What is Surveying in Civil Engineering? Why Surveyors Are Critical to Public Works

What is surveying in civil engineering? Why is it so critical? Surveying is involved in everything — from accurately drawing boundaries between private and public land, to inspecting bridges and other critical infrastructure. Without surveying, the placement, security, and safety of projects cannot be assured. Here’s an overview of how surveying works with civil engineering to make public works better.

The Relationship Between Civil Engineering and Surveying

Civil engineering is a complex discipline. In fact, it’s the second oldest engineering discipline apart from military engineering. Civil engineering is often associated with public works, but that’s not all it is. Civil engineering is any type of engineering that involves building infrastructure on top of the environment: Canals, bridges, and pipelines are most notable.

Since civil engineering involves directly impacting the environment (often in a significant way), surveys are incredibly important. Surveys make sure that protected environment isn’t adversely affected, that the structure is safe, and that the project is overall as efficient as possible.  

So, what is surveying in civil engineering? It is a critical part of every stage of a project’s development. Here are some of the ways in which surveying is so incredibly important.

Inspect High Risk Areas Such as Bridges and Other Infrastructure

Through the use of drones, bridge surveys (and other types of high risk surveys) can be completed without any risk to personnel. A drone bridge inspection is naturally less dangerous than a conventional survey, as drones can get into areas that a person could not easily (or safely) get into. Drones can fly around a bridge or other complex infrastructure easily, thereby conducting more in-depth surveys and increasing the overall safety of the bridge.

Many of the bridges in the United States are in disrepair, and it isn’t the bridges alone that are an issue. Canals, dams, and other civil infrastructure could be at risk of falling apart, because they aren’t being frequently inspected. Dams are among other, similar, infrastructure which cannot be easily inspected, and consequently may have issues that need to be repaired but haven’t yet been revealed.

Drones can fly very close to the ground, and they can hover, which means they can inspect areas that are otherwise inaccessible. And all of this makes it more likely to complete projects safely.

Collect Accurate Data for Proposals

When engineering proposals are being completed, accurate surveys can help. Public works generally require approval by the public, either through direct vote, or by voting in lawmakers who are interested in completing certain projects. And the public can be against any improvements that could potentially be very dangerous.

Collecting accurate data is essential to the future of a project. With the right drone surveys, 3D simulations can be created. As an example, a new road could impact water flows, or could cause issues of erosion for the surrounding environment.

Once accurate drone surveys have been completed, lawmakers will be able to better support their case in the public. And the public will be able to make more knowledgeable decisions overall. Data collected for a proposal could also indicate that a project is unsafe, in which case lawmakers would want to know this before they support the initiatives themselves.

Resolve Legal Issues Between Private and Public Property

Property issues can become a big dispute. When civil engineering projects are initiated, there can often be issues between public property and private ownership. Boundary surveys may be needed to resolve whose land is being developed. With drones, the data can be utilized to help determine where private land ends and public lands begin. This can prevent both costly acquisitions and the use of eminent domain.

Drones are, by far, the fastest and safest ways to conduct a regular land survey today — while they may not be able to travel at the speeds of planes, they can usually deploy much faster. This heads off legal issues before they become major problems, eliminating delays to important public works problems, and assuring citizens that only public land is being developed.

Surveying and civil engineering is critically linked, and there are many ways in which drone technology can help civil engineers complete their work. Whether the project is public or private, it’s important that the environment around the development be thoroughly scanned and surveyed. UAV technology, combined with technologies such as LiDAR scanning, can produce highly accurate, cost-effective surveys for all types of engineering projects.

Do you want to learn more about surveying and civil engineering? Do you want to invest in drone inspection? Contact the experts at Landpoint.

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How Drones Make Solar Panel Inspection, Installation, and Maintenance Easier than Ever

Before your solar panel installation, consider the many benefits of drone technology. Drones can be used during the process of installing, maintaining, and inspecting a solar installation. Safe, fast, and easy to deploy, drone technology is versatile and cost-effective. With drone technology, surveys can be taken with either LiDAR or photogrammetric scanning, offering useful information to the owners and maintainers of the project and system.  

Consider the following benefits of drone surveying for your next installation.

