2. Identifying terrain type

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The very first task on your planning agenda is getting to know the area where the drone surveying project will take place, or in other words, what types of terrain (or other objects) your drone will be flying over and capturing. Sometimes it is very easy to gather this information, if the site you will be surveying is local, accessible, non-hazardous, and its area is not too vast for terrestrial exploration within a reasonable timeframe. In many cases, however, you will 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 out there on the selected site?
  • Are there any areas of note in terms of accessibility or hazards?
  • Are there any landmarks (e.g., cultural, heritage, structural, etc.)?
  • Is the area populated or unpopulated? Is there any wildlife on location?

If you are surveying an object for instance, a bridge or a building under construction, rather than an area, you would 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!

How did you go with it?