With the growing adoption of UAVs or drone technology and its increasing affordability, many industries have started leveraging high-quality aerial maps to deliver value to their clients. Drone imagery provides more accurate and detailed information than satellite images. It is faster than surveying the landscape directly and lowers the risks of collecting data under challenging conditions.
While more land surveyors are starting to grasp the benefits of this type of data collection, they are facing a need to understand photogrammetry.
Fortunately, it is unnecessary to immerse yourself in this science, as there are ready-made solutions available. Let’s take a closer look at them in this article.
Three Ways of Processing Drone Data
Surveyors have learned that employing drones allows them to accomplish more with fewer resources. But some problems remain with drone images, as their processing requires time and expertise.
Currently, there are three options for drone data processing: cloud-based automated processing, self-processing, and expert remote data processing.
1. Cloud-Based Automated Processing
Cloud-based processing is the most straightforward and most affordable option. The pre-uploaded photos are automatically processed on a server, after which you get a standard output: 3D point clouds, digital terrain models (DTMs), etc.
Enterprises like Propeller, DroneDeploy, and dozens of others on the market popularize this processing method and help companies deliver these kinds of ready-made solutions.
Automated processing is worth considering if the low cost per project, speed, and simplicity are critical to you. But here come the limitations.
The fully automated nature won’t help reach the desired level of customization and accuracy, which is crucial for many industries. There is a chance that your specific needs won’t be met with automated processing alone.
If your project requires high reliability and accuracy, then cloud-based processing might not be the best option for you. It makes sense to consider others. Let’s touch upon them below.
2. Local or Self-Processing
In some cases, companies cannot share the information they collect. There are several reasons for this: either the drone data is confidential and cannot be disclosed to third parties, or it is physically impossible to share from remote locations without Internet access.
There is nothing to do but use local or drone data self-processing. It requires specialized hardware with licensed desktop photogrammetry applications installed. Some famous drone mapping software examples are Pix4D, SimActive, Agisoft PhotoScan, and others.
This method of processing is the most complicated. The only advantage is total control of the entire process. Providing your data processing team consists of true experts, another benefit is accurate results. But there are far more drawbacks. First, it is not always cost-efficient. Expensive equipment and software, as well as the high cost of an experienced in-house GIS specialist, will result in a considerable spike in your project’s budget.
What if your project does not assume trade-offs between quality and cost-efficiency? Then there is a third option — expert processing for drone surveying.
3. Expert Remote Drone Data Processing
This option resembles cloud-based processing; the difference is that your data is processed not by a machine but by a team of experts. Given that, it has the lowest chance of mistakes and a guarantee of reliable and quality outputs. The possibility of human error is always there. However, expert processing is much more reliable than cloud-based processing and far more cost-efficient than self-processing.
Expert remote processing may become your best match if you are looking for the highest accuracy and flexibility, critical to many geospatial sector sub-industries, including construction monitoring, agriculture, land surveying, urban planning, mining, etc. It is often sufficient to choose automated processing in areas like safety monitoring or roof surveying.
High Accuracy and Time Efficiency Reached with Intetics’ Drone Data Remote Processing Solution
Processing takes three times longer than the survey itself. Then why not keep the focus on surveying and transfer the data processing to a third party so that your clients could get more than just drone videos or images?
Let’s turn to some figures. You can cut 30% of your costs by outsourcing drone data processing. With Intetics, you can also save 75% of your time, allocating it effectively to strategic focus areas like sales, marketing, and data collection.
How do we help with the remote processing of your geodata?
You get a scalable team that is responsible for image processing. And here are the examples of processing and analysis outputs:
- Digital Surface Models (DSM) and Digital Terrain Models (DTM) Extraction
- LiDAR data processing and analysis
- Vectorization and development of topographical plans
Whether you lack time for self-processing or want to keep your focus on UAV surveying, Intetics can help with data processing and analysis. Participate in more significant projects while providing the same quality service to your customers along with our GIS specialists in action.
Stay focused on surveying while we take care of everything behind the image. Try a demo project today. And feel free to address any questions regarding your project.
How Do Drones Collect Data?
During a survey, drones collect aerial data with downward-facing sensors like multispectral cameras, RGB, or LiDAR sensors. The ground is shot numerous times from various angles with one of the cameras as mentioned above options, and each image is labeled with coordinates.
What Is Drone Image Processing?
Drone image processing involves extracting valuable geospatial data generation using multiple methods like Orthophoto, Aerial Triangulation, DSM, DTM, 3D Mesh Model and Contour, etc., backed up by various software and hardware tools.
What Type of Data Can Be Collected from Drones?
Remote sensing used in UAVs gathers vast amounts of detailed, close-up photos and video data, even in hard-to-reach and dangerous locations. Drone data collection is slightly more cost-efficient and accurate than satellite- or airplane-acquired imagery.
What Is Drone Mapping Software?
Drone mapping software also referred to as photogrammetry software, are desktop or cloud-based applications served to help beginners and advanced users to analyze drone imagery. Some of the presented in the market are Drone Deploy, SimActive, Pic4D, Maps Made Easy, Propeller, etc.
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