The Latest Land Surveying Technology: Drones

Land Surveying Techniques

The potential of drones in the industry is being felt by a number of sectors, as developers discover new ways to use these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to improve the way they do business.

This is also true of land surveyors, particularly those working with oil and gas companies who need quick access to detailed data on large stretches of land.

How do you survey the land with a drone?

Land Surveying DronesThe basic principles of flying a drone remain the same no matter where they are deployed – you start it up, fly it to the desired location, use the tools and camera to achieve the data you need and bring it into the land.

In land surveying, this means launching a drone above the area that needs to be monitored, creating images of the landscape with 3D scanners and HD photography and then forming a digital map with the data.

GIS mapping uses cartographic science and statistical analysis to create the topological map of the area, which can then be accessed and used by the whole team.

It is a major advancement for the industry that can change the way that data is collected and viewed by a team.

What makes a drone such a great tool for land surveying?

There are four reasons why drones are being used to great effect in land surveying and are essentially revolutionising the industry:

1.) The types of data that can be gathered

  • The quality of that information
  • The accessibility of that new digital information

 

2.) The ability to use drones in difficult situations.

Land Surveying DronesSurveying drones can be launched high above any target area to relay images and data to workers on the ground.

For some, this will simply mean basic imaging in the form of aerial photography. Others may employ drones to capture real-time footage as it travels across the designated area to get a clearer idea of the wider landscape.

The potential of the data that can be created depends on the technology available onboard the UAV. Some may be capable of thermal imaging or other tools that can provide additional layers of information.

These layers of information are crucial to those on the ground because they can provide so many data about the area ahead of them and create a detailed map of the whole landscape.

Not only does this offer a clear bird’s eye view of the land to give a clearer impression of the situation, it helps to flag up problems and potential solutions in a short amount of time.

3.) The quality of the information is also important here – the better the resolution of the images, the clearer the data.

Once all of this data has been collected and surveyors have that clear map of images and readings in front of them, that data is now accessible to anyone to wishes to view it. In the past, surveyors would have to manually input data, create reports and then replicate them for key figures – such as clients or team members.

With this instant, digital approach, the data immediately transfers to the server and remains in the cloud where anyone can access it, even if they are in another country.

4.) The final reason for turning to drones is that ability to access hard to reach places. Some sites that need surveying are not the most hospitable of landscapes and it can be a long, difficult and expensive task to cover the whole area effectively.

Drones are the safer alternative, but they also seem to be cost-effective and time-efficient too. As technology advances, these surveying drones can only improve and become more desirable.

There are still government regulations that hold this technological advancement back, but once companies are cleared to use these drones in a responsible way over their sites, the potential of these survey UAVs can only grow.

It is a win-win situation for the industry. Not only will they have access to new technology that continues to become more effective and diverse – which will result in very detailed maps and higher resolution images – they have the chance to save a lot of time and money.

Drones are able to reduce the money and man hours spent on accumulating data, which makes a company more efficient and more appealing to clients. In short, drones could be a game changer for many surveyors in the not-to-distant future.

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