Terra Drone creates geodata products through drone surveying and mapping

Drone surveying and mapping

Terra Drone Europe uses drones (small unmanned helicopters and planes) for aerial surveys and mapping. This is achieved by combining low altitude aerial photography with geometrically calibrated cameras and a technique called photogrammetry. With these pictures we create 3D digital elevation and terrain models as well as orthophoto mosaics.

Why using a drone for surveying and mapping?

The use of a drone for aerial survey and mapping has several distinct advantages over the use of conventional aerial photography and/or GPS measurements in the field:

  1. Drones are very quick to deploy as they can even be flown with cloud cover.
  2. The results are also better, both in resolution and accuracy, as the pictures are taken much lower than conventional aerial photography.
  3. Also in terms of costs the deployment of a drone is very attractive. On average, the use of a drone is up to four times cheaper than traditional aerial photography.

Technique for drone surveying and mapping: photogrammetry

With the use of photogrammetry, we are able to obtain all the heights of a terrain or object. For each height (Z) we can also extract the location co-ordinates (X, Y). In this way, a digital terrain model can quickly be created that enables in reference re to a ground plane, or if two 3D terrain models are taken from the same location at different time intervals the differences can calculated. The quality of these 3D digital terrain models is very high. Recent projects showed a maximum deviation of only 20 mm. The measured density (point density) can reach more than 1000 points per square meter! In collaboration with our sister company Deep BV from Amsterdam we are also able to create digital terrain models that extend below the water. Check the Guatemala breakwater survey as an example of our collaboration.

The individual images can be adjusted for the elevations in the terrain corrected for colour differences due to changing weather conditions. All the pictures can then be joined into a seamless orthophoto mosaic. As the image is fully to scale it can then be imported directly in a CAD or GIS as a backdrop and used for measuring or mapping. Take a look at our projectpage for some examples.

Recent Projects

Related services

If you have any questions about the use of drones for one of your projects then please do not hesitate to contact us!

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