Top 3 Visuals You Can Get Out of Drone Surveying

It is easy to take for granted the rich visual nature of photogrammetric drone surveying. But in fact, that’s one of the advantages of using drones to survey your site. For every flight to make, you get a 3D visual representation of a worksite instead of numbers on a spreadsheet or a 2D picture alone.

But what visuals, exactly, do you get from the average drone survey?

We’ll cover the top three visual outputs from a drone surveying and mapping software like the Propeller Platform, but these are the staples of any similar software.


1. Site-wide orthophoto

The most direct output from a UAV survey is the orthophoto, also called the orthomosaic. This is a giant composite photo that pulls together each of the individual drone photos into one of the whole survey area.  

Full site orthophoto drone survey

These orthophotos are used to view overall visual site progress, as when you view multiple orthophotos over the site’s lifetime. In Propeller, you can view these orthos in a timeline slider.  

But more simply, a full photo of a worksite serves as a valuable resource to get people oriented with the worksite as a whole.


2. Point cloud

Point clouds seem to be ubiquitous in surveying departments on site. They form the basis for measurements in the 3D drone survey, and are another important visual aspect of a UAV survey.

Below, you can see just how detailed these drone-captured point clouds can be. Can you spot the individual points in this example?

Drone survey point cloud example

These point clouds can also be exported and used in other survey software, as needed.


3. 3D surface

The last visual is perhaps the most obvious—the 3D drone survey itself. This 3D surface is built from those individual photos, the point cloud, and a digital elevation model.  

3D dron surface exmaple

Put together, you get a true-to-life model of your site in three dimensions. It’s fully measurable, which means you can do volume measurements of stockpiles, grade checks, or cut/fill calculations right on your screen with just a couple of clicks.

It’s realistic enough to do virtual walkthroughs, which means you can view progress remotely without having to travel to the site itself. You can make your data is as up-to-date as you want, it just depends on how often you want to fly a site.


Want to learn more about the visual survey data Propeller can bring to your worksite? Contact us today.


You might also like:

How Does Better Data Capture Make the Role of the Surveyor on Site More Important Than Ever?
10 Ways Drone Data and Earthwork Software Can Make Your Next Project a Success
How Terrain Filtering Makes Your Drone Surveys More Accurate

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