GIS SupportFor German Copters, aerial surveying is not just about drones. Rather, the focus is on solutions that contain all the elements for professional geo-data management. Nevertheless, the drones must also be able to be used safely over urban areas. Basically, the capturing of GEO data is about two essential technologies that can be used to generate point clouds. A laser or a camera can be used. Laser scanners can generate point clouds directly; when taking photos, point clouds are created using photogrammetry. Over the past two years, drone LiDAR has become increasingly popular in many industries, such as surveying, engineering, inspection, mining, and construction, where the technology can help increase efficiency, accuracy, and profits.
Pros of LiDAR
- LiDAR is the way to go for absolute accuracy also because of the integrated GNSS data (direct measurement)
- LiDAR’s light pulses penetrate the gaps between leaves and branches, reaching the ground below and improving the accuracy of measurements.
- LiDAR is also preferable if the light conditions are inconsistent
- LiDAR allows you to capture details that are small in diameter.
Pros of Photogrammetry
- Photogrammetry is more easily accessible and can already be implemented using normal camera drones.
- If the camera can be calibrated, mapping missions can be implemented quite easily and quickly.
- The colours of the photos make it easier to recognize and assign structures that have been converted into point clouds.
- The costs of photogrammetry solutions are lower compared to LiDAR
Choose LiDAR for:
- Mapping hard to access, complex, and overgrown terrain
- Capturing details on thin structures, such as power lines or roof edges
- Projects where detail and precision are the priorities
Choose Photogrammetry for:
- Context-rich scans that are accessible and require minimal post-processing and expertise
- Maps and models that are easy for untrained eyes to understand
- Datasets that need visual assessment
Security, speed, reliability and data protection
Which technology is used depends on the task:
LiDAR and photogrammetry are data capturing methods that cannot be compared with one another. The task determines which method is best suited. For complex mapping projects that involve elevation accuracy, complex structures, or partially covered terrain, LiDAR is probably the way to go. Costs and the experience of the team are important in both methods. It is also important to know how the data is processed and prepared so that it can be made available to the various users in high quality as a basis for decision-making.
Perhaps our approaches are a little different because we already have 20 years of experience with ground-based medical logistics and have also been in the drone business since 2005. So, we know the price pressure as well as the technical challenges in drone logistics. However, we are not a manufacturer of drones and are therefore not dependent on specified designs, technologies, or other restrictions. What counts for us is the proven flight characteristics of the drones, the profitability of flight operations and the possibility of integrating drone logistics into the existing logistics chains.