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Hello,

I just got asked to to a project which involves surveying. The client would like a 29 acre area of land referenced and have a 3D map showing elevations if possible. What is the best program to use for this? I have a Phantom 3 Pro and an Inspire 1 Pro to take the pictures. Also, how much would you charge for this? The client also wants pics and a video fly over. If anyone has any good advice and a good place to see examples, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!

Bert P

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1 hour ago, Bert said:

I just got asked to to a project which involves surveying. The client would like a 29 acre area of land referenced and have a 3D map showing elevations if possible. What is the best program to use for this? I have a Phantom 3 Pro and an Inspire 1 Pro to take the pictures.

My first question to the customer would be what degree of accuracy do you require? Then ask yourself if you can deliver that accuracy based upon the equipment you have. You are going to need either a GPS unit or Total Station in order to set site control/GCPs to bolster the accuracy of the UAS platforms you have (neither UAVs are that accurate for survey-grade work on their own).

Your next question to the customer would be what kind of deliverable are you going to require me to provide? Are they going to need a CAD or GIS deliverable? If so, you will need something in the class of AutoDesk or ArcGIS to create that deliverable (although there are a lot of freeware knockoffs on the web). 

Then you are going to need the software to process the data you collect from the UAS, or farm it out to a company like Drone Deploy to process for you (GCPs are extra). If you choose to do your processing in-house, Pix4D or Correlator3D would be a solid choice. 

Next you would have to have a graphics workstation that is capable of running the software above...

I am not a surveyor, but I do mapping grade work. Excluding our 2 GPS units and Total Station we have expended around $24,000 on our UAS program spread between software and hardware. Conservatively tack on another $58,000 on GPS and Total Stations and you have a base for what to expect...less maintenance and recalibration of the instruments on a yearly basis.

Becoming a licensed surveyor that can actually stamp a document and certify its accuracy (and become legally liable for that information) is another story. I don't mean this in a snide way. There is just a whole lot more to survey work than buying a drone off the shelf and finding jobs. You have a lot of homework to do beforehand.

Edited by R Martin
Clarification of text that I poorly worded and was not clear in meaning
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Thanks for the info. They are not looking for anything nearly as complex as you are talking about. Basically a visual aid. Final product would be embedded on their web page. It will be a selling tool for the property. They just want a visual representation of the area and some elevation readings.

It looks like DroneDeploy has a good solution that I will look into. Thanks for the help.

Bert

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