Also referred to as ‘Drone Mapping’; is the process in which drones fly a precise survey pattern, typically a series of switchbacks, like a lawnmower pattern. As it flies, the drone carries a camera taking pictures of the field below at a regular interval. Afterwards, the pictures are stitched together into one giant image of the field.
Photogrammetry is the technique used for mapping with drones. Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from Photographs. The output often results in either a map, measurement or 3D model of a real-world object or scene. In fact, most of the maps we use today are created using photogrammetry and images taken from traditional aircraft.
Mapping with drones follows the same photogrammetry process as was traditionally done with aircraft; however, the biggest difference is the low altitude the UAV can fly, which provides higher quality images.
How Accurate Is Drone Mapping?
The use of good quality drone equipment along with commercial grade processing software, careful flight planning and commercial grade GPS ground control points has been found to provide an accuracy of near 2-3cm horizontally and 5-6cm vertically. This level of survey grade accuracy is one of the most accurate in the industry today.