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A Drone Topographic Survey

Updated: Jan 31

Can you turn drone survey data into topographic drawings?


SUMO Services Ltd Aerial Team can do many things with the data captured during our drone (UAS) surveys.

Using a drone to capture lots of photographs over a site, we can then process them using photogrammetry software to produce Geospatial data, 3D models and many other formats for use in GIS and CAD workflows. All our surveys are georeferenced to the OS grid, via GPS and ground control points to achieve the best possible XYZ accuracy.


Digital Elevation Model

Above: Digital Elevation Model, GIS Processed Showing Natural Topography.


DEMs (Digital Elevation Models) can then be manipulated and analysed in GIS so that we can write interpretive reports, discussing the microtopography of a site and the potential for archaeological and other features. If Archaeology is suspected, SUMO can use its specialist team to scrutinise the specific area using Geophysical techniques to provide a full report of its findings.


As the data is captured optically, SUMO can also produce orthomosaic mapping which can give an insight into the vegetation and how this is being affected by features beneath the ground. We can take this a step further by using multispectral sensors, to visualise the amount of chlorophyll in plants by the reflectance of bands of light not visible to the naked eye.


Digital Elevation Model Showing the Differing Terrain Heights

Above: Digital Elevation Model Showing the Differing Terrain Heights.


GIS Interpretation Diagram

Above: GIS Interpretation Diagram showing detail captured by SUMO Services Unmanned Aerial Systems.


As well as producing Geospatial outputs that can be used in many ways and for many purposes, we also generate pointclouds, with a ground sampling distance as low as 2cm - 5cm over large survey areas (100ha).


The pointclouds are the same as Lidar and can be used in similar ways, but at much higher resolution and of course are bespoke to the area of interest and at a point in time relevant to the project. The pointcloud can also be exported for use in CAD and this is where our Topographic surveyors can produce traditional 2D drawings with contours and spot heights, providing a rapid understanding of a site in early planning and feasibility stages of a project. As things progress and if more detail is needed, then the initial data can be added to with surveyors on the ground to record precise positions of features not visible from the air.


So we can do so much with the data captured from one drone survey, over sites large and small, to find out more do get in touch with Adam Stanford our Director of Geomatics and UAS Operations.


Please pick up the phone and speak to Adam Stanford on: 01684 592266

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