Drone 3D mapping is highly efficient when it comes to delivering accurate mapping results. And this commendable efficiency that makes it a great asset for several sectors including agriculture, mining, construction, real estate, and infrastructure inspection.
Having an accurate photograph or 3D model of your projects complete with in-depth data plays a vital role in making an informed decision. Not just that, drone mapping is also comparatively cost-effective and less tedious. If you have set your sight on it, here is the quick drone 3D mapping guide to getting started on the right note!
What is Drone 3D Mapping?
Drone mapping takes advantage of an innovative technique called photogrammetry to acquire essential data or gather measurements. For those unfamiliar, photogrammetry is the technique that enables you to take measurements from photographs.
Thanks to the drone’s rapid speed of data acquisition and advanced software, you can now create survey-grade (ASPRS Standard) data a lot faster and with better proficiency.
Depending on your needs, you can show the derived data as an orthomosaic, topographical map, a point cloud, a digital terrain model, or even a digital surface model. Moreover, the data can also be visualized through a 3D textured mesh.
How much does drone mapping cost?
Gone were the times when drone mapping was considered quite an expensive proposition. Thanks to the introduction of cost-effective yet exceptionally advanced drones like Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced Plus (starting price $1350), drone mapping will no longer burn a hole in your pocket.
So, whether you are a farmer, a land surveyor, or a real-estate businessman, you can make the most of a drone to carry out the essential tasks faster. And that too without having to break the bank or sweat!
Which drone mapping app should you choose?
Unlike before, the market is flooded with a ton of drone mapping apps that allow you to transmit and process the data in the cloud. As to which one should you choose entirely comes down to your requirements and budget.
Based on functionality, there are three types of drone mapping apps in the market: Acquisition Software, Processing Software, and All-in-One Drone Mapping Software.
Acquisition Software: It is handy for planning missions to garner aerial imagery. Pix4D Capture and Maps Made Easy are some of the notable examples of acquisition software.
Processing Software: It enables you to create maps, orthomosaics, point clouds, as well as other deliverables from imagery with the help of photogrammetric calculations. PhotoscanAgisoft, Inpho, Pix4D Mapper are some of the well-known examples of processing software.
- A point cloud is basically a compilation of points or coordinates on an object’s surface. You can use the compilation of points to create a 3D model of an area.
All-in-One drone Mapping Software: As the name itself suggests, it’s a powerful and high-end software that’s designed to take care of all the tasks related to drone mapping. Be it the ability to transmit the data to a cloud server or the skill to automatically process the data in the cloud to create the desired output, it’s got you fully covered.
DroneDeploy has long been a top-notch drone mapping software. What sets it apart from many other rivals is the ability to excel in several fronts including the ability to make digital terrain models, orthomosaics, garner NDVI data, and even generate 3D models. It’s aimed at three industries like farming, surveying, and construction.
Pix4D is a robust suite of photogrammetric software. It consists of several different versions like Pix4DMapper for mapping, Pix4Dbim for construction, Pix4Dag for agriculture, and Pix4Dmodel for 3D modeling.
Furthermore, Pix4D also offers a handy mobile app (PIX4DCapture) to let you automate the mapping process with both DJI drones and Parrot drones.