Using Commercial Drones for Aerial Topography | Anderson Engineering

Curious about whether or not a drone camera is the right fit for your next topography or surveying project? Commercial drones have an incredibly large amount of applications, ranging from aerial photography and videography to thermal imaging. Let’s explore the top 3 reasons why a drone can save your next property surveying project. 

1) Drones save you time.

Professional drones grant land surveyors the ability to accurately assess the topography of an area in a much shorter amount of time than would otherwise be possible. Using a drone for surveying can also be more cost effective, given the significantly smaller timeframe in which it can gather the necessary topographical information. 

In traditional topographic survey, a grid is laid out over the area being surveyed with each intersection of the grid representing a GPS data point. Assuming a 20x20 grid of points, and assuming around 20 GPS points can be mapped in an hour, data collection via traditional methods would require 20 hours of work. 

Using a drone and strategically placing the GPS points, far fewer data points are required and therefore far less time is consumed in the data gathering stage. In an area with a much higher volume of GPS points, say 50x50, it may take a full work week to complete a survey which then needs analysis. With a drone it can take as little as 1-2 hours and move into analysis the same day, exponentially speeding the progress of the surveying and mapping job.

2) Drones may save you money.

Another significant advantage of using drones for surveying is the ability to use a single tool to complete a topographical survey. Traditional surveying methods involve use of several tools (i.e. theodolites, GPS, etc.) and require several iterations of moving and re-placing said tools to complete the surveying process. Drones typically require a relatively small amount of instructions, some as simple as pressing a single button, and can pilot themselves whilst collecting the necessary data. This also saves time on-site,  so that project funds can be redirected to other areas or saved.

3) Drones could save…you.

The added benefit of being relatively small and airborne means drones can easily assess terrain that may otherwise be dangerous for humans like sheer cliffs and sinkholes. 

Interested in using a drone on your next surveying project? Contact us today.