Photogrammetry is the process of obtaining accurate measurements and data from photographs. It can be used to assess characteristics such as the shape, size and location of physical objects, and is used in surveying and mapping. Photogrammetry drone surveys have become very popular in recent years, and the use of aerial cameras improves the speed and accuracy of the process.
The key to aerial photogrammetry is the processing of the images and data captured by the drone. The basic principle involves capturing multiple images from different angles. These are then processed by software using algorithms and AI to reconstruct the scene in three dimensions. Drones are the perfect tool to capture the initial data as they are flexible, safe and far less expensive than other surveying methods used in the past. They can also cover large areas quickly and efficiently.
Drone roof inspections are one of the most in demand services offered by commercial drone operators. They play a valuable role in leak detection and prevention, identifying wear and tear or damage after adverse weather and condition inspection for building valuations. Photogrammetry drone surveys add a further dimension to roof inspections
Drone photogrammetry is especially valuable for larger projects such as the construction of road networks and industrial parks. Detailed maps - technically referred to as Orthomoasic maps - enable better planning and coordination. The ease and low cost of drone surveys mean they can be repeated as a project progresses, helping to prevent errors and delays.
Another advantage of photogrammetry drone surveys is the level of accuracy. In the past, manned aircraft were often used for this type of aerial survey. They could only achieve accuracies within meters or at best decimeters, whereas drones can achieve millimeter levels. The same professional drones used for photogrammetry can often also be deployed for other work such as thermal imaging and LiDAR mapping.
Not all drones are capable of conducting photogrammetry surveys, and the software and other equipment required means it’s best to hire an experienced commercial operator. The DJI Matrice 300 RTK is one of the most capable and adaptable options for photogrammetry drone surveys. It can produce fieldwork reports for data quality verification and supports topographic mapping and AEC and surveying applications. The Matrice 350 is perfect for creating accurate maps of construction sites or orthomosaic maps. The less expensive DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise RTK is also highly capable of carrying out aerial photogrammetry surveys. In addition to industry-grade accuracy it has a flight time of 45 minutes and a potential flight distance of 32 km enabling wide coverage.
Photogrammetry is just one other area where the power of drone technology has been embraced by industry.