Installing Solar Panels with Drone Surveys

Before the installation occurs, drones can be used to survey the entire area. A drone survey will indicate which areas are going to be in the sunlight most often, thereby impacting the efficiency of the installation. If using photogrammetric imaging, the drone will take a number of photos from above and derive 3D data from that. If using LiDAR imaging, the drone will use a laser to create highly accurate 3D plots that can be used for simulations.

When surveys are completed, 3D simulations can also be made. These simulations will show the impact that the solar panels will have on the surrounding environment, as well as the impact the environment will have on the solar panels. Together, this provides a more accurate picture of the efficiency of your solar installation.

Traditionally, solar surveys were usually done by manned vehicles: planes and helicopters. But these are far more dangerous. A manned aerial vehicle can crash or encounter other difficulties, which can injure people. Drone surveys are safe; since they are unmanned, even a crash will not cause much damage. Further, drone surveys can be completed faster, because they don’t require the hiring of a manned crew, nor the licenses and permits required for manned surveys.

3D surveys aren’t just used to make sure that the installation is as efficient as it can be. They’re also used to avoid damage to the surrounding environment, by simulating issues such as soil erosion. 3D simulations can be so precise that they can be used to predict potential environmental issues, in addition to their use for product costing.

Drone surveys are particularly useful for this, because many companies now offer end-to-end management for simulation information, collecting data and analyzing said data nearly immediately after drone deployment.

Maintaining Solar Panels After Installation

Drones can be used to conduct surveys after solar panels have been installed, making it possible for technicians to identify potential issues. When flying over a space, a solar drone inspection can identify potential problems, such as solar panels that have been covered by dust and dirt.

In the past, technicians would need to travel on site, by ground, to determine whether there were issues with the panels. And if panels weren’t inspected regularly, there could be serious long-term damage.

But with drones, video feedback can be taken with ease, and the site doesn’t have to be walked in order to be maintained. This encourages more regular maintenance and ensures that technicians know exactly where they’re being deployed when they are being deployed.

The larger the installation is, the more important this feature will be. And as your solar deployment scales upwards, you’ll see continued improvements in your general operating costs. 

Completing Routine Solar Panel Inspections

A solar drone inspection can be used to detect issues with solar panels specifically, such as heat-related issues. If there are heat fissures or cracks forming, drones can report back the exact location of the issue, and technicians can be deployed directly. 

For safety, a drone solar panel inspection is incredibly important. Without regular inspection, solar panels can become so damaged that they need to be replaced. Regular inspection will save an organization both time and money, and will potentially reduce the risk to individual technicians.

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of drones for solar technology? Contact Landpoint today to find out more.

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Going Solar? Land Surveying Is an Important Early Step

If you’re going to be installing solar, a land survey is an important first step. Land surveys can improve the effectiveness and the safety of your solar installation, thereby making your solar system more efficient and productive. If you want to capture the most from your solar energy installation, solar land surveying can help. 

Build Your Solar Installation Where It Needs to Be

The efficiency of a solar power installation is greatly impacted by the placement of the solar panels. With a land survey, you’ll be able to simulate how sunlight will fall upon the areas the solar panels are positioned in. That’s going to give you a better picture of where you can capture the most energy. 

That doesn’t just mean capturing energy, it also means avoiding potential dead zones. If parts of a solar panel are consistently hidden behind shadow, the solar panel itself can malfunction. For the ideal solar power installation, you want power to fall evenly across the panels, and you want to be able to simulate how the light is going to fall through all seasons.

Light changes depending on both time of day and season, and that’s going to have a significant impact on how effective your solar installation is as a whole.

Identify Potential Issues with Topography through Land Surveying

Before you can place your solar panels, you’re going to need to review the surrounding terrain. A topographic land survey will illustrate the current relief and the amount of change necessary to achieve the greatest result. You will want to locate your panels on the most level piece of land, as leveling land is expensive, and if you level an area that is overly elevated, it will be even more expensive. During a topographic land survey, you can identify the best possible location for your site. 

Make Sure Your Surveys Are Correct

Apart from issues with topography, you also need to make sure that your land surveys themselves are correct. If you have a lot of land, and it’s rural, there’s a chance that your property boundaries need to be confirmed.

With an aerial survey, you can make sure that you’ve set your construction limits along your boundary correctly. This avoids the potential that you could develop land or place solar panels on site without realizing that the land isn’t yours, tangling your business in costly legal challenges.

