What is a drone survey?

Drones are powerful tools to help the cartography and topography industry. They can perform 3D mapping, topographic surveys, photogrammetry and topography work effectively flying above the ground. Whether you want to add another tool to your services or want to learn more about the world of drones, here's everything you need to know about drone topography. Drone topography is an aerial study carried out with drones and special cameras to capture aerial data with downward-facing sensors.

Surveyors and engineers frequently use it in construction to assess and map terrain. In a nutshell, a drone survey is an aerial survey conducted by a drone. Using sensors, such as RGB or multispectral cameras, or LiDAR loads, drones can capture a large amount of data quickly. Aerial surveys combine sensors together with ground points and aerial targets suitable for topography to align the data with the ground precisely.

Drone images are corrected to detect image distortion and are joined together during post-processing to create a high-precision orthomosaic map. Each pixel contains 2D geographical information (X, Y) and can directly obtain precise measurements, such as horizontal distances and surfaces. Drone topography can be defined as an aerial inspection carried out with drones and unique cameras to prepare aerial data with downward-facing sensors. It is mainly used by surveyors and engineers in the field of construction for land assessment and cartography.

Drone topography allows the surveyor to collect data more safely and quickly than traditional methods. The drone collects high-precision data quickly, without the need for inspection personnel to walk over hazardous terrain or heights to collect the data. When the drone is equipped with this software, data is collected to produce a high-density point cloud for the survey site. Drone surveys help urban planners to quickly gather updated data from a complex urban area with fewer staff to study the existing social and environmental conditions of the sites.

To perform highly accurate drone inspections, it is essential to accurately pinpoint the position of a drone in flight. The different maps or results collected from drone topography are orthomosaic maps, the digital surface model (DSM), the digital terrain model (DTM) and the contour maps. When you want to complete a drone survey, you follow those basic principles, but you use a drone to gather the information. Surveyors can perform highly accurate distance and surface measurements using high-resolution orthomosaic photographs of drone topography.

Drone topography generates high-resolution orthomosaic maps and 3D models of areas to create accurate cadastral maps. Depending on topography software and data sensors, a drone can achieve several types of results. To perform highly accurate drone inspections, it is necessary to precisely locate the position of a drone in flight. With the amazing advances in drone technology, the use of drones in urban planning has become widespread.

When the drone surveys the land, it will use the RGB camera to photograph the ground from different angles.