Drone mapping FAQ


What are the applications of drone mapping?

By reducing the cost and the workload in the field, surveying with a drone has become the method of choice for large surveying projects with high precision requirements.

From highly accurate stockpile measurement to regulatory compliance, using drones in mining can deliver significant added value while increasing worker’s safety on site.

WingtraOne helps construction professionals to quickly drone map large or unreachable areas for pre-built evaluation. It also decreases costs and improves the turnaround time for surveying and construction while helping you stay on track with your budget and timeline throughout a project.

Use of drones in agriculture helps farmers and researchers perform advanced scouting in less time–explore drone map examples and how they guide crop management.

Conservationists and researchers use commercial drones to easily and quickly track wildlife or monitor land changes without the need for low-resolution satellite images or costly manned aircraft.

What is the difference between Lidar drones and photogrammetry drones?

With some aerial mapping drones now being able to carry LIDAR sensors, how do you make the right decision between a LIDAR drone and a high-resolution photogrammetry drone like the WingtraOne? So much depends on the application. Learn how these systems work, their strengths and which one is right for you.

Drone lidar vs. photogrammetry.

What are the best software for drone imagery processing?

WingtraPilot data outcomes are compatible with major image processing (photogrammetry) software. If you aren’t using one already, the best photogrammetry software for you depends largely on your application. We recommend 3DR Sitescan, DroneDeploy or Delair.

What are the best drones for mapping?

In these in-depth reviews, we compare image quality, coverage results, usability and detailed specifications of the WingtraOne compared to three of the most popular mapping drones in the market.

DJI Phantom 4 RTK vs. WingtraOne

eBee X vs. WingtraOne

Quantix vs. WingtraOne

What is drone mapping?

Drone mapping, or drone land surveying, refers to the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) equipped with a downward facing camera to capture aerial imagery. Photogrammetry software then turns these images into maps, orthomosaics, 3D models, contour lines, point clouds and other virtual representations of the physical world. Drones have become excellent at providing fast, easily repeatable and cost-effective survey maps and insightful data across a variety of industries.

Why drone mapping?

Drone mapping provides an up-to-date and accurate map or 3D model of an area, with complete measurements such as distances and volumes. This enhances decision-making in a number of industries. Also, as drones can fly lower, they can provide maps with higher resolution, lower GSD and better accuracy than manned aircraft or satellites. They are also capable of collecting hundreds or thousands of data points in less time than an operator could do with a terrestrial surveying instrument.

What is drone mapping used for?

Drone mapping is used across many different industries and applications. Some applications include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Land surveying / cartography: Drone mapping is used to generate high-resolution orthomosaics and 3D models of areas where low-quality, outdated or even no data is available
  • Cadastral surveying: A drone can map an entire area in a few minutes or hours of time, completing cadastral surveys much faster than what was possible on foot with terrestrial equipment, especially in complex or hard to reach environments
  • Measure stockpile volumes: By flying a drone over stockpiles and processing the images in a photogrammetry software, it is possible to easily extract volumetric measurement of aggregate or wood reserves and to track volume changes over time
  • Animal population counting: Using the aerial images from a drone and an algorithm, it is possible to count and monitor animal populations on a large scale
  • Assess the impact of an oil spill: Drones can map major oil spills and help field teams to assess and analyze the impact on the environment and to manage efforts for clean-up
  • Crop scouting in agriculture: Mapping using drones and multispectral cameras, allows farmers and researchers to detect disease and plant stress from the air, sometimes even before it is visible from the ground

How does drone mapping work?

  • Flight preparation: Check the local regulations and make sure that you are allowed to fly at a planned location and altitude. Also, make sure that the weather is suitable, meaning no rain, fog, snowfall or strong winds. Check that the battery of your drone and connected devices, such as tablet and remote control/drone base station, are fully charged. Check that the SD card of the camera has sufficient empty space to capture the entire project.
  • Data acquisition (flying): Autonomous mapping drones like the WingtraOne take-off, follow the flight plan to take images and land without any human interactions. During the flight, operators must pay attention, making sure that the environmental conditions remain optimal for the duration of the mission (no birds, no emerging aircrafts, no rain or snow onset).
  • Data geo-tagging: Back to the office, operators can geo-tag the data either directly on the tabled or on a desktop app. Each image will be assigned a geographical position according to three axes.
  • Image processing and analysis: Using any photogrammetry software, operators can create orthomosaic maps, 3D models, contour lines or point clouds . It’s also possible to extract precise measurements, such as distance and volume.

How accurate is drone mapping?

The accuracy of drone mapping depends highly on the type and quality of the drone and its components; the resolution of the camera; the vegetation; the altitude at which the drone is flying, and the technology used to geo-tag the aerial images. In optimal conditions, a WingtraOne drone can achieve 0.7 cm/px (0.3 in/px) GSD and down to 1 cm (0.4 in) absolute accuracy. Read about conditions required to achieve 1 cm (0.4 in) accuracy in drone surveying.

What is a drone mapping software?

The term drone mapping software can mean two different things. In one case, it refers to the software that pairs with a drone to plan and manage a flight and capture aerial images. Some software is tightly integrated with the hardware and will thus only work with a specific drone. WingtraPilot is an example of this. This highly-integrated flight planning app was specifically designed for, and is specifically updated to enhance, the performance of the WingtraOne mapping drone. Other software like Px4 are open source and are compatible with different platforms. In general, the tighter the fit—between software and hardware—the more intuitive the user experience.

In the second case, drone mapping software refers to photogrammetry software. This is a software, used to stitch images produced from drone aerial surveys to create orthomosaics and 3D models. Precise measurements such as volumes and distances can then be extracted. More advanced photogrammetry software like Delair.ai and DroneDeploy can turn the same images into ready-to-use insights and help decision-making in numerous industries.

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