You heard something about mapping with UAV / Drone, but you don’t know how and where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place because in this article we have discussed the topic “Mapping with UAV at a Basic Level” for our colleagues.
1. Select your UAV
The first thing you need to do is choose the appropriate UAV for the job. The UAVs have a wide range of products available on the market but if you make a good choice, you can use them for both long-term entertainment and professional applications.
Note: Do not forget to register your UAV and obtain your UAV license after you have received your UAV.
2. Identify your UAV Mapping Ecosystem
Once you have set up your device, all you have to do is choose a mapping solution that includes a smartphone application and a web platform. The application will help you plan your flight properly and take control of the UAV to complete the measurement automatically. After the flight, you will need to transfer the data from the UAV to a computer. To do this, you need to remove the micro SD card from your aircraft, connect it to a computer, and install a web-based tool that allows you to process and analyze the collected data.
If you take images of the same object from at least two perspectives in an UAV measurement, you get a stereoscopic 3D image. Therefore, UAV images should overlap considerably. Popular platforms for UAV mapping, Pics4D, Drone Deploy and Data Mapper give you both the application and web-based tools.
3. Plan Your Flight
When flying a plane, your priority should be security. For your first mapping project, choose an area without trees and tall buildings and don’t fly over people. The area of the project should not be too large or too small. An area of 100x100m is good for starting up. You need to draw a flight plan to surround the area or structure you want to map.
You can do this using satellite imagery, but keep in mind that pictures may be outdated in some places.
Don’t be in a hurry when you’re planning, as a minor mistake can cause your UAV to crush and damage, so you need to make sure that the scope selected in practice is exactly compatible with the area you want to match in the real world.
One of the most important parameters is the height of your flight. The lower the altitude, the more the UAV will need to take more pictures to investigate the selected region, the longer the time it takes to complete the measurement, and the more time and resources will be required to process the data. Height also affects a pixel size. The reasonable approach is to relate the height with the size and height of the project area and the expected accuracy. For an area less than 100x100m, a 10-meter-high flight takes about 10 minutes and produces 150 images. Selecting a 30-meter height reduces flight time to 2 minutes and reduces the number of images to 50. Knowing that battery life will be just over 20 minutes, you can guess what kind of area you can map with a single charge.
4. Take off!
Now it’s time to take off. Your UAV will automatically lift and complete the measurement based on the selected scope. When the measurement is complete or when your device runs out of power, the application will bring the UAV back to its starting point or return to its current location. if tall buildings are available, it is recommended that you capture additional photographs of these places from different angles. This will make the 3D model look better.
5. Enjoy and Share Your Project
If you still have the opportunity to review the images before leaving the field, please do so. Especially, initially, it will save you a lot of time. You can use the time you earn to remove irrelevant images before processing images. Photographs that take the sky or strange angles can adversely affect the orthomotic and 3D model. The last thing to do after the process is to enjoy your first mapping project! The level of detail is impressive. You can switch to 3D view and play from the 3D point of the measured area.
With UAV Mapping, you can produce vivid and impressive models like this!