Infrastructure Group Benefits from Drone Technology in Smart Motorways Project

The international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty is reaping the rewards of using drones on major construction projects, including work on a multi-million-pound 'Smart Motorway' upgrade in the Midlands region of the UK with support from UAV specialist Heliguy. The group is utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or 'drones'), including the recently released DJI Phantom 4 RTK, to enhance safety, increase efficiency, gather data faster, improve asset productivity and gain high-accuracy results. The UAVs are being used for quicker stockpile measurements, informative aerial progress reports and accessing hard-to-reach areas. Balfour Beatty has turned to drone expert Heliguy as its preferred supplier,... (read more)
2019-04-09 10:39:43

How Can Establishing a UAV Fleet Help Your Business Take off?

Best Practices in Drone Mapping
Read this interview with five pioneers in the field for insights into the best ways to introduce drones into your business model. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or 'drones') are increasingly becoming the solution of choice and have indeed proven to be a disruptive force across a multitude of industries in the past decade, including for the geospatial surveying profession. But will drones really provide all the answers to your mapping challenges? We interviewed five pioneers in the field to take us beyond the hype, explaining the lessons they have learned from the frontline and sharing their insights on the best... (read more)
2019-09-05 09:59:05

Monitoring Coastal Erosion with UAV Lidar

Comprehensive Surveying of Coastal Topography
The French Mediterranean coast is a complex natural environment where geology, climate and the sea interact and continuously reshape the landscape. Erosion and the availability of drinking water are two major coastal management issues that necessitate precise monitoring of the morphological changes to the shoreline. UAV Lidar is being used in this region to produce comprehensive topographic surveys with unprecedented productivity and level of detail. Several Lidar surveys are planned over the next two years. Read on for details of the context, technical setup and results of the very first survey which took place in January 2018. In the relatively... (read more)
2018-03-15 11:10:02

UAS Lidar for Ecological Restoration of Wetlands

How New Technologies Are Helping to Preserve the Environment
Wetlands are essential ecosystems which provide numerous benefits to society as a whole. But their functionality strongly depends on the hydrology and topography of the watershed, thus creating the need for monitoring. The use of terrestrial topographical survey methods can be a challenging task in wetlands, however. Flooded areas, muddy terrain and low vegetation can substantially slow down or even prevent the movement of surveyors, while tall vegetation can obstruct GPS reception. As this article outlines, advanced technologies such as airborne or UAS Lidar offer interesting alternatives for surveying the hydrology and topography of wetlands. Wetlands are ecosystems where water... (read more)
2019-03-26 10:24:42

Smart Surveyors: Developments and Trends from the FIG Working Week 2020

Some of the challenges demanding innovative surveying approaches and technologies are rapid urban growth, smart energy, cleaner mobility, and ‘land rights for all’. Sensing technologies, spatial data processing methods, and related approaches are already available. However, the question is how to use and improve them to become future proof, smart surveyors? Only ten years left to achieve the SDGs for a sustainable future. How can smart surveying contribute? To answer these questions, the papers of the FIG proceedings were analysed by the author-team.In this short article, we present the main trends distilled and the papers we refer to, represent these... (read more)
2020-05-08 02:03:33

Point Clouds: Laser Scanning versus UAS Photogrammetry

Accuracy, Point Density, Time Efficiency and Costs
Are photogrammetric point clouds superior to Lidar point clouds, or is it the other way around? To address this topic of ongoing debate, the authors of this article conducted a terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) survey together with an unmanned aerial system (UAS) photogrammetric survey of a gravel pit. Comparison revealed that TLS is superior when the highest level of detail is required. For larger surveying projects, however, RTK-enabled UAS photogrammetry provides sufficient levels of detail and accuracy as well as greater efficiency and improved surveyor safety. In modern surveying, the numerous measurement methods can be divided into two broad categories:... (read more)
2018-07-12 02:03:41

Integrating Geospatial Technologies: Reflections on Intergeo 2016

As the leading event for the global geoinformation community, Intergeo 2016 provided a forum for 531 exhibitors to present their latest products and around150 speakers to disseminate their innovative thoughts. 17,000 visitors and 1,300 conference delegates from more than 100 countries travelled to Germany’s main harbour city, Hamburg, to see the latest developments and applications in the geospatial sector. (By Abdulvahit Torun, Aperigae Information Technologies Consulting, Turkey) The speakers, talks and technology presentations covered open geoinformation acquisition, management and servicing policies, and strategic plans at national and urban level for various sectors. The leading topic of the event was ‘Smart... (read more)
2016-11-08 04:25:00

Mapping the Yangtze River

One Local Authority, 400km², 21,000 Images and One Map
The Zhenjiang Municipal Flood Control Bureau is a short walk from the Yangtze River: staff can clearly see the river from the office. In July 2019, a massive orthophoto was created from 21,000 images, representing 400 square kilometres. Before this, the region's flood planning maps, water conservation data and related information were stored as separate, discrete files. For such a big project, the team needed to bring all these together with a custom base map. Zhenjiang is a transport hub lying on the southern bank of the Yangtze River near the Grand Canal, and at constant risk of floods. The... (read more)
2020-05-07 09:41:07

Atmos UAV Launches Marlyn

Atmos UAV has launched Marlyn, the first hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or ‘drone’) in its class that is developed to operate at higher wind speeds while maintaining its helicopter flexibility and fixed-wing performance. Marlyn can be easily deployed from any surface, maps up to 10 times faster than a traditional multirotor and operates in a broad range of weather conditions. This makes Marlyn a valuable and time-saving asset for engineering professionals in industries such as construction, mining, agriculture and forestry. Conventional drones fall into two categories which each have their limitations: multirotors, which feature flexible take-off and landing but... (read more)
2017-05-19 12:48:27

Photogrammetry – Recent Developments and the Way Forward

Over the past few years, photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information science have witnessed great achievements, mainly due to societal, political, environmental and technological changes worldwide. Human mobility has significantly increased due to population growth, climate change and globalization. Photogrammetric innovations have also been strongly influenced by the developments in information and communication technology (ICT), computer vision and robotics. Moreover, with the usage of active remote sensing techniques such as Lidar and radar for obtaining point cloud data – even from reflective surfaces such as metal or glass and uniform textures like snow, white surfaces or ice – the opportunities... (read more)
2018-09-20 09:48:52
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