Blog : Drone Surveys Versus Land Surveys

Drone Surveys Versus Land Surveys

Drone surveys and traditional land surveys are both methods used to collect data about the physical characteristics and topography of a piece of land, but they differ in terms of technology, data collection methods, and applications. Here are the key differences between the two:

Data Collection Technology:

Drone Survey: Drone surveys, also known as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) surveys, use remotely piloted aircraft equipped with various sensors, including cameras and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), to capture aerial images and data. Drones can fly over the survey area, capturing high-resolution images and creating 3D models of the terrain.

Land Survey: Traditional land surveys rely on ground-based equipment and manual measurements. Surveyors use tools like total stations, theodolites, GPS receivers, and tape measures to measure distances, angles, and elevations at specific points on the ground.

Scope and Coverage:

Drone Survey: Drones are well-suited for covering large areas quickly and efficiently. They can capture data from the air, providing an overview of the entire site.

Land Survey: Land surveys are typically more labor-intensive and time-consuming, making them better suited for smaller areas or specific points of interest within a larger area.

Accuracy and Resolution:

Drone Survey: Drone surveys can provide high-resolution imagery and 3D models, allowing for detailed analysis. However, the accuracy of drone surveys can vary depending on the equipment and techniques used.

Land Survey: Traditional land surveys are known for their high accuracy, especially when using precise surveying instruments. Surveyors can achieve precise measurements and calculations for property boundaries, construction layouts, and legal purposes.


Drone Survey: Drone surveys are often used for various applications, including aerial mapping, construction site monitoring, agriculture (precision agriculture), environmental monitoring, and infrastructure inspections. They are particularly valuable for projects that require frequent updates and visual data.

Land Survey: Land surveys are essential for property boundary determination, legal property disputes, land development planning, and construction layout. They are also used for creating cadastral maps and establishing property lines for real estate transactions.

Cost and Efficiency:

Drone Survey: Drone surveys can be more cost-effective and efficient for large-scale projects, as they require fewer personnel and less time for data collection compared to traditional land surveys.

Land Survey: Traditional land surveys can be costlier and more time-consuming, especially for small or complex areas. They may require a team of surveyors working on-site for an extended period.

In summary, the choice between a drone survey and a traditional land survey depends on the specific needs of the project, budget constraints, and the level of accuracy required. Drone surveys are increasingly popular for their efficiency and versatility, while traditional land surveys remain essential for legal and highly accurate measurements. Often, a combination of both methods may be used to obtain the best results for a given project.

About Stoner

Since 1988, Stoner has continually provided the highest level of quality service to each and every project.  Staying true to the company mission statement of Experience, Excellence, Service and Technology: These are the watchwords that we apply to each of our clients’ projects.  Today, the company services the greater South Florida area including Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties.  Allowing the team of professionals to deliver critical surveying services in a timely manner to both the private sector and the government.  For more information on Stoner, please call (954) 585-0997or visit



What is a Pre-Construction Commercial Land Survey?

A Pre-Construction Commercial Land Survey is a detailed examination and measurement of a piece of land conducted before any construction activities begin on a commercial property. The primary purpose of this survey is to gather accurate and comprehensive information about the physical characteristics, boundaries, and topography of the land. This information is crucial for ensuring […]

Learn More


Fort Lauderdale Surveyors
4341 Southwest 62nd Avenue
Davie, Florida  33314
Phone: (954) 585-0997
Interactive Direction Map


© 2021 Stoner & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Web Development by IWD Marketing