones for aerial surveys

Using remote aerial systems has many benefits compared to traditional ground-based survey methods and practices.

  • Speed: Drones can cover a larger area in a fraction of the time of ground-based surveys.
  • Efficiency: The data can be captured in detail once and then analyzed and reviewed infinitely.
  • Comparable: Using automated flight systems, the same exact same data can be captured again in the future and compared.
  • Measurable: The models can be accurate down to centimeters and measurements such as distance or volume can be generated.
  • Safer: Aerial systems make accessing inaccessible or dangerous places much safer with reduced risk.


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