Aerial View Drone Mapping

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Shawn, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,858
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    OK Interwebs brain trust...can this be done without spending a fortune?

    I need an accurate aerial satellite view of a 30-ish acre plot of land (think city park) that has about 15-20% tree coverage...but I need that view to be from about 10' above the ground under the tree canopy to see exactly where curbs, parking spaces, existing fences, tree trunks are, etc. that are under those trees.

    Google Earth gets me 80% of what I need but wanna find a way to capture and stitch together what is under the trees to do accurate layouts and diagrams for an annual special event and there are no to scale CAD drawings available.

    Working on a broke Non Profit with no budget level...not Google money!
     
  2. jheyen

    jheyen Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    heyen
    If the leaves fall off the trees (winter), you could do a drone flight over the whole thing in about 20 minutes and have someone process the images for you inexpensively. That would give you a nice complete orthophoto of the whole property.

    If it’s evergreens and they don’t come off, that gets a little harder. You can’t really fly a drone that low to get good aerial imagery because it needs a lot of overlap to stitch the pictures together. Drones with lidar could do it but the price just went way up.

    If you just need to fill in google earth, the cheapest way would be to just take an afternoon with a wheel and a tape measure to sketch it out. If you have a friend that’ll let you borrow a GPS total station, that could make quick work of it too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  3. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    3,384
    Location:
    North Creek, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lachlan
    LIDAR
     
  4. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,412
    Location:
    Tupelo, MS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ktup-flyer
  5. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Photogrammetry. Obliques from a drone or a plane.
    Something like https://www.pix4d.com/ We used to help quarries determine their volumes but most of that business is going to drones on site now since they can do it on demand in most weather.
     
  6. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,745
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midwestpa24
    I know our city and county have GIS aerial imagery that is intentionally flown early in spring, between the snow melt and before the leaves get in the trees to give the best view under the trees.
     
  7. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,858
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    Norther California and lots of evergreens...tree are full year round unfortunately.
     
  8. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    overdrive148
    Our chief engineer:

    "Satellite view and birds eye view will only get you the tops of surfaces in orthomosaics. Anything in between the highest surface will never show up in an ortho. Flying lower is not safe in grid patterns. Only way I see a solution is to either create a 3D mesh or dense point cloud of those areas by doing orbits around the trees to capture the areas underneath the canopy. After those areas get captured, they can try removing the canopy from the point cloud and generating the ortho without it. That should give them what they're looking for if they know what they're doing."

    TLDR it sounds like a drone isn't the cheapest tool for your job.
     
  9. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    13,557
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    Have you checked the county GIS yet. Many of them contract for regular lidar surveys so they can tax their citizens more for any additions they may have made to their houses.
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,858
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    That is what I was afraid of...so I do not need a mapping drone, I need a mapping blimp.

    After a lot of digging I am sensing a market opportunity here to develop something for this application. I can't be the only one needed this without having to spend a bazillion dollars on technology and stitching expertise labor.

    I may just go strap a GoPro to a balloon and overlay the pictures where I need them.
     
  11. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    overdrive148
    I think what he means is that you can't fly below the trees to get any appreciable data (like @jheyen said) so you have to do a bunch of orbits above each tree or cluster of trees to get what ground imagery you can from above looking down at an angle, then remove the trees.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  12. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Still cheaper than a plane or a helicopter. For us to map that vertically plane or helicopter would Basically it's oblique 3d mesh mapping. Pix4d is $292/mo. plus the drone flight. Might look to see if there's someone in the area that already has a subscription that would be willing to help you if you can get imagery that meets the requirements.
    No, you just need 3d oblique imagery, not vertical, that's translated into a map.
     
    overdrive148 likes this.
  13. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Right. If there are a bunch of trees that are too dense, nothing's gonna help unless it can get under the canopy.
     
  14. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Messages:
    724
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fiveslide
    We used to do aerial topo surveys. At the time, there was nothing but a couple of guys with an instrument and data collector that could locate improvements beneath tree canopy. I've been out of it since 2013, but I doubt there has been anything invented that will do what you are asking other than a field survey crew.

    I'd get some bids from some small, local surveyors to locate the obscured improvements and combine it with data that is already available. Sometimes, topo data from counties can be pretty accurate

    The less you need the cheaper it will be. No elevation data, no boundary survey or research required, just a map of an area for planning purposes. They don't need to survey the crap out of the place, just locate what can't already be seen.

    We used to call what you are after a 'basemap', we'd make them for developers all the time who were looking at a piece of property and deciding what to do with it. We download as much GIS data as we could and put it on paper with a bunch of disclaimers about it not being a real survey. I'm on the east coast, they may call it something else there. I could usually do them in a couple of hours with county topo, building locations, etc...
     
  15. rwellner98

    rwellner98 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rw2
    If this isn't what you need, maybe it will at least give you some ideas of how to get there... Just ignore the foreflight parts as that doesn't seem applicable to your need.