There are quite a few applications out there that drones can cater to. And we are excited about almost every one of them. We are starting off with one of those applications this aerial platform can bring immense benefits to – Surveying. Depending on how you define it, Surveying has a role to play in different domains – Real Estate, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Mining and many more. After months of learning and field testing, we have launched the following map related products:
- Contour Map
- Elevation Map
- Digital Terrain Map
- 3D Model
- Vegetation Map
- Geometric Measurement
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Only one of the above products is possible by conventional land surveying techniques. Here’s a feature comparison between the Conventional and Aerial Surveying techniques:
Check out the following for a deeper understanding into what each of these products means and how they can help you in understanding your land better.
This is the standard map that is provided after any land surveying activity. It provides a data based map that shows at what elevations the different sections of the land are. These elevation points can be represented either with ‘Absolute’ or ‘Relative’ data although Relative data is the one that makes more sense to someone who wants to understand the variations in terrain. A Contour Map contains lines called ‘Contour Lines’ inter-spaced at certain interval across the complete terrain. The contour line spacing and resolution depends on the data collected on site. Conventional land surveying techniques yield very few data points compared to an aerial platform. In conventional methodology, the amount of time you spend on site is directly proportional to the amount of data you can collect and the resolution of the data collected. This, however, is not the case with aerial platforms which work with Photogrammetry softwares to generate high resolution output using various techniques.
Here’s a contour map from one of our creations. The contour line spacing is 0.10 m and we can go even lower if necessary. And guess what? It took us 5 minutes to collect the data on site. And there was much more data when we processed the images taken using the drone. So, we had to clean up quite a bit to get to this resolution that is normally required. And yes, we provide .dfx files to our customers so that they can play around with the map.
Orthomosaic (also called Orthophoto) is an Ortho-rectified image that has a uniform scale across the image and can be used to measure real distances. In simpler terms, it gives a bird’s eye view of a large piece of land for someone who wants to understand the features of a site in detail. Depending on the tools you use, Orthomosaics are usually pretty high resolution images that you can zoom into and see every aspect of the terrain.
Here’s an orthomosaic from one of our creations. Click on the image to see the resolution of the image. This orthomosaic has been stitched together using 229 photos that we had taken on site at a height of 60 feet above ground. Doesn’t it look better than the google maps resolution for India? We sure think it does. And it does so by an order of magnitude in clarity.
This one might sound more like the Contour Map above but it’s actually a visual colour band based representation of site elevation. It uses colours to represent the shift in elevation across the terrain. In the example image below, a colour legend tells you the elevation shifting from Dark Red being on the higher side to Dark Blue being on the lower side. Can you make out those small light blue and light red circles which are out of place in a different colour zone? That means that they are ditches and rocks. Notice the small Dark Red area near the centre of the map. That’s our vehicle (which is 1.5m high) and hence it’s at a relatively higher elevation compared to the surroundings.
This kind of an Elevation Map let’s you visually understand the features of a site in greater detail compared to the Orthomosaic or the Contour Map. Let the image below do the remainder of the explaining.
Digital Terrain Map
This is the third and last elevation data that we can provide which again is visual but this time it gives you a texture feeling. Looking at the image will give you a feeling of actually touching the terrain. Imagine a cement mix layer which hasn’t yet been smoothened, plastered or painted to give the final look. You know how the surface of such a layer feels right? The small depressions or bumps that define the unevenness of the surface? Can you imagine it? That’s what this map provides.
While there are different kinds of Digital Terrain Maps often mixed with Digital Elevation Models and Digital Surface models which show data in a different way, the output we give is as below. Here’s a 2D Digital Terrain Map from one of our creations.
You might have heard about all the buzz about 3D printing and 3D modelling of objects like a small box, automobile parts and even guns which have been 3D printed. Well, we can create digital 3D models of much larger man-made and natural creations like buildings, mountains, mines or even hundreds of acres of land. Ofcourse, we can’t 3D print any of these. 3D Models of terrains give you never before seen views of a site from literally any perspective. One can say that you can shoot a video of the entire site to see it in it’s entirety but can you see a specific point from any direction or perspective? No. Can you zoom in? No. With 3D models you can do all of that.
Since, uploading a 3D model onto this page is difficult, we are putting up a 2D snapshot of the 3D Model. Having said that, check out this link to see a 3D model of the same sample site.
This is not an agriculture specific service though we are also building services on that front using the same aerial platform we have now. This vegetation map is more of a peek into the vegetation coverage in a land parcel. For small lands, a visual inspection may suffice, but for large areas (imagine more than 50 acres) visual inspection cannot yield much. Using Vegetation Maps, we can not only show visually which part of the land is covered with vegetation but we can also compute how much area is covered with vegetation. Not only that, we can also show which part has dense vegetation and which part has light vegetation. For the time being, we can provide insights for only green vegetation. We hope to upgrade to other forms of vegetation as well once our Agriculture domain related services are up.
Here’s a vegetation map of the 5 acre site we have depicted so far. Go ahead and compare it with the Orthomosaic above and you will see what we are talking about.
Imagine a large amount of area that is at a relatively higher elevation compared to the surrounding portion in your land. Now, let’s say you wish to estimate the amount of time required to clear this area. This requires that you know what quantity (measured in volume) of material needs to be removed. This can be done in a jiffy using the data we collect on site. This doesn’t refer to only regular shaped areas that have a fair chance of measuring using manual land surveying team. We can estimate the volume of any kind of areas that can be seen by the naked eye or a camera. On similar lines, distances and areas of specific portions of the land can also be measured as per requirement.
We shall keep adding more products as and when we complete the field testing. Keep checking this page for more.
Interested in any of our above products? Call us on +91-9573666587 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org