Drones for Surveying Course Introduction


This 3-day full time course will arm students with the knowledge and know how to effectively plan, perform and process surveying & mapping projects from aerial imagery data. There will be no practical drone flying component to this course.

Here is a summary of the topics that will be dealt with during the course:

First principles and theory will include Surveying, Aerial Photogrammetry and Photography.

Office preparation pre-flight will include the following stages:

  • Feasibility assessment
  • Project planning
  • Flight planning
  • GCP layout planning

Field preparation pre-flight will include the Layout and Surveying of the GCP marks. 

Drone (RPA) preparation pre-flight will include sensor and lens types, lens cover removal, data cards, batteries and uploading of the flight plan.

Aerial survey will include both the image and geolocation file acquisition.

Data collection post-flight will include downloading of the data, file naming, directory structures, checking and the backing up of the data.

Post processing will include making successful maps, factors affecting accuracy, photogrammetry software option (both traditional photogrammetric and computer vision) and surveying software.

Of the computer vision software options three will be discussed, including Agisoft Photoscan Pro, Pix4Dmapper Pro and Carlson Photo Capture.

2 datasets (a quarry and a corridor survey) will be fully processed in Agisoft Photoscan Pro, Pix4Dmapper Pro and Carlson Photo Capture and compared.

Of the surveying software options Carlson Precision 3D and the AUSPOS on-line GNSS processing data service will be discussed. In Carlson Precision 3D students will import and edit point cloud data. It will then be run through some surface editing tools, like creating TIN models and contours. Volumes will also be calculated and outputs created. Presentation options, like overlaying draped orthophotos onto a surface model and drive/fly through animations, will also be looked at.