Did you know that the drone market in the U.S. is expected to show an annual growth rate of more than 12% over the next three years? One of the biggest drivers of this exponential growth is drone 3D mapping.
A growing number of industries are taking advantage of this exciting technology. With such a wide variety of applications for drone 3D mapping, it’s no surprise how fast this sector is growing!
By combining drone aerial imaging with specialized digital mapping software, it’s possible to create high-resolution, geo-referenced 3D maps. Drone surveys are the fastest, most cost-effective way to produce an accurate 3D map. This data is a vital tool in managing a range of projects.
Are you interested in how drone 3D mapping can assist your business? This article will explore some of the benefits and applications of this amazing technology.
What Is Drone 3D Mapping?
The latest drones carry a range of sophisticated camera and sensor equipment. These include RGB cameras, thermal cameras, and multispectral sensors. Each one of these is used in conjunction with software programs to produce different types of maps.
RGB cameras take images in the spectrum of light visible to the human eye. These full-color images are used to create a 3D model. This process is known as photogrammetry. It involves taking thousands of photographs of a specific feature, like a building, from different angles.
Each photograph has a geotag with its GPS coordinates and overlaps the other images by at least 80%. These images are then processed by the software to produce photorealistic 3D models. These models are highly accurate, both in terms of spatial positioning and physical dimensions.
Drones are also used to create orthomosaic 3D land maps. The biggest advantage of these maps is that they’re not distorted like standard 2D maps. They use photogrammetry to show 3D topography and can include multispectral data.
Once the drone has taken the images, the software adjusts them to correct for the camera tilt and topography of the ground. This means that you can precisely measure volumes and true distances with a 3D orthomosaic map.
Digital terrain models (DTM) are another type of drone 3D mapping. These are images of the earth’s surface without any man-made structures or vegetation. They are then used to model water flow and flood drainage in land-use studies.
Applications for Drone 3D Mapping
A range of industries regularly uses 3D maps for a variety of applications. Some of these include construction, real estate, land surveying, mining, and waste management. 3D maps are a powerful tool to measure dimensions and quantify volumes of material accurately.
Let’s look at how each of these industries uses drone 3D mapping to be more efficient and productive.
Drone Mapping in Construction
Every construction project needs an accurate survey of its site. With a drone, it’s easy to survey even the biggest sites in just a few hours. Once you have a 3D model it’s possible to compare this real-world model with a building software CAD model.
This makes it simple to monitor the progress of the build and ensure that they’re no deviations from the plans. 3D models are also the best way to share information with the client or subcontractors.
Creating 3D Models for Real Estate
Having an interactive 3D model is the best way to promote and sell a house or property. By using drones, you can create high-resolution and cost-effective models in a short time.
These 3D models can include valuable information like the boundary lines of the property and the topography of the area. They can also show where any potential flood lines are.
Land Surveying with Drones
Before drones land, surveyors often faced serious challenges in mountains or hazardous terrain. Surveying these areas could be dangerous and take weeks to complete.
With drone technology, it’s now simple to create professional topographic maps with contour lines. No matter how steep or inaccessible the terrain is, drones can quickly and safely survey these difficult areas.
3D Drone Maps in Mining and Quarries
Opencast mines and quarries are dangerous places to survey on foot. Unstable stockpiles of aggregate and heavy machinery are some of the hazards that surveyors face in these environments. This meant that producing 3D maps was expensive and took a lot of time.
Drones can collect this data in a few hours with no downtime of the operation required. They make it easy to calculate the volume of large stockpiles and provide accurate details of the site conditions. Digital terrain models make it simple to identify even the slightest variations in surface terrain.
Benefits of Drone 3D Mapping
They are many advantages of using drones to create 3D maps. The biggest of these is the high level of accuracy and reliability. Depending on the equipment used, this can be as little as 1-2” horizontally and 2-3” vertically.
Drones take thousands of data points to create a 3D map. Drone data points also contain a lot more information than just elevation. When you compare this to the small number that a surveyor takes, it becomes obvious why drone 3D mapping is the most accurate method available.
Another major advantage of drone mapping is the cost involved. Drones are far more cost-effective than a traditional survey.
Not only do they require less manpower, but they also take far less time to complete. Both these factors can save you a considerable amount of money.
Drone operations are much safer than physically conducting a survey. There is no need for anyone to walk around the site and negotiate dangerous terrain. This means that operations don’t need to be put on hold while a team of surveyors walks around.
Are You Looking for Drone 3D Mapping Services?
Without a doubt, drones are the best way to create a variety of 3D models and maps. These versatile maps are a cost-effective way to manage your project and showcase your work.
If you’re looking for drone 3D mapping services in Santa Barbara, CA, then Amped Aerial has you covered. We have the experience and equipment to assist your business with 3D models and mapping.