MAPPING… it's one of the things that drones do best!

For aerial mapping, drones are perfect. Repeatable, accurate flight makes a drone the ideal flight platform for near-ground mapping. The combination of today's high resolution cameras and inexpensive flying devices enables mapping at levels of detail never before imagined.

Flight Simulation
This animation illustrates the path a mapping drone may take for a typical map overlay shoot using an integrated Maps Made Easy UAV mapping program.

Each green box that gets drawn represents an image that is taken by the camera. The darker the green, the more times that area has been covered. Ideally, the camera should be able to see every point you want to include in the map at least 4 times.

By precisely controlling the flight pattern, flight speed and camera frame rate, it is possible to achieve perfect coverage and overlap. Plenty of overlap and nadir (straight down) images are the key components to collecting great data and making great maps.

Drone Mapping from Digital Drone Images on Vimeo.

Mapping Example 1: Excavation site

This georeferenced photo mosaic and colorized relative elevation map were automatically created from 1001 4000 × 3000 images. The 17 acre site was covered with .5 inch/pixel ground resolution from an altitude of 150ft above ground level.

Mapping Example 2: Construction site progress
This is an example of a Location Map, or a multi-layer map of the same location. The layers are all taken with a free-flown (no ground station) DJI Inspire 1. The February 20 layer was georeferenced to an existing basemap while other layers are referenced to that for maximum alignment accuracy. Location Maps allow users to define what base layers and overlays are shown and it what order.

This map can continue to be updated as new layers become available and construction progresses.

Mapping Example 3: Site images / map modelling (using Drone Deploy mapping/modelling program)
Before Construction commenced

Finished Construction

Digital surface model indicating heights

NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index)

3D Site model

Here is an active 3D model rendering of the first stage of a work site after they have cleared the sight ready for development: