How are drones used in geography?

Drones have equipped geographers with the ability to collect high-quality geospatial data in multiple spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions. While the adoption of drones is increasing across geography, the knowledge of those who use this technology and their practices is limited. Drones can be used to capture images and videos of fieldwork locations before taking students. During the planning process, students can use photographs and video together with OS Maps to identify possible sample locations and determine their accessibility.

Drones can be used to quickly survey the landscape, filming a stretch of coast or a stretch of river. 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. 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. 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.

Aerial images taken by drones greatly accelerate and simplify topographic studies for land management and planning. When planning your flight, you should use a drone application, such as Drone Assist by Altitude Angel, to verify that the airspace in which you plan to fly is safe. 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 Reconnaissance drones generate high-resolution orthomosaics and detailed 3D models of areas where low-quality, outdated or even data is available.

During a drone study with an RGB camera, the floor is photographed several times from different angles and each image is labeled with coordinates. Drone technology continues to advance, making them ideal tools for collecting certain terrestrial data that can be combined well with more traditional mapping techniques.