Time to Take Flight - Drone Software | Drones - Accuracy and Opportunity for Surveyors

    Our Consulting & Services Manager, Shawn Herring, wrote a great article on surveying industry insights on drones. Here's a portion of the article:

Drones, drones, drones!  Over the past few years this may be the biggest industry trend for land surveyors and civil engineers, and probably just as important of a shift as GPS data collectors.

I started a surveying firm in 2010 with a focus on ALTA surveys, general boundary and topo projects, mass volume calculations, as well as construction staking.  We then got into a little LiDar scanning and really jumped into aerial data capture about 5 years ago and have never looked back!

I love data capture, whether from the ground or from the air, and trying to keep up with the daily technology trends and advances can sometimes be overwhelming.  I thought I’d put together this article on some of the lessons we’ve learned over the past few years when it comes to utilizing a drone in our survey department.

Time to Take Flight

            There is a lot of software out there for flight planning/mapping.  We will discuss the processing software in an upcoming section, and many of these same listed companies have both the flight mapping capabilities as well as the final processing capabilities.

 I personally use SiteScan from ESRI (formerly 3DRobotics) for my site mapping AND processing, and have been looking more into Drone Deploy and Propellor.  Below is a bit more info on each of those. Links to their website can be found in the software section of this article.


·         SiteScan from ESRI - Increase efficiency by creating and sharing advanced 3D flight plans between your pilots. Overlay 2D and 3D data from ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise for enhanced flight safety and data capture quality. Manage your data in the field and upload it to the cloud.

·         DroneDeploy - Capture maps, photos, panoramas, and videos all from one app.

·         Propellor - Map and measure your worksite yourself with browser-based 3D surveys.

·         DJI Ground Station (GS) Pro - Conduct automated flight missions, manage flight data on the cloud, and collaborate across projects to efficiently run your drone program.

If you'd like to learn more insights on drones in the land surveying industry, click here.