I would like to purchase a drone for the company I work for that could autonomously fly to gather topographical data as well as imagery (ideally real-time). I have only really explored the realm of DJI as far as drones go, and they don’t do topography since they’re geared towards photography and videography which is what I’ve used them for until now. Where is a good place to start for me to look into my options?
Hi there kristiank,
What do you mean by topographic data? If you gather aerial imagery with a dji drone (or any drone platform) and upload them to our Map Engine, we will generate elevation model, point cloud and 3D model from the data (as well as an orthomosaic) automatically. Have you tried out Map Engine yet? If you have drone imagery already I’d recommend trying it (it’s free to sign up and test out) so you can see the results for yourself.
I wasn’t aware that it had this functionality. How accurate is the point cloud data if it is gathered just from an image? I ask because I’m unfamiliar with how it would infer the data from images and because our site will be changing grade quite frequently. Since I’m just getting into elevation data I must ask, how do I best view what elevation reading it has at a specific point? I have not yet delved into the programs required to read point cloud data. Does the .las file contain that data and what programs would you recommend for reading the data? From what I saw on the Map Engine, it looked fairly accurate, but I’d like to verify it by spot checking the data with an elevation I already know.
While the DJI Inspire seems accomplish the task quite well (as seen in the Map Engine), is there a drone that you know of that is better for this task? With the size of land I am dealing with (over 4,000 acres), the Inspire will take many more flights than I have battery to accomplish in one day and I’d like to acquire a drone that can cover a larger area per flight.
Kristiank, if you’re going to fly a UAV in the thousands of acres space you should fly a fixed wing craft and not a multi-rotor. I use both for my small imaging business (SkyAerialSolutions.com) and honestly it comes down to to your budget. Different tools with different cost, yet all can achieve your goal especially with DroneDeploy processing the data you gather.
itsdrei, I was thinking along the lines of a fixed wing for this purpose, but I have no prior experience that would tell me which way to lean as far as a brand. Do you have a recommendation of one to start looking at? Is there one that stands out as far as quality goes if the budget is flexible?
Ok, if you want out of the box and ready to fly and are budget conscious you can always go 3D Robotics Aero-M for around $6K as it has good reviews from people who use it.If you’re really flexible and want to go full Drone Deploy then AG Eagle is on sale! Links to both are below.
Awesome, thanks for the recommendations! AG Eagle sounds like a great option with the stitching on-the-fly capabilities. Looks like I caught them at the right time with their sale prices!
Glad I could help! be sure to keep us posted on how everything works out when you start mapping with your Eagle.
I will definitely keep you posted, now I just need approval to make the purchase! (That one might be my biggest hurdle on this project!)