Drones are revolutionising the way in which surveyors gather data, making day-to-day operations faster, safer and more cost-effective when compared to traditional surveying methods. However, as the adoption of drones and UAV technology continues to blossom across all corners of the globe, there is still a certain hesitation to adopt technology.
Drones can collect land survey data quickly, efficiently and safely. However, they are not intending to replace a Surveyor.
The practice of using drones for land surveys & mapping can compliment traditional methods of surveying. A land survey completed by drone, can enable a surveyor to safely and quickly collect data.
Drones allow data collection without putting surveyors at risk. For example, traversing a busy construction site, or rough open terrain.
Drones can collect more data, in less time without exposing staff to risk.
There is no need to shut down a site to allow a survey to take place, so the project can continue if required.
DRONES ALLOW DATA COLLECTION WITHOUT PUTTING SURVEYORS AT RISK.
A traditional land survey requires long hours, carrying heavy equipment to different locations on a site, normally by foot.
For a large site this can take at days, with a team of surveyors.
A single surveyor and qualified drone operator and complete the same task, capturing the same (or better) accuracy in minutes / hours, providing the ability to quickly collect upto date data.
This means that the data will only be hours old rather than days / weeks old by the time it reaches stake holders.
The data set is also richer, images can be processed to produce a denser point cloud and many other outputs such as a realistic 3D mesh, coutours, orthomosaics, outputs for CAD sofware etc.
Drones are not a replacement for surveyors. Drones can help surveyors carry out their job safely, quickly and increase productivity. This would enable the same team of surveyors to be more productive.
Aerial data, captured regularly gives visibility to allow stakeholders to make fast, informed decisions, due to efficient site visibility.
Combined with the correct equipment, such as ground control points (GCP's), RTK or PPK equipment, the drone can collect data to the same accuracy and sometimes better than conventional methods.
DRONES ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR SURVEYORS. DRONES CAN HELP SURVEYORS CARRY OUT THEIR JOB SAFELY, QUICKLY AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY.
The implementation of drones is also affordable and the benefits will increase with the size of the site.
For example, to survey a large site manually may take 1 weeks lead time to book / prepare, 1 day data gathering, 1 week processing data. This means the client will wait 2 weeks for the data, and it will be 2 weeks old when they receive it.
If the surveyor employs an equipped, qualified and experienced drone operator, lead time could be reduce to as little as 1 -2 days, 20 minutes to an hour to gather data, 3 - 4 hours to process the data.
The client could now have data delivered in as little as 2 days after requesting.
Factoring this in with reduction of risk and the affordability of a drone based approach, is making this a popular option for many projects.