Drone topographic mapping offers enormous potential to GIS professionals by providing a way to survey land with the same quality as topographic surveys collected by traditional methods but in a fraction of the time. You can do this similarly to Traditional Surveyors, who measure places and objects using conventional measuring tools. The result is significant improvements in quality.

Drone topographic mapping reduces cost in field survey accurate measurement with centimeter-scale details. You can also map some of the most inaccessible areas to save you enormous person-hour and expenses.

In Geodrone, our drone solutions and photogrammetry software provide quick, reliable, and standardized data collection and management services. However, there are many more reasons why you should choose drone mapping for your property and business. Let us guide you through those.

Drones Changing The Game For Topographic Surveying

The use of drones in the topographic survey is not that old. However, what is remarkable is how quickly technology has become a standard tool.

For example, some businesses and governments are already using drones to collect data by flying high altitudes (up to 500 meters or even more) at slow speeds (0.2-0.8 meters per second) and capturing pictures of everything they can see in 360 degrees.

This allows them to capture large areas, including the whole county or entire valley area, at once. It provides them with accurate data and images. They can analyze immediately after takeoff rather than wait for days or weeks after preparing three-dimensional models by traditional methods such as photogrammetry or LiDAR devices.

Some properties also have UNECE certified drone operators working under their organization to conduct regular surveys in their region and do aerial photography for promotional purposes.

What is meant by a drone survey?

What is meant by a drone survey - best drone for mapping - GeoDrones

The International Union defines topographic surveys for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as measuring and mapping features on the land.

A standard topographic survey using a traditional surveyor’s equipment includes altitude and distance measurements, elevation analysis, and return to base. The process is labor-intensive and time-consuming and obviously requires more people.

However, as long as you have access to a drone, you can use its technology to do it faster – in the same or even shorter period – with a much lower cost. You can also get data in real-time that would be difficult or impossible to obtain through traditional means.

When measuring large areas with drones, especially when it comes at a much lower cost than other methods, this opens up endless possibilities:

It could also be used for property management so that you can know your land precisely from all angles 24 hours/day.

You could know what is on your land (soil/water/urbanization/obstacles), how far away it is from where you want it to be, etc. It will save you a considerable amount of money not only for surveying but also for developing that area – both in general and for specific purposes such as building a school, hospital, road, farm, or housing.

Land Surveying Key Benefits

Land Surveying Key Benefits - drone topographic mapping - GeoDrones

There are multiple benefits of drone topographic mapping or surveying. If you hire a professional survey company like GeoDrone, the benefits will be multifold in accuracy, precision, and cost-effectiveness.

Reduce field time and survey costs

The drone mapping reduces man-hours and operational costs during any survey. For example, if the survey required only a minor correction, the drone-produced 3D model can be used for that.

All other corrections for any error found in the original digital models can be made in one place. This is a cost-effective way to reduce man-hours and operational costs of traditional surveying methods.

Accuracy and precision

By using drones to conduct land surveys, you don’t have to depend on harsh weather conditions (high winds/rain/or snow), thanks to their lightweight construction and high-resolution cameras. When time is of the essence, a drone survey will give you as much accuracy and precision as you need – all at a fraction of what traditional surveying methods would cost.

Respect for individual property rights & privacy

If you own land or want to develop it, then it is crucial that you create accurate maps so that others know how much of your land is available for development without alienating your legal rights from other individuals or entities (like governments).

A drone survey will ensure that no one else’s property gets affected by yours without your knowledge or approval first – this makes it easier to use drones in sensitive areas where citizens may not be necessarily receptive to an individual surveyor.

Map otherwise inaccessible areas

Drone topographic mapping will let you survey some of the most inaccessible areas. If a land survey is done using traditional surveying methods, the surveyor must be on site when the area is surveyed. However, with drone topographic mapping, you can send a drone to a place that you can’t access with traditional methods.

When a good-quality map is created, it helps you make informed decisions about your property’s development. With accurate maps, you will know what land is available for development.

When you need to buy or sell excess land parcels or buildings to accommodate the future needs of your business or family (for example, buildings for schools), they will be cheaper and easier to acquire now that the area can serve a greater purpose.

Land surveying cartography

Using survey drones, we can generate high-resolution orthomosaics and detailed 3D models of areas where low-quality, outdated, or no data, are available. They thus enable high-accuracy cadastral maps to be produced quickly and easily. Even in complex or difficult-to-access environments, we can produce a highly accurate map of that location with our current technology.

Why is using drones for surveying superior compared to traditional methods?

Why is using drones for surveying superior compared to traditional methods - main map - GeoDrones

First, unlike traditional surveying methods, drone surveys can be done in remote areas that are hard to access by conventional means.

Second, drones do not require the surveyor to be on site. Therefore, a drone survey can be used for terrain assessment, archaeological surveys, and other complex surveying tasks such as cave mapping and water catchment mapping. This eradicates the so-called “crack crew” problem that sometimes limits the use of expensive precision instruments in these types of operations.

Third, an average cost-per-mile for a survey is considerably lower than one performed with standard methods like a laser rangefinder, where it typically costs $0.53 per mile. With today’s technology and lowering prices of drones, this cost per mile will further drop in future years.

Fourth, our teams use drones to survey remote and inaccessible areas like water catchments, caves, cliffs, and slopes. We can also produce detailed digital models used in land development applications.

Fifth, the value of the digital data produced by our drones is much greater than that of paper maps. Maps prepared with our drones have been tested and validated by a third party and have a high level of accuracy, ensuring that the data are relevant and authentic.

In addition, drone surveys will save resources by reducing physical recording to produce maps for later reference or manual review.

Finally, drone surveying is 100% real-time surveying, resulting in less delay. In contrast, the result is available immediately after work completes allowing quick planning and decision making during critical project phases such as design and construction.

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