Use Complex 3D Models to Build Correctly

Apart from deciding where to place your survey, land surveys can also be used to create 3D models of your installation. These 3D models can be used to determine whether the weight of the installation could cause too much load on the ground, or could lead to damaging erosion. 

It can also be used to determine the solar panel impact on the surrounding terrain, which can be useful for environmental surveys — particularly important for extremely large solar panel installations, or installations that are close to protected territories.

Maintain Your Solar Installation After Development

Land surveying isn’t just important during the development stages of your solar panel installation. It’s also important after. You can use periodic drone surveys to detect things that human inspectors wouldn’t be able to do, such as hairline cracks, or overheating panels. You can then maintain or replace these panels before they become a safety hazard. Regular maintenance checks will improve the overall efficiency of your solar panel installation, which will also mean that it will pay for itself much faster. Solar panels that are not well-maintained could eventually lead to safety risks and other hazards.

So if you are you about to install solar panels, consider getting a survey first. A survey can head off many of the risks associated with a solar panel installation, from installing it in the incorrect location, to installing it where it won’t get enough sun, to even maintaining your solar installation. Contact us today to find out more, and to get a quote for a survey

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Why Solar Farm Construction Needs Experienced Surveyors

The solar farm construction industry is booming. Anyone with large volumes of land can consider a solar farm installation, either for their own use or to sell back energy to a grid. Business owners are starting to install solar farms, and cooperatives are putting together solar farms to be shared between their properties. But before you start your solar farm construction, it’s absolutely vital to get a survey.

Here’s why. 

What is a Solar Farm Survey?

A solar site survey is going to provide you with extensive topographical data regarding your solar site, so you can plan the solar site correctly. Solar site surveys can be done either on-foot or through aerial surveying, and either way, the surveyor will measure things like the boundaries of the site, existing improvements and the elevation of the land.

Here are the benefits of a site survey for solar installation:

  • You experience increased productivity and efficiency. Topographical information can be used to position your solar panels correctly, to capture the most energy possible. Sun positioning can change seasonally, dependent on different weather conditions and during different times of day. These can all be considered when planning an installation.
  • You can position your solar panels correctly around the environment. You can identify the areas that are least likely to be disrupted by a solar panel array, as well as the areas that are going to be less costly to level. If you’re doing an environmental survey, this may be important. You will also need to take a look at how surrounding features, such as trees or buildings, could impact your solar installation.
  • You are able to remain under budget. You can see issues with your plan ahead of time, and dodge the legal fees associated with potential border disputes. During the solar panel installation, you can use additional surveys to ensure that the panels are being placed properly. This avoids having to move the panels later on.
  • You increase the safety of your solar panel site. Surveys can identify potential issues with the solar panel installation, such as dead zones that could lead to solar panels overheating. After the solar panels have been installed, experienced surveyors can come back for maintenance surveys, to find issues such as cracks and fissures that will need to be repaired.
  • You get 3D data for advanced simulations and assessments. Your 3D data will always be available, both during the pre-construction phase, and if you decide to modify your site in the future. If you want to expand your solar panel site, you can use these 3D simulations. If you want to build something around your solar panel site, you can see how it will impact it.

There are tremendous advantages to a thorough solar farm survey. An experienced surveyor can make this even better. Experienced surveyors improve the survey process from the ground up. 

Why Do You Need Experienced Surveyors?

When it comes to a land survey, you need three things: speed, accuracy, and safety. The faster your survey is completed, the faster you can break ground on your installation. The more accurate it is, the better the solar farm will perform. And, of course, the survey must be completed safely. 

Experienced surveyors can provide all these things. An experienced surveyor will be able to produce your survey without delay and can use technology that will make the process both more accurate and safer. They will be able to identify potential boundary lines quickly, and they will be able to produce topographical data for you in a variety of formats.

Surveyors that collect data as well as process it (end-to-end surveyors) are often the most beneficial. Some surveyors send data out for outside assessment, but this introduces the capacity for errors, as well as potential delays. When data analysis is handled by the same company that collects the data, the potential for issues is far less significant.

How Can You Improve the Safety of Your Solar Farm Survey?

