Evolving Aerial Mapping Solutions

 Technology is rapidly evolving in the aerial land mapping and surveying space to the point that it has never been easier to develop pinpoint accurate data.

Aerial imagery is primarily used in a host of industries from real estate to agriculture and forestry to telecoms, wind turbine, rail inspections and oil and gas.

Precision-driven high-resolution aerial imagery cameras and solutions help to simplify mapping and surveying processes. Such high-tech equipment helps to effortlessly execute photogrammetry mapping missions while capturing high-resolution images for 2D and 3D mapping.

Land mapping and surveying solutions now include 4-band, combining NIR and RGB aerial imagery for various agricultural and forestry applications.

Designed explicitly for extensive surface coverage at extremely high-resolution, remote camera technology is moving ahead and offers exceptional aerial imagery that enables millimeter-sized inspection and damage detection.

Aerial land mapping and surveying solutions are being deployed for oil and gas midstream pipeline audits and even Right of Way (ROW) mapping and wetland identification.

The cutting-edge camera solutions are underpinned by exceptional software, offering intuitive GUI and multiple control functions. They can enable faster importation of digital terrain models, base maps, project shapes and ground control points.

The software is used to automatically calculate flight lines and trigger points based on sensor parameters, project parameters, and mapped terrain height. Such data can manage and guide the precise execution of an aero-photography flight.

The equipment and software were successfully utilized recently by a company to map the Serrù reservoir in the Orco valley, where a hydroelectric production plant operates.

Remote sensing was used to monitor the hydrogeological context of the basin and to plan ancillary works to the artificial barrier. Access paths to the reservoir were also mapped as part of the ongoing study across the Gran Paradiso National Park.

Mapping data has also been used by NASA scientists to study forest regrowth in Puerto Rico after extensive hurricane deforestation. High-resolution, multi-sensor cameras were used in the identification of fine-scale canopy features.

Often, the technology comes into its own for 3D urban mapping as required by many cities. As populations expand, so does the demands for residential housing, but all this takes time to ‘see’ the land and its potential build on.

Over the last ten years, oblique land mapping and surveying solutions have been introduced into many diverse aerial imaging applications to offer multi-perspective desktop viewers, visualization of buildings roofs and façades from a 360-degree perspective, realistic texturing of 3D City models, and measurement of building heights in monoplotting mode.

Urban planners and decision-makers now rely on 3D City models to support a wide variety of initiatives and actions. These city models are used to prepare for changes in city structures, population growth and urban planning, preventative measures for natural and industrial disasters, and inhibiting the overuse of finite resources.

City planners, therefore, require a reliable database that can be easily modified over time to gain a holistic look at the urban environment.

Such technology was successfully used in Germany to acquire aerial data for 3D city models in a fast, efficient and cost-effective way. An immediate advantage of acquiring oblique images was the ability to view elements that were not visible in vertical views.

High-resolution nadir and oblique images were captured in one single system setup. Combining high geometric stability and high-quality images then allowed urban planners to zoom into the finest details.

It means that even smaller municipalities can now achieve cost-effective, high-quality 3D city models as well as orthophotos with an accuracy of two to ten centimeters. For the first time, urban planners can ‘see’ what landscapes genuinely look like.