A Large Complex Survey... In a Morning

We can save our clients time and money by producing highly detailed, accurate land and building models from the air.

Rising early on a Sunday morning is never fun. However, this Sunday it wasn’t a problem for us - even after being at a wedding until the wee hours of Saturday evening. This was because Sunday saw us complete a benchmark UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) survey.

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Leaving Edinburgh as the sun rose, we met with our partner, all round cool guy, and Drone Pilot (Ro Ramtohul of Urban Air Media) with his high spec DJI S1000+ Octocoptor at Inverkeithing Quarry. If you haven’t been, Inverkeithing Quarry is a beautiful site perched on the shores of the Forth, overlooking the iconic Forth Rail Bridge. With it’s blue watered lagoon, high faces, and amazing location it’s a spot that we’d recommend checking out. Our mission for the morning: to create a complete 3D model of the quarry.

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After programming a flight path and conducting a test flight we hit “go” and let technology do it’s thing. In minutes the Octocopter - complete with a high resolution Panasonic GH4 4k camera – had taken 93 images of the site and had landed back where it had set off.  Despite the wind (and it really was gusty), the incredible DJI S1000+ did its thing wonderfully. The images that it took were unbelievably sharp and each had been georeferenced to its exact position.
Back in the office we set about downloading the imagery and importing all the data collected to our software. Using clever overlapping and photogrammetry,  the software enabled us to produce a complete 3D rendered model of the entire site in a few hours. The model is cloud point based and fully interactive – each pixel in the 93 images becoming a measurable data point with x, y, z coordinates.

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Due to the size, layout, and complexity of the site, traditional survey methods would have made producing a model to even half of the detail of the aerial survey incredibly difficult, not to mention, time consuming. This is why we chose it. Within hours we had created a model that would have taken us weeks to create with other land survey methods (GPS, Total Stations with Refectorless point shooting, photogrammetry). Sure, the model required some tidying and a little manipulation but it was all there to be explored! Updates to follow!

aerial survey edinburgh model scotland

With this technology we are excited to be able to save our clients time and money by producing highly detailed, accurate surveys. UAV technology lends itself to large or complex sites (housing developments, renewable sites, quarry modelling and costal erosion monitoring etc) which can be modelled to high levels of detail in a relatively short space of time. If you’d like to learn more about our UAV aerial survey services then please get in touch!