In the past surveys were generally done either on foot or through aerial vehicle. Both can be time-consuming, or even dangerous in certain conditions. But today’s modern surveyors use technology such as LiDAR arrays carried by UAVs. 

UAVs are able to survey a site from the air, with drones that fly close to the ground. With a UAV, a surveyor is able to produce extremely detailed surveys quickly, without any risk to a crew. This is the ideal type of survey for solar farm construction.

If you’re in the solar farm construction industry, you should consider the advantages of experienced surveyors. Contact the experts at Landpoint to discuss.

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LiDAR Data Processing: Why It Helps to Have a Surveyor Who Does It In-House

LiDAR data processing: what is it, and why is it important to have a surveyor who does it in-house? When you collect LiDAR data information, the data is either processed by the surveyor, or it’s sent out to a third-party processing plant. When data is processed by the surveyor, it is more likely to be made available quickly, and the risk of error is reduced. 

LiDAR Data Processing: Why Does the Data Need to be Analyzed?

When LiDAR scans are completed, they produce a large array of completely unprocessed information. LiDAR sends out lasers and detects when the lasers hit something. By calculating the amount of time it takes for the lasers to hit something, LiDAR can figure out the distance. But that calculation is incredibly important, and needs to include things such as how quickly the drone was moving; otherwise, the landscape could be stretched and warped. 

A property land surveyor will collect LiDAR data. But the raw data isn’t going to tell anyone much of anything, because it relies on processing to create an actual map. Thus, terrestrial laser scanning is actually done in two parts. The first part is the data capture, and the second part is the data analysis. Many property land surveyors will submit their data to a third-party for analysis, but an end-to-end surveyor does it on their own.

Why Is It Good to Have a Surveyor Who Does Their Own Data Processing?

First: Having an end-to-end surveyor saves you money. Rather than having to essentially pay two companies to complete different tasks, you’re paying a single company to collect data and then analyze it. Since it all happens within a single company, they can give you a better rate. A surveyor who doesn’t perform their own analysis will need to pass the cost of third-party analysis on to you.

  • Before-Oil & Gas Facility
    After-Oil & Gas Facility
    Laser Scan Oil & Gas Facility Model

But it isn’t just about cost; it’s also about time. When done by third parties, data processing can take much longer, because your property land surveyor isn’t in direct control of the process. You may need to wait a significant amount of time for your survey, which simply isn’t acceptable during the survey stages of many projects. For many projects, nothing can be done until the survey has been completed, and a significant delay can cost a lot of money.

Accuracy is also important. Having an in-house data processor makes a property land surveyor more accurate. LiDAR data is only as accurate as the collection process, and surveyors need to ensure that the data is accurate. Someone not involved in the process of trying to interpret the data could be wrong about the data. How high the LiDAR camera was, how fast it was moving, and whether it was tilted will all control whether the data could potentially be incorrect. 

And there are other issues. A land surveyor is the only one who can legally testify to the accuracy of a data set, because they’re the only ones who are able to reliably guarantee the data set. If a company doesn’t provide end-to-end data analysis, it’s very likely that there may be some difference between the data collected and its analysis. 

Storing and Distributing Data

In addition to collecting and processing data, the data will also need to be stored and distributed. Not all companies will handle all of this: You may need to store and maintain your own survey data once it’s been completed. Landpoint automatically connects its data sets to industry-standard software suites, which make it possible for surveys to be shared and accessed from anywhere. This solution prevents data from being damaged or overwritten, while still letting companies leverage them to the fullest extent. 

When it comes to terrestrial laser scanning, there are two important processes: data collection and data analysis. A surveyor who does both will be more cost-effective, accurate, and timely. If you work with a company that splits up its surveying and processing, you’re more likely to experience issues related to accuracy. 

Are you ready to find out more about the benefits of LiDAR laser scanning? Contact Landpoint to find out what sets us apart. 

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Connecting Design, Engineering, and Construction: Surveys at All Stages of the Process

Surveys are used throughout all stages of the construction process, from a pre-construction survey to ongoing maintenance and repair surveys. A good survey can identify potential problems with the construction site, locating security flaws and hidden dangers. Here’s an in-depth look on how surveying can improve the effectiveness and safety of construction projects. 

