Can drones do topography?

With a drone, you can perform topographic surveys with the same level of precision expected from traditional methods in just a fraction of the time. The publication of a series of quality articles in the area of drone-based topographic modeling will explore the potential of drones to provide data with an unprecedented level of detail. Check that the drone's battery and connected devices, such as tablets, are fully charged and that the memory card in the drone's camera has enough empty space to capture the entire project. In this beginner's guide, we'll discuss what a drone topographic survey is, its advantages compared to traditional terrestrial studies, and the different types of cartographic and measurement data it can offer.

Orthomosaic and digital surface model created from aerial images taken by the WingtraOne topographic and cartographic drone. Reconnaissance drones generate high-resolution orthomosaics and detailed 3D models of areas where low-quality, outdated or even data is available. In this step, the operator basically ensures that no one approaches the drone during takeoff or landing and that the weather conditions remain optimal for the reconnaissance mission. During a drone study with an RGB camera, the floor is photographed several times from different angles and each image is labeled with coordinates.

This special issue of Drones seeks to find the latest research in the area of topographic mapping with drones. A drone study refers to the use of a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), to capture aerial data with downward-facing sensors, such as RGB or multispectral cameras and LIDAR loads. Aerial images taken by drones greatly accelerate and simplify topographic studies for land management and planning.