Untapped Potential with Drone Surveying and GIS

For larger projects or sites with difficult terrain, quality surveying takes more time to accomplish. The data has to be precise to ensure it can be used properly, so professional surveyors often struggle to make the process any faster than it already is. But there are new opportunities with innovative technology that can offer fast surveying without sacrificing the accuracy of the data captured.

Unmanned, aerial drones are a new and effective way to acquire large amounts of surveying data. McClure has successfully implemented the use of droes for a variety of surveying tasks, including imaging, videography, and photogrammetry.

Using Drones for Surveying

Drones can be outfitted with cameras, sensors, and GIS equipment to capture the data necessary for surveying. As the drone passes overhead, the site is recorded and photographed from multiple angles. Surveyors use the fixed points of geographic coordinates to ensure these angles are properly aligned with one another. When performed correctly, drone surveying should deliver accurate data in a fraction of the time it takes to do so manually.

Unique Advantages of Drone Surveys

Drone surveys offer a number of benefits over traditional surveying equipment, including:

Reduced time spent surveying: Aerial drones can accomplish in minutes what takes hours and hours for typical land surveying. Staying on schedule is one of the most difficult and dynamic challenges for industries like construction, making time-saving technology an incredibly valuable investment.

Lower project costs: Accurate surveying takes time, and the time spent surveying is typically included in the service’s overall cost. When surveying can be completed more quickly and easily via drone, naturally the costs should go down as well.

Fast capture of huge sums of data: Since drones can reach high elevations, they can capture more data in each pass than surveying at ground level. Generating large quantities of complex information this quickly is beneficial to any project..

Ignore difficult terrain: Swampy terrain, poor weather, and even wildlife can make the surveying process slower and more hazardous. Drones can complete the survey from a safe elevation in the air, protecting both the surveyor and their equipment.

Easily reach remote property: Large expanses of land in remote regions often need additional resources to survey correctly. Drones can easily reach the middle of remote properties.

Photogrammetry and LiDAR—How Drone Data Is Collected and Used

The data drone surveys can capture will depend on what equipment the drone itself is outfitted with. But in order to make this data useful, some post-processing is often required. Photogrammetry is a process surveyors can use to turn drone-recorded data into usable formats.

By overlapping the high-resolution photos according to fixed coordinates, detailed maps can be formed. These maps can be 2D or 3D, and should highlight the size, color, texture, and even elevation of everything captured by the drone. The speed, resolution, and realism of photogrammetry usually makes it the more popular choice for drone surveys.

But depending on the kind of data you need, alternative technologies may be preferable. LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, uses lasers instead of detailed photography. These pulses of light bounce off the ground and return to the drone. LiDAR not only measures the time it takes for the light to return, but the intensity of that light as well. Drones equipped with LiDAR systems also use sensors and GPS equipment. LiDAR is also used for 3D High-Definition Scanning Surveys, or HDS.

A unique advantage of using LiDAR over photogrammetry for drone surveys is forested terrain. Because light bounces off objects, it can partially breach the canopy of vegetation and capture more data than photogrammetry.

Where We Make an Impact

Using drone surveys, McClure can capture vast quantities of data and turn it into usable information for your next project.

Untapped Potential with Drone Surveying and GIS

For larger projects or sites with difficult terrain, quality surveying takes more time to accomplish. The data has to be precise to ensure it can be used properly, so professional surveyors often struggle to make the process any faster than it already is. But there are new opportunities with innovative technology that can offer fast surveying without sacrificing the accuracy of the data captured.

Unmanned, aerial drones are a new and effective way to acquire large amounts of surveying data. McClure has successfully implemented the use of droes for a variety of surveying tasks, including imaging, videography, and photogrammetry.

Using Drones for Surveying

Drones can be outfitted with cameras, sensors, and GIS equipment to capture the data necessary for surveying. As the drone passes overhead, the site is recorded and photographed from multiple angles. Surveyors use the fixed points of geographic coordinates to ensure these angles are properly aligned with one another. When performed correctly, drone surveying should deliver accurate data in a fraction of the time it takes to do so manually.

Unique Advantages of Drone Surveys

Drone surveys offer a number of benefits over traditional surveying equipment, including:

Reduced time spent surveying: Aerial drones can accomplish in minutes what takes hours and hours for typical land surveying. Staying on schedule is one of the most difficult and dynamic challenges for industries like construction, making time-saving technology an incredibly valuable investment.

Lower project costs: Accurate surveying takes time, and the time spent surveying is typically included in the service’s overall cost. When surveying can be completed more quickly and easily via drone, naturally the costs should go down as well.

Fast capture of huge sums of data: Since drones can reach high elevations, they can capture more data in each pass than surveying at ground level. Generating large quantities of complex information this quickly is beneficial to any project..

Ignore difficult terrain: Swampy terrain, poor weather, and even wildlife can make the surveying process slower and more hazardous. Drones can complete the survey from a safe elevation in the air, protecting both the surveyor and their equipment.

Easily reach remote property: Large expanses of land in remote regions often need additional resources to survey correctly. Drones can easily reach the middle of remote properties.

Photogrammetry and LiDAR—How Drone Data Is Collected and Used

The data drone surveys can capture will depend on what equipment the drone itself is outfitted with. But in order to make this data useful, some post-processing is often required. Photogrammetry is a process surveyors can use to turn drone-recorded data into usable formats.

By overlapping the high-resolution photos according to fixed coordinates, detailed maps can be formed. These maps can be 2D or 3D, and should highlight the size, color, texture, and even elevation of everything captured by the drone. The speed, resolution, and realism of photogrammetry usually makes it the more popular choice for drone surveys.

But depending on the kind of data you need, alternative technologies may be preferable. LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, uses lasers instead of detailed photography. These pulses of light bounce off the ground and return to the drone. LiDAR not only measures the time it takes for the light to return, but the intensity of that light as well. Drones equipped with LiDAR systems also use sensors and GPS equipment. LiDAR is also used for 3D High-Definition Scanning Surveys, or HDS.

A unique advantage of using LiDAR over photogrammetry for drone surveys is forested terrain. Because light bounces off objects, it can partially breach the canopy of vegetation and capture more data than photogrammetry.

Where We Make an Impact

Using drone surveys, McClure can capture vast quantities of data and turn it into usable information for your next project.

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