Drone Mapping & Photogrammetry: With technological advances in drone technology, drone mapping and photogrammetry have become significant topics. The technique is widely used to create maps of different zones for farming, real estate, remote sensing, mining, and other industry verticals.
It is a specialized area where you need to learn some unique skills, gain exclusive knowledge, and learn a few software to become a pro.
In this article, we will discuss drone mapping in-depth, its applications, and other related aspects that will help you gain more information about the topic.
Let’s start with the definition.
What Is Drone Mapping?
Drone mapping is a process that includes an aerial survey of the field using drones equipped with high-end camera systems that capture HD images. The technology helps various sectors in making data-driven decisions.
You can collect accurate data more efficiently without allocating human resources at dangerous heights. Drone mapping technology is a cost-effective way to accomplish aerial-related tasks.
The data gathered by drones can be processed using drone mapping software. These applications help fetch useful information from raw data, which the experts can implement to improve the operations in a particular vertical.
Drone Mapping Laptops
The laptop that professionals use for drone mapping and photogrammetry are specialized devices with certain hardware and software specifications. Laptops help in creating 3D models using special tools that help in finding the accurate difference in heights.
You often need to take screenshots while working on drone mapping and photogrammetry-related tasks. If you consider how do i take a screen shot on mac or Windows computers, you can either use a snipping tool or a third-party screen capturing app for easy processing.
It also helps develop digital terrain modes of the fields under water and assists in finding the density by adjusting color difference that helps indicate changes in weather conditions.
Here are some system specifications that will give you an idea of what the drone mapping and photogrammetry laptop should look like.
The laptop must integrate at least an Intel Core i5 processor with a clock speed of 2.4GHz. As far as the graphics are concerned, Intel HD 4000 graphics chip or a compatible dedicated graphics card is an ideal option.
Pick at least 15 inches high definition screen so that you can check even the most peculiar details quite easily. The computer must have 4 gigabytes of RAM and 512 gigabytes of hard drive with at least 10GB of free storage space.
Apart from all the above specifications, the battery life is a significant aspect if you are planning to buy a laptop for handling drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks. Make sure that the battery lasts for an all-day round.
For complex projects where you need to process as many as 2500 images in high-definition, a higher amount of RAM is recommended. In that case, a system with Intel i7 Quad-core processor or Intel i9 latest generation with 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, 15 inches screen with 1920 X 1080 pixels screen resolution, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or higher graphics cards is minimum required.
However, there’s a recommended system specification that will allow you to handle even the most complicated projects quite seamlessly.
- 9th generation Intel Core i7
- 16 gigabytes RAM
- 512 GB SSD storage
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
- 16-inches screen with 1920 X 1080 px resolution
Some of the best laptops for drone mapping and photogrammetry are:
- ASUS ROG Strix Scar G532LWS
- ASUS ROG Scar III
- Razor Blade 15 Base
- Microsoft Surface Book 2
- Apple MacBook Pro
A laptop is only useful for drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks only if it is equipped with the right software that can process images to retrieve useful information. Let’s learn about potential software options.
Paid & Free Software for Drone Mapping
Drone mapping software is used to create digital elevation, 2-dimensional, and 3-dimensional models. The concerned authorities can fetch valuable information from data such as accurate volumetric calculations and more detailed measurements.
When it comes to major drone mapping outputs, LiDAR and photogrammetry top the list. Photogrammetry is the technique of capturing high-definition images with the aim of recreating the survey area.
The images are then collectively processed using drone mapping software for creating real-life, measurable 3-dimensional models and 2-dimensional maps.
Paid software that helps you pull valuable insight from data includes:
- DJI Terra is considered an end-to-end application for handling complex operations.
- Esri Site Scan for ArcGIS is a comprehensive data acquisition app with cloud processing capabilities.
- DroneDeploy comes with user-friendly features and an easy-to-use interface.
- Pix4D offers custom features that bridge the gap between photogrammetry and CAD rendering.
Apart from that, several free software options for drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks are PrecisionMapper, WebODM: OpenDroneMap, and Pix4Dcapture.
Because of the value that the drone mapping technique delivers, it is widely proposed in various industry domains such as real estate, farming and agriculture, mining, construction, roof mining, land surveying, and other areas.