The benefits of working in the air allow access to difficult sites with increased safety. Drones can reach areas traditional survey techniques just cannot. We use photogrammetry which is the process of taking hundreds of images of sites with overlapping edges. The images are then processed using high end software. The software works by creating tie points which are then triangulated to generate depth which is then used to generate points. Models can contain millions of points which all make up the model. The points or “point clouds” can be used to create a mesh, digital elevation models, contours etc.

There is a trade off with regards photogrammetry as opposed to other techniques such as LIDAR and there are advantages and disadvantages of both.

LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Now if you are working with dense vegetation Lidar will penetrate vegetation including trees to give a clear view of the ground.

Image Capture with overlap

Photogrammetry however will only work with what it can see, if there are occasional openings in the canopy then there are ways of classifying points to generate surface models but this method will never be as accurate as Lidar.

Photogrammetry works best on bare earth and built environment and will produce accuracy up to 50mm and in some cases even better. I use digital ground targets which increases accuracy. This also provides a way of auditing the model and checking scale. Using this method with the drone we can easily cover over 18 acres within an hour. This is possible using Lidar technology however equipment is hugely expensive and reflected in the fee’s that are charged for it. Also Lidar produces huge files which can be terabytes but accuracy can be millimetres.

The benefits of photogrammetry are cost and workability which is the trade-off between high accuracy and affordability. Most projects can be turned around in a couple of days, and in some cases the very same day. Don’t spend hours recreating environments in cad, we can supply you with scaled, georeferenced models of your projects surroundings. The ideal solution to support planning applications or sell you proposals to clients.

Geo-referencing plans using standard gps will provide and accuracy at best 1.8m, however by combining ground points and ground stations this can be improved significantly.

Data can be processed for many different uses. Please see list of available formats below, but if you are not sure what you require please send us a request using the form on the home page or call for a chat and we can advise further.

Point Cloud Export Formats

• Wavefront OBJ • Stanford PLY • XYZ Point Cloud • ASPRS LAS • LAZ • ASTM E57 • ASCII PTS • Autodesk DXF • U3D • potree • Cesium 3D Tiles • Agisoft OC3 • Topcon CL3

Model Export Formats

• Wavefront OBJ • 3DS file format • VRML • COLLADA • Alembic • Stanford PLY • X3D models • STL • Autodesk FBX • Autodesk DXF (in Polyline or 3DFace representation) • U3D • Open Scene Graph • Binary glTF • Google Earth KMZ • Adobe PDF

We pride ourselves on what we do and work to achieve the best results for our customer’s every time we fly!

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