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Lines, Areas, and Volumes, oh my!

Sunday, January 8, 2017 12:10

Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from photographs, especially for recovering the exact positions of surface points. Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to collect images for photogrammetry is an intriguing pursuit in precision agriculture, mapping, and construction. A number of PC-based and cloud-based solutions are available to process images and generate 3D models, point clouds, and geo-referenced orthomosaics from which lines, areas, and volumes may be computed along with high-resolution images for assessing project progress over time.

We spent the last couple of months assessing different image processing solutions. The solutions are powerful. Each have their own set of capabilities, similarities, differences, pros, and cons. Investing a significant amount of time to understand, learn, and apply the nuances of each solution is critical. Nuances include such facets as developing the right image capture plan for the project objectives, configuring processing parameters, creating manual tie points and scale bars for image alignment and computations, and the need to capture precise GPS ground control points if survey-grade mapping is the project objective. Credit must be given to the wonderfully helpful experts in Facebook users' groups for advancing our understanding of these nuances.

Our advice is to dedicate time and resources to understand the concepts and general work flow, then run a pilot program to evaluate several solutions and compare their use and results side-by-side to determine which solution best meets your organization's and clients' needs.

To learn more, feel free to email or call Sierra Pro Aerial Imaging LLC. We are a professional FAA-certified UAV service provider offering image capture, actionable data, and consulting services.