During the Design Stage: Before a Project Starts

Surveys excel before the project even starts. A pre-construction survey will be completed to gain a better understanding of the site that is to be developed. Surveys can detect changes in elevation that have to be addressed, as well as any existing construction that needs to be broken down. If there are trees and rocks that need to be cleared, this will be noted during this stage. 

Once a 3D survey has been taken at the beginning of a project, it can be used in a 3D simulation. These simulations are used to test out designs; architects and engineers can place their construction in a 3D world and see how it will interact with the surrounding environment and weather. The more accurate these surveys are, the more accurate the project can be.

Simulating a project early on reduces the risk for costly construction reworks. When everyone involved can see exactly how the construction will look (and all elements have been accounted for), it’s less likely that the project will run into issues.  

During the Construction: Keeping the Project on Time

During a project, surveys can be used to compare construction plans and models, identifying any major issues and avoiding them before they become time-consuming and costly. Surveys can check the construction site to see if there are any issues emerging, such as security issues or safety hazards. Additionally, these surveys can compare the finalized design with the current product, to make sure that major construction milestones are being met.

Drones can be fitted with both LiDAR (to scan the construction site) and sensors (to identify issues such as overheating). Photogrammetric scans can also be added for more human readable data. Once scans have been completed, construction companies can make sure that the project is shaping up as it should be. If any sensors are triggered, the drones can automatically report its GPS coordinates.

Drones are particularly useful during large scale construction projects, such as pipelines, as they can scan the area more consistently than a human surveyor. A human surveyor may take days to cover the entire construction site. A drone can perform a quick flyover, and can even connect to the sensors located on the IoT. 

When these scans are taken, they can be sent directly back to those in charge of the building development. This provides complete transparency throughout the construction process and gives stakeholders the opportunity to interject if the project doesn’t seem to be going the way that they expected.

After the Construction: Maintenance and Repairs

Construction surveying and layout doesn’t end once the project is done. Once the project has been completed, a final survey can be taken to make sure that everything was built correctly. After this, regular inspections can be used to fine wear and tear. In the pipeline industry, inspections may find areas in which overgrowth could be threatening the line. In wind farms, regular inspections can identify equipment that may be close to breaking.

Performing these types of regular inspections allows a company to find, locate, and mitigate damage much faster, controlling the fidelity of the project and its potential for downtime. Regular inspections improve the safety of a construction site, and ensure that the final project is updated and repaired efficiently. The longer a site goes without needed repairs, the more expensive and extensive those repairs become.

Conclusion

Drone construction surveying and layout is one of the most cost-effective methods of controlling a construction project. Before, during, and after the project, drones can be used to make sure that the project is proceeding on a timely basis. Drones help with identifying repair and maintenance issues even when projects have been completed. From the beginning of a construction project to the end, surveys are able to yield fantastic results. Want to learn more? Contact Landpoint today.

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4 Ways Drones Improve Safety of Pipeline Surveys

Drones are a cost-effective, reliable way to improve the safety of pipeline surveys. There’s a reason why the oil and gas industry has embraced drones so readily: They are uniquely well-suited to improving the safety of pipeline projects. 

But what makes drones so important for pipeline safety? Here’s a list of just a few of the things that drones can do for a pipeline project.

1. Enhanced Regularity

Drone inspections can take place more frequently than other types of inspection. Not only are they cost-effective, but they’re also fast: A single drone can perform pipeline leak detection across an entire pipeline. Human inspectors need to inspect the entire project section by section, often taking quite a lot of time.

Since human inspections are lengthy and expensive, pipeline projects may execute them infrequently, and may consequently miss out on safety hazards. Comparatively, a drone inspection is completed quickly and collects a more robust set of data, providing the information that the pipeline company needs to protect its pipeline integrity.

Frequent inspections will mean that fewer safety hazards and issues fall through the cracks. The more regular and consistent the process is, the more issues will be caught. 

2. A Large Variety of Sensors

Practically any sensor can be used with drone technology. Thermal imaging cameras and other types of sensors are able to detect gas leaks and repair-related issues before they become a major problem, letting the pipeline company respond to these issues more effectively. These wide arrays of IoT sensors can be used in conjunction with drones to respond to potential repair and maintenance issues before they become devastating. 

