Mapping & Monitoring

UAVs bring a whole new level to what is possible when capturing data and imagery, opening up a diverse range of mapping & surveying possibilities. The UAV platform can take off almost anywhere, ensuring that only the data that is specifically requested is paid for with minimal data redundancy and enabling a bespoke survey service.

Remote Aerial Surveys are experienced in providing topographical surveys using UAVs and have worked with some of the UK's top survey and construction companies. As well as topographic surveys one of our most popular products is elevation modelling, which is just one really powerful application of our UAV surveys. Our 3D visualisations are also becoming increasingly popular for purposes such as marketing new and planned developments.  The data captured by using a UAV mounted camera can produce 3D models and maps that make a really engaging tool for communicating information about the landscape. 

Take a look at some of our case studies to see the types of survey work we have carried out.

Better Data Accuracy 

Data elevation models captured using our UAVs have GSDs (distance on the ground represented by one pixel) ranging between 3 and 30mm (these values are dictated by our flying height and camera lens used). At each site where a DEM is created a ground truth survey is undertaken to determine the accuracy of the model. The accuracy of the DEMs created by RAS is typically ±/- 150mm RMSE. These highly accurate DEMs can be used to create a wide range of products unique to the landscape such as volumetric quarry surveys, location planning analysis and hydraulic models. More information about the accuracy of UAV surveys can be found here.

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Deriving elevation models from photogrammetry

Usually elevation modelling is achieved through a process called photogrammetry. This process is essentially very similar to the way we use two eyes to judge distance. Photogrammetry works by finding the same point in different overlapping images, calculating height using the point’s relative location in each of the photos and additional factors such as flight and camera characteristics. Elevation modelling can be seen as the backbone for a wide variety of environmental monitoring projects and from it we can derive a whole range of information such as some of the most common applications outlined below. 








Read more about photogrammetry and elevation modelling

Understanding the landscape

Geomorphology and Terrain Analyses– in addition to the elevation model itself, some of the datasets which can be extracted from the model (such as terrain slope, aspect and ruggedness grids) are very useful for understanding and visualising the physical landscape. Flight plans can be programmed to repeat the same flight any number of times, allowing accurate quantifying of processes such as creep and landslides. This data can also be used to conduct volumetric surveys. Such surveys are typically used for purposes such as determining the volume of material stockpiles, dam and watercourse capacity as well as remaining and used landfill space.

Identifying flood risks

Hydrology–UAV-derived data can be used to perform terrain-based hydrological analyses e.g. you can use high resolution elevation data to assess water flow direction and accumulation, ideal for things like flood and catchment management projects. Another popular application is the modelling of river channels, often with the purpose of creating detailed cross sections of the river banks. Remote Aerial Surveys can also carry out flood mapping using GIS and remote sensing techniques. Our UAV based remote sensing techniques have made a substantial contribution in flood monitoring and flood damage assessment aiding the relevant management authorities in both future flood prevention and flood damage limitation.

Getting closer to reality with orthophotos

For mapping purposes elevation modelling is a crucial element in a process called orthorectification. This process removes any distortion in the photo caused by variations in the terrain and land cover, so that the entire image appears as if you are looking straight down at it (having also been corrected for lens distortions). This means that, for example, you’ll see the tops of things like trees and buildings, rather than their side surfaces. Once georeferenced (i.e. given a location in geographic space), orthophotos can be used in the same way that maps can be used, such as accurately measuring distances and areas. This makes them ideal tools for projects such as development planning and map verification and update.

Photorealistic aids for developers & planners

Elevation modelling has a wide range of potential uses across the planning and construction industry. From creating orthorectified photomaps (see above) to act as a base map for planning documents, to visualising proposed developments on a 3D ‘photorealistic’ model of the terrain, to capturing elevation photography and imagery to monitor construction progress – there are huge possibilities.

If you would like to find out more contact us on 01444 401840