Which services can I provide with Drones in AEC industry


I am opening a reality’s capture firm (in Canada) that will ideally have a plethora drone services.

I want to do the following services:

  1. Construction progress
  2. Scan to BIM (with drones)
  3. Construction marketing
  4. Topographic maps
  5. Ariel photograph
  6. Mapping
  7. Inspections for (all engineers)
  8. Cut and Fill

I am not an engineer of any kind or land surveyor. Will I be able to offer these services?

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That’s a pretty good list for being a newbie. The services will depend greatly upon the client but what you have written is pretty typical. The deeper you get into the need for accuracy vertically the deeper your studies are going to get. I would suggest looking for posts in here and other GNSS (GPS) communities in general Surveying practices and ellipsoid vs geoid vs orthometric datums. Without any of this you are going to be limited on the mapping side.

Can I provide those services without a license? (at least in your state/province).

My main thing I don’t want to intrude into legal territory of a surveyor.

Though I do have potential plans with partnering with a licensed land surveyor for allowing of these services.

No, I am in the States and it is Federally regulated.

You shouldn’t have any problems as long as you don’t disturb any of their monumentation or provide data and exhibits that don’t have a disclaimer stating exactly what you are not doing.

Don’t put anything in print or PDF that provides coordinates or measurements. This should all be down by the drone provider or the client digitally and at their own risk. None of this really matters if both parties have a mutual understanding of the expectations. At the end of they day like you mentioned it is also very location based.

Here’s a key in my opinion. You have a great plan to get into some pretty good work. Instead of you and the Surveyors avoiding each other you need to work together. Throw out a pro-bono flight and show them what you can do. We have two clients that are high volume home builders that like us to asbuilt other contractor’s work and help them management all of their mass grading spoils. It’s nice because the home builder has their own Surveyor so we just come off their control.