When drones recognize issues in sensors, they can report their GPS position and the unit that the sensor is in. The sensor information will then be sent back to the project team, and the team will be able to address the problems as needed. Being able to fix problems with a pipeline inspection drone means that the pipeline won’t experience dramatic levels of downtime. Ultimately, this improves the overall pipeline integrity, and leads to reduced costs for the project.

3. No Humans in Harm’s Way

Drones don’t require a crew, which means that people aren’t exposed to potential dangers. With any helicopter or plane flight, the crew is subject to a potential crash or injury. Though the risks of modern flight are minimal, there always remains a slim chance of danger. Drones can fly through areas that have fumes or that could lead to fire or explosion. If the worst happens, then a drone could get damaged, but a human life is never at stake.

Drones are also impervious to many threats that could potentially injure people. Drones are able to fly in many types of weather, and can’t be damaged by things such as gas fumes. Drones will be able to fly even in extremely hot extremely cold weather; this weather might impact a human surveyor, and may occur in areas with pipeline development.

Pipeline issues can be potentially dangerous or hazardous, especially when it comes to fumes. These are areas that no human surveyor or inspector should expected to go into, but drones can do the job and determine how hazardous the area is before it is secured and contained.  

4. Protecting the Environment

A major concern for pipeline projects is that they might adversely impact the environment. With drones, pipeline surveys can be completed quickly to minimize the impact to the surrounding nature, environment, and landscape. Regular safety surveys will identify any potential issues, such as plant and root intrusions into the pipeline itself. Before the pipeline breaks apart and potentially causes a spill, these issues can be addressed. 

This improved safety has a profound impact on a pipeline project. Not only is the project safer for workers and the environment, but it’s also less costly. Being able to improve upon pipeline safety also reduces insurance rates and operating costs. For more information about the benefits of regular drone surveys for pipeline projects, contact Landpoint.

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How a Drone Survey Helps Save Taxpayers Money

A hurricane hit a city, but now the floodwaters have subsided. The government needs to know whether it’s safe to send engineers in to start making repairs, but how can it do so without risking personnel?

Drones, of course. Drones are a safe, effective way to monitor an environment for changes. Drones can report back detailed information about their surroundings: looking for survivors, identifying damage, and determining whether the danger is ongoing. Drones can report on traffic conditions during mass evacuations, or even look for lost pets after a weather event.

Drone technology is usually considered an effective way to save companies money, and to complete projects on time. But when utilized properly, drone surveys can also save taxpayers money on public projects. Drone technology is diverse and versatile, and can be easily applied to everything from natural disasters to municipal engineering products. Here’s what you need to know.  

How Can Drones Be Used for Public Projects?

With photogrammetry and LiDAR, aerial drone surveys can be used to make projects both faster and more efficient. When paired with surveying technology, drones gather accurate, up-to-date information about terrain. And, of course, with regular video feeds, drones can be used to monitor large areas at a time. 

There are a number of applications for this. Accurate drone surveys are able to make government projects faster and more efficient. They are also able to complete initial surveys and maintenance surveys without the need for a ground crew, ultimately saving the project (and taxpayers) money.

Drones are advanced technology that can create high resolution, highly accurate scans through LiDAR and photogrammetric tools. These scans help public projects simulate and test out their new investments, and ultimately save money in many ways.

Addressing Natural Disasters

Natural disasters come in many forms, and most of them strike by surprise. Earthquakes, wildfires, and tornadoes can be sudden and unpredictable. With drone technology, you can see what the extent of a disaster is before boots are on the ground. Otherwise, addressing a natural disaster can be dangerous in itself: Responders and volunteers need to put themselves in the way of danger to assess the situation.

During a natural disaster, drones can be used to look for people who need to be rescued, and direct rescuers accordingly. Drones can see where the damage is most severe, and can route traffic as needed. Further, drones can be used in areas that would be otherwise dangerous for helicopters, as the risk is not as great. Compared to helicopters, drones can fly much lower, and can therefore get a better view of the landscape.

Completing Regular Inspections

Apart from initially developing projects, drones can also able to be used for the purposes of security and safety. Drones can be used to secure a site by detecting unauthorized activity within zones. Many projects involve lengthy roadwork or construction, which may pose safety issues that can be detected through regular surveying. 

