High-Quality Aerial Data: A Complete Guide to Drone Mapping

If you work in real estate, archaeology, construction, agriculture, or land surveying, then you need to know about drone mapping. With each passing year, it is becoming easier and cheaper to perform drone mapping. 

With drone mapping, you can create an accurate map of an area that can be used for projection and analysis. 

Drones come with cameras that are positioned vertically on the surface. The camera takes photos during the flight.

Several photos will be taken so that you can make an orthomosaic map after. An orthomosaic map is like a puzzle that is made from accurate and detailed pictures of the area. 

Are you interested in learning more? If so, then keep on reading and we’ll take you through everything that you will want to know about drone mapping.

Selecting Your Drone

The first thing that you need to do is pick your UAV. There is a wide selection of drones available today. You want to look for a drone that will be fun to use and good enough for your professional needs. 

Selecting Your Drone Mapping Ecosystem

After you get your drone ready, it is time to pick your mapping solution. This will be made up of a web platform and a phone application. The app is going to help you plan your flight. It’s going to take over control of the drone to automatically finish the survey.

After the flight, you’ll need to transfer the information from the UAV to your computer. In order to do that, you have to take the micro SD card out of the drone and connect it to a computer. You’ll need to upload the collected information to a web-based tool that’s going to process the information. 

The entry-level products of drone surveys are othomosaic maps. These are aerial images from your device that have been stitched together. They are then converted into cartometric maps, as well as point clouds and 3D models. 

The main principle behind this is to have something similar to 3D movies. If you take photos from the same object from different perspectives, you can create a 3D product. This is why the photos from your device need to overlap. 

Planning the Flight

Your biggest concern should be about the safety of your drone. Pick an area for your first flight that doesn’t have a lot of trees or high buildings. You should never fly over people.  

After you find a space that you want to map, turn the app on. Draw the area that you want to map on the app.

Use satellite photos to map out the area that you want to capture. However, you want to make sure that the satellite images are current and accurate. 

Take off

In order to take off, you’re going to have to connect your drone to your phone. Then hit “Fly”.

After you confirm, your drone will take off. 

The application is going to be in charge of the trajectory of the camera angle and flight. However, it won’t be in charge of the lighting settings.

Before the drone takes off, you want to make sure that the camera settings are just how you want them. 

If you’re mapping something like a building, then you want to get some extra snaps of the locations from different angles. This is going to make the model look a lot better.  

Review the Photos

If you have the time to review the photos while you’re still at the location, then you should do that. This is especially important when you are just starting out. It’s going to save you a lot of time and work.

If you don’t you might need to go back to the field. 

You can also use this time to get rid of photos that you don’t need. Pictures that are irrelevant might do more harm than good in the 3D model. 

Your drone won’t rename your photos based on your flight plan. Sort your images and transfer them to a separate folder to keep things organized.

Upload the Photos for Processing

Choose the photos that you want to upload. You’ll need to fill out camera details too and choose the output. 

Your output can be a 3D point cloud or a flat areal photo of the mapped area as an orthomosaic map. Uploading your photos might take a few minutes. The information will then need to be processed by the software. 

The whole process can take up to a few hours. 

Enjoy and Share the Project

After the process has finalized, you will get an email. The final thing that you will want to do is actually sit back and enjoy the mapping. 

You should review the finished project and try to see what went well and what can be improved upon. Don’t expect to get everything just right on your first try. 

Of course, if you are doing large-scale projects, or doing something for the government, you’ll want to work with a professional team, such as the technicians from DrDrone.  

The Importance of Knowing About Drone Mapping 

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of what drone mapping is and how it all works. As we can see, it can be complicated at times but it can also be very helpful and rewarding. You could also hire a professional drone service just like Drone Videos to capture an accurate aerial mapping for you to use in your business.

Make sure to check out the rest of our site today for more helpful tech articles like this one! 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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