2. Identifying terrain type

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The first task on your planning agenda is getting familiar with the area your drone will be flying over and capturing – that is, the terrain. Sometimes it's very easy to gather this information. Where the surveying site is safe, accessible, and not too vast, you can simply do your exploring on foot. In many cases, however, you'll need to do your research online, by consulting existing maps or reading about the location of interest.

The questions you are trying to answer in your research are:
  • Is the terrain homogenous or variable?
  • What types of terrain/surfaces are on the selected site?
  • Are there any areas that are difficult or dangerous to access?
  • Are there any landmarks (e.g., cultural, heritage, structural, etc.)?
  • Is the area populated or unpopulated? Is there any wildlife on location?

Note: if you're surveying an object (for instance, a bridge or a building under construction) rather than an area, you'd be interested in the object’s dimensions and characteristics.

Terrain type check-point

Click here to remind yourself of the location of the Murramarang South Coast Walk and start gathering data about its terrain.

After you are confident you’ve collected sufficient information on the terrain, you’ll be able to move on to selecting the right image acquisition plan for your surveying project. Let’s go!

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