A drone can find problems before they become a catastrophe. Drones will be able to identify bridges that need bridge rehabilitation. A bridge that’s shut down is far better than a bridge that collapses. With many types of repair, the repair is faster and cheaper the earlier it’s caught. 

Inspections are often delayed (if not put off entirely) because of their heavy time and cost burden. Without drones, individuals need to survey the entire site, inspecting as they go. Drones can be paired with sensors and other technology to be able to complete surveys quickly and without human intervention. 

Providing Better Levels of Transparency

Public works are public-funded. Drone surveys provide better levels of transparency, by releasing information to the public. As updates are released, the community’s relationship with the government or its agency will strengthen. Drones can be used to report back to the public when projects are being completed, and whether projects will still be finished by their deadline.

There are many reasons terrestrial LiDAR surveys should be a new standard for municipal projects. LIDAR surveys give an extensive look at a project as it’s completed, allowing for corrections to be made. In terms of repairs and safety, LiDAR surveys can alert project managers to the issues they may experience ahead, while also reducing risk.

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Are you ready to get started? Contact Landpoint today to learn more about our aerial data collection services and drone technology.

What Are the Limits of Using Drones in Construction?

Drones are very useful tools for any construction project, but they aren’t without some challenges. There are some limitations to the use of drones in construction, as well as potential complications. Using a company that specializes in drone technology can help you navigate some of these challenges.

Drone Regulations Continue to Change

Rapidly changing regulations can make it confusing for people to get the permits they need, especially if aerial scanning has to be completed in urban areas, like construction sites in the midst of large cities. It may even be difficult to even determine which permits need to be acquired. 

A company that specializes in drone technology will be able to help a construction company navigate these regulations, especially since said regulations may change given the relative newness of drone technology. Changing regulations and permitting processes may occasionally delay a project, but these concerns are primarily for those who work in large, urban areas.

For open spaces and rural locations, drone permits generally aren’t as much of a concern.

Optimal Use of a Drone Requires the Services of a Trained Professional

Drone scans shouldn’t be done by just anyone. If a scan isn’t done by a trained professional, the drones can return inaccurate, incomplete, or erratic results. An improperly controlled drone can even cause property damage. Drones take training to be able to fly well, and the aerial surveying and scanning systems require further training and experience. Imagine a world where you need to send a drone out again because the first scan didn’t get all the data it needed to!

Drones Have a Limited Flight Time

Due to their batteries, drones can only fly for a limited amount of time. If a project must be completed urgently but involves covering a large area, multiple drones may need to be used to ensure complete coverage – or a project manager may want to look into other, potentially more suitable, technology.

Drone technology is changing all the time, and as their battery power is extended, the use of drones in construction grows increasingly practical. For most aerial mapping projects, drones will be more than sufficient. Completing regular maintenance scans is a valuable use of drones in construction, and it generally isn’t time dependent. 

Drones Don’t Fly Well in High Wind Conditions

While drones are agile and reliable, they can’t deal well with high winds. Drones are lightweight and small; high winds can blow them off course and make it impossible for them to get consistent readings. Luckily, it’s rare that a project is so urgent that an inspection or survey cannot wait until high wind conditions have dispersed.

There are certain locations, however, that may regularly experience high winds, and drones will not be as suitable to those locations. When it comes to high winds, airplanes are often used for aerial scanning, as they can fly over the terrain without much issue. Helicopters are another viable option that can safely fly closer to the ground than airplanes can.

Drones May Require a Specialized Data Pipeline

As advanced technology, drone data often needs to be analyzed through a specialized data flow. While this does limit the use of drone technology to companies with access to advanced analytics services, there are a multitude of reasons why construction managers should be embracing complex data analysis like Building Information Modeling.

The need for a specialized data pipeline can be subverted by partnering with a company that manages and analyzes data in-house. An in-house data processing service will be able to provide surveying data in a way that can be understood and utilized by the client company, like 3D maps or charts.

Though there are some limitations to using drones for aerial mapping and construction, they’re still an incredibly useful and versatile technology. Companies such as Landpoint specialize in using and implementing drone technology, but Landpoint – unlike many other mapping and surveying companies – also provides surveys through other aerial scanning vehicles. 

Regardless of their limitations, drones remain a powerful tool in the arsenal of any construction project manager or director. Contact Landpoint today to learn how an aerial survey can make your next project easier.

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