LiDAR Articles

What Are the Differences Between Traditional or Drone Surveying

Watch This 3-Minute Case Study Video to Compare Surveying Methods

In this 3-minute Case Study video, The Microdrones Team heads into the woods to compare traditional versus drone surveying on a 15 acre design survey for a development project with Allen Geomatics, a land surveying and consulting firm located in Advance, NC.

When it comes to surveying…. Do you need boots on the ground or drones in the air?

This was the question posed to Allen Geomatics, as they compared the differences between traditional and Drone LiDAR surveying methods. And when it comes to getting the job done… efficiency, costs and safety are key concerns.  That’s why they invited the Microdrones team to one of their surveys.

Click the Image above to watch this 3-Minute Case Study Video

Allen Geomatics, a land surveying and consulting firm in Advance, North Carolina, needed to survey and map a 15-acre site featuring a creek bed and a long, steep ridge near a graded road. The site will soon be home to a new apartment complex. It’s a challenging site for conventional topo – with heavy vegetation, steep slopes and river banks – which the 3 man crew from Allen Geomatics must contend with as they head into the woods to collect their ground shots and survey the site.

However, Jeff Allen, president of Allen Geomatics, is interested in learning more about drone surveying, and the Microdrones team thought this would be an ideal project to introduce the company to its drone LiDAR capabilities. The site won’t pose a ton of challenges to the drone, but the landscape’s size and vegetation are a lot to cover for a manned crew.

So- time on the ground or time in the air? The beauty of the drone technology is that it can fly the whole site in a day, while Allen’s crew will need at least five days to complete their survey work. It’s not just time either: In this business, you can rush all you want but the data needs to be accurate. The Microdrones system provides about 150 to 300 data points per square meter. The on-site team? They’ll get a single point every 25 to 50 feet depending on the environment they’re in. However, when it comes to surveying it’s not always about which method is better. It’s about getting the job done.

Drone Surveying Equipment can quickly cover more ground than conventional methods

And to see how this job is getting done, the Microdrone’s team heads into the woods with the on-site crew, walking through the brush, checking the ground shots, and meeting the crew. Then they head to the office to unpack data from both surveys.

Processing the traditional data collected by his team, Jeff plots the points, fills in any gaps, and has more than enough information to create his final deliverable- it just took more time in the field. And time is money.  

That’s where the drone LiDAR shines- all the data was collected in a 23 minute flight- and there’s a ton of it to process. The LiDAR collects millions of points, creating a highly detailed and accurate point cloud able to create valuable end-deliverables.

Jeff is impressed. Allen Geomatics is a small company, but he can see the benefit in adding a Microdrone UAV to the toolbox. He’ll still have guys on the ground – nothing can replace that intuition and knowledge – but drone Lidar is invaluable and adds another layer of certainty and accuracy.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the benefits of using drone surveying equipment with your surveying team, contact one of our helpful representatives today.

For more information with one of our software experts.