Top 5 Benefits of Drones for Surveying Land

Sep 22, 2021 3:03:43 PM | Lidar Top 5 Benefits of Drones for Surveying Land

Team SmartDrone talks about the benefits of using unmanned aircraft or UAV's for surveying land. Every day the team is building unmanned aerial vehicles that generate point cloud lidar surveys.

Differing levels of autonomy, productivity gains, safety, and reducing the skill gaps needed for work to be done are just a few of the benefits to bringing aerial surveying into your business. 



The return on investment of an aerial platform will be a factor of how much autonomy is achieved in your surveying & mapping systems. For example, we are all becoming more familiar with self-driving cars which use AI and machine vision to safely pilot their occupants down the freeway. This car autonomy is measured based on how little human input is required - with level 5 being "full autonomy". Today we are still a ways away from having approval for full autonomous cars - and we certainly aren't going to be surveying land without leaving the office anytime soon. 


Screen Shot 2021-09-22 at 2.35.34 PM


The benefit of autonomy often depends on how much new investment is required for equipment costs and deployment costs. For the most part, SmartDrone is at Level 2 in the infographic above - the SmartDrone Discovery still requires an FAA Pt. 107 certified pilot and going out on the job site to scan the area. Within Level 2, we have differentiated by focusing on ease of use and simplifying the workflows needed to collect topographic data. 

Our goal is to lower the skill gap (and speed payback time) in aerial surveying by creating easy to use hardware and software solutions that automate or simplify as many steps as possible.  We believe a lot of the reason this technology hasn't been adopted by the majority is that so far it has taken direct hires and dedicated expertise just to have a pilot on staff and to capture drone surveys. We see a different future, where drones and autonomous measuring devices are in every truck, and where sending the drone up to scan and collect high-precision digital surveys can be done by anyone who can use a smartphone. 

Some of the questions you'll have to ask yourself when evaluating autonomy and aerial solutions are: 

  • How important is it to your business to be an innovator / technology leader?
  • Are your competitors busy using aerial collections?
  • Are your customers asking for aerial deliverables?
  • Are your employees asking for aerial collection products?
Al Thead

Written By: Al Thead