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Drones and the Photogrammetry Process: Understanding the Basics

Drones + Photogrammetry are transforming traditional survey methods. As drones are beginning to pop up more and more in the aerial sphere, many of you may be wondering, “What exactly can these things do other than take pictures and videos?” Well, the truth is that is exactly what drones bring to the table: high quality images from hundreds of feet in the air. The real value that can be obtained lies in the processing of these images.


One of the main processes the images undergo here at DroneView Technologies is photogrammetry. Foh-tuh-gram-i-tree, as most people around the office struggle to pronounce correctly, is the process of making surveys and maps through the use of photographs, especially aerial photographs. More specifically, all the pictures taken from the drone are laid out side by side and compared to determine how many points they have in common with one another. These common points are used as “tie points” to stitch the photos together. The amount of overlap, or common area registered in between pictures, assigned to the drone before it flies is therefore a critical factor toward the quality of the output generated. Whether done manually through a pair of stereo-glasses or with powerful industrial grade software programs like Pix4D, the stitching of these photos can produce high density point clouds, sets of millions of points in an XYZ coordinate system.

From densified point clouds, we have the capability to generate anything from a 2-D orthomosaic to a 3-D digital terrain model for our clients. These types of output have a plethora of applications, including circling piles on a model to calculate volumes or tying in known coordinates to create high accuracy georeferenced maps. With drones and photogrammetric processing, the possibilities are endless!

For more information, contact DroneView Technologies. Aerial Data Acquisition and Processing: Full Service. Trusted Solutions.