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“Drone Mapping for Surveying” – From buying a drone to using it to create an accurate 3D model

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles in geodetic surveying is becoming an increasingly common practice, which allows us to survey areas larger than 10 to as much as 1000 hectares in a few hours, depending on the task we have been given.

There are many different types of drones on the market, from multicopters, through fixed wing aircraft to hybrids. The first challenge we face is to choose an aircraft that optimally suits our needs.

In the first part of the lecture, we will present the technical specifications of unmanned aerial vehicles crucial for geodetic use, flight planning, and the aircraft control procedure.

We will present best practices for data recording, setting checkpoints and crossing together the optimal parameters for drone flight.

In the second part, we will cover the basics of photogrammetry, or most importantly – how to get data that we can use in the service of engineering geodesy, which deals with most of us surveyors. We will go through the main stages of photo processing, and learn all about the terms and do georeferencing, point cloud calculation, terrain model calculation, orthophoto calculation. Learn the difference between DTM and DSM, and DOF and true DOF.

In the third part of the lecture, we will show practical examples of calculations that we can do on the obtained measurement data from the second part of the lecture.

In the final part, we will give you examples of classical geodetic tasks, projects, in which we implemented drone imaging, process photogrammetric data into the desired display, present the possibilities of exporting data to third CAD programs, and analyse the cost-effectiveness of the presented technology.


Meet your host – Vid

  • 4 years of traditional land surveying experience
  • 8+ years of experience in aerial photogrammetry
  • 300+ drone photogrammetry projects

Vid has always been fascinated with technology and its potential in making our lives easier.

Having joined our team as a student, he has dedicated himself to research and development, and has since more than earned his current position of technical director.

I’ve always been a little obsessed with the prospect of doing things smarter … and nothing pleases me more than finding new, better, and faster ways of doing my job.

In that sense, transitioning from traditional surveying methods to modern aerial photogrammetry was a completely natural and logical progression. And not just for Vid, but for our whole team.

There are just so many moving parts you have to take into account … I mean, it’s not just about going out into the field, taking some measurements, and then simply finishing up with the job.

There’s planning, safety concerns, accuracy, time spent in the field, gear, resources, teamwork, not to mention reaching your business goals. And there are ways of optimising those processes.

There are better tools, plans, and techniques. And if a more efficient and productive way is possible, wouldn’t you take it?

Optimal control over your workflows and processes, better measuring accuracy, and significant improvements in productivity are just some of the perks to be gained in terms of generally upgrading the way we survey.

Today, we can safely reach and measure what used to be almost unreachable. We can complete more projects in less time. We can do so much more without even being in the field. There’s so much potential to be taken advantage of.

Change is only scary if it’s for the worse. As long as it benefits us, we should strive towards it. And if I can contribute to helping my surveying colleagues work smarter, and achieve their goals a little faster, while even earning them some extra free time to top it all off … I’ll just do my best!