How Accurate is a Drone Topographic Survey?

Drones have revolutionized the way construction and earthmoving companies analyze and manage their worksites by providing accurate and reliable topographic data. The accuracy of a drone survey depends on several factors, such as the type of drone, the quality of the camera, the height of the flight, the ground cover and the drone mapping software. Commercial reconnaissance drones can offer data accuracy of between 0.5 cm and 2 cm, while other drones can only have an accuracy of 5 m. This makes them a highly accurate and efficient alternative to traditional topographic methods. The GPS equipment inside the drone is not particularly accurate and some drones report an accuracy of up to +-10 m.

The Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) is a crucial factor to consider in drone topography, since it affects the accuracy of measurements. The software should be able to precisely join the images captured by the drone and produce 3D models or accurate maps of the study area. Before starting a land surveying project, you should also research the regulations and requirements of unmanned aerial vehicles that you must meet for your project. The accuracy of a topographic survey depends on the final application and the use of the model. In many cases, an acceptable error of 30 cm will be more than sufficient in terms of accuracy, while many other projects require a maximum acceptable error of 2 cm. Obtaining the accuracy of the survey ratings requires careful planning and execution of the drone survey, as well as the use of advanced data processing techniques to correct errors and distortions in the raw data collected itself.

Skykam is a UK-based drone company that specializes in providing drone inspection services for a wide range of industries. In recent years, drone topography has become a powerful tool for collecting data and producing accurate maps or 3D models of an area. Even the simplest models for amateurs can achieve topographic-grade cartographic accuracy with UAVs in a 3D model or a photogrammetric map. It is essential to balance all vertical accuracy requirements with the project budget and the actual position and intended use of the drone survey data. On the contrary, for environmental monitoring projects, absolute accuracy and lower levels of the drone survey may be acceptable. Fill out the contact form below to find out how Drone Site Surveys can provide scaffolding inspections and better delivery results for you and your customers.