Can you fly a drone in towns or cities?

We’re delighted to officially announce our joint alliance partnership with one of the most spectacular geo-mapping companies in Scotland: Geo.Geo.

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Geo.Geo (based from Glasgow and Aberdeen) is led by Paul Georgie; a mapping (GIS) guru and pioneer of a fleet of flying robots which have been granted unique permissions to operate over cities and motorways.  Paul was recently named by a leading US magazine xyHt as one of the “40 under 40 remarkable geospatial professionals”.

Our collaborative models represent RTK survey accuracy: 30mm

Our collaborative models represent RTK survey accuracy: 30mm

With this partnership, gone are the days where limitations using unmanned aerial systems (or UAS / UAV) within urban environments exist. Those on the survey and mapping scene, and even those on the fringes of it, will appreciate just how massive this is. For those that are unsure of why this is such a big announcement, we liken it to being the survey equivalent of Superman competing in the Olympics: together we can seamlessly and efficiently model every aspect of every structure, land parcel and asset  in unimaginable detail, anywhere.


This translates to powerful digital modelling for our clients.

Take Portobello Church – our first survey as a unified force - as one example. Using GNSS, a terrestrial laser scanner (Trimble TX8 for the survey geeks among us) and Geo.Geo’s flagship Sensefly eBee (codenamed “Aimee”) equipped with a high res RGB sensor, we modelled the grounds of the church, the roof, the elevations, the pews, the alter, the clock, the decorative wall finishes … , and everything really... In a day. It wasn’t long ago where this would have taken four or five days of site time, and the detail from the technology would have been just a fraction of what can be achieved now.   

Portobello Church

Portobello Church

From the many-million points recorded, the cloud was transformed in to a Revit model. From this came elevations, floor plans and a roof plan. Sure, some tinkering was required to translate everything to 2D AutoCAD plans for use by the client, but overall, the turnaround was efficient.

Being perfectly honest and transparent, after delivery of the CAD plans, the client flagged some errors and an omission. Unfortunately, until we as a team can fully implement machine learning and artificial intelligence for complete automation in our processes, human misjudgement will always factor in land and building surveying.

But be sure, however, these observations were attributed to having such vast amounts of information to process with is contrary to the traditional not-enough information surveyors occasionally contend with. The beauty, however, was that there was no need to return to site, no setting up and losing a morning to collect the missed data. All we had to do was consult the point cloud model, amend and resubmit.

We tell you this because, now that we have flexed our mighty partnership across numerous projects, we’re now able to process data even more efficiently and accurately.

Together, Aura and Geo.Geo plan to create an innovation storm in the survey world.