According to Commercial UAV News, “drones are rarely going to be the only tool used on a survey project, and their true value in this sector needs to be better understood.”
It’s important to understand all of the benefits and limitations of using drones for mapping and surveying to help determine whether this is the right tool for your project. “Surveyors and mappers are realizing that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are a versatile and powerful new platform for surveying and remote sensing instruments, including digital cameras, LiDAR and multispectral sensors,” says Karen Schuckman, assistant teaching professor at Penn State University and program manager of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). “They bridge an important gap between ground-based static and mobile mapping systems, and traditional fixed-wing and rotary-wing airborne platforms. Very large-scale imagery can be quickly collected over smaller areas of interest at relatively low cost; final products can be generated in a matter of days or even hours.
Schuckman also cautions against expecting too much from drones – “Drones can’t do everything,” she says. “While drones fill in some crucial gaps in geospatial data acquisition, they are still one tool in a very big toolbox. They are not suitable for mapping large areas such as citywide, countrywide, statewide and nationwide mapping programs that are the mainstay of geospatial data for most end users. What drones do provide are high-resolution, quick updates over small areas. They cannot and likely never will be the platform of choice for important products like seamless high-resolution elevation models or land cover datasets.”
You can read the full article from Commercial UAV News HERE.