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Are many of you getting business with construction companies using drone deploy to not only do 2-D maps but using Ground Control Points to measure quantities? Started an aerial photography business using my P4 Pro and so far mainly doing 2-D maps and regular aerials. Thanks
 

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Welcome CFLDroner.

I think the vast majority of our members are merely doing Aerial Imagery and not actually doing volumetric measurement. You want to be very careful and check your local area for what professional credentials you may need to perform this type of service.

Again welcome to the FORUM and the hobby/business of UAS.
 
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Welcome CFLDroner.

I think the vast majority of our members are merely doing Aerial Imagery and not actually doing volumetric measurement. You want to be very careful and check your local area for what professional credentials you may need to perform this type of service.

Again welcome to the FORUM and the hobby/business of UAS.
I mean, if Farmer Joe wants to roughly how big his grain piles are on his farm, you don't need credentials. If you are doing a site topo survey and showing drainage or proposed cuts/fills then yes you would need to worry about certifications.
 

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I mean, if Farmer Joe wants to roughly how big his grain piles are on his farm, you don't need credentials. If you are doing a site topo survey and showing drainage or proposed cuts/fills then yes you would need to worry about certifications.
I only gave some credible advice, Just In Case. Is that such a bad thing?
 
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I mean, if Farmer Joe wants to roughly how big his grain piles are on his farm, you don't need credentials. If you are doing a site topo survey and showing drainage or proposed cuts/fills then yes you would need to worry about certifications.
Actually you might want to rethink this, without some understanding of how photogrammetry works and its limitations you could get into hot water with farmer Joe pretty quick as when you dont use GCPs and only use the gps from the drones metadata your vertical elevations can be off as much as 6 feet so the whole "rough idea" concept is usually to "rough" to be used for anything at all. Once you get into using GCPs that is a awhole new ballgame as you need to have a surveyor survey them in or be well versed in and own the equipment to do it yourself. Also in most states making the 3d model doesn't require credentials but the second you measure the size of the pile it does so I wouldn't jump down BigAl07s throat so quickly as that was sound advice. Drone deploy tries to give the impression that anyone with a drone can produce accurate 3d models and that just is not the case in any way shape or form. As some background I own a land/construction suveying company and only got into this "hobby" to produce said 3d models and orthomosaics so I've done dozens of volumetric jobs and it has taken me quite some time to nail down a workflow that achieves consistant results.
 
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Actually you might want to rethink this, without some understanding of how photogrammetry works and its limitations you could get into hot water with farmer Joe pretty quick as when you dont use GCPs and only use the gps from the drones metadata your vertical elevations can be off as much as 6 feet so the whole "rough idea" concept is usually to "rough" to be used for anything at all. Once you get into using GCPs that is a awhole new ballgame as you need to have a surveyor survey them in or be well versed in and own the equipment to do it yourself. Also in most states making the 3d model doesn't require credentials but the second you measure the size of the pile it does so I wouldn't jump down BigAl07s throat so quickly as that was sound advice. Drone deploy tries to give the impression that anyone with a drone can produce accurate 3d models and that just is not the case in any way shape or form. As some background I own a land/construction suveying company and only got into this "hobby" to produce said 3d models and orthomosaics so I've done dozens of volumetric jobs and it has taken me quite some time to nail down a workflow that achieves consistant results.
Ok. Sorry Big Al
 
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Actually you might want to rethink this, without some understanding of how photogrammetry works and its limitations you could get into hot water with farmer Joe pretty quick as when you dont use GCPs and only use the gps from the drones metadata your vertical elevations can be off as much as 6 feet so the whole "rough idea" concept is usually to "rough" to be used for anything at all. Once you get into using GCPs that is a awhole new ballgame as you need to have a surveyor survey them in or be well versed in and own the equipment to do it yourself. Also in most states making the 3d model doesn't require credentials but the second you measure the size of the pile it does so I wouldn't jump down BigAl07s throat so quickly as that was sound advice. Drone deploy tries to give the impression that anyone with a drone can produce accurate 3d models and that just is not the case in any way shape or form. As some background I own a land/construction suveying company and only got into this "hobby" to produce said 3d models and orthomosaics so I've done dozens of volumetric jobs and it has taken me quite some time to nail down a workflow that achieves consistant results.
Ok just to revisit this, not to have an internet fight, but because it’s relevant to what I do. Im a PE and I also still go in the field and survey. Stake-outs or general topos. No ALTA surveys or setting pins on property lines. Anyways, I think you are conflating poor craftsmanship with certifications and legality. If the farmer isn’t pleased with the results he just won’t re-hire or maybe he won’t even pay. You said making a 3D model doesn’t require credentials but measuring a stockpile does. Can you explain, please? I think it all depends on the specific task at hand. There is no law that says no one but a licensed PLS can measure how big a pile of dirt on private property is. I think this narrative here that i see often is probably to protect our line of work and not allow it to be undervalued or minimized, but I think it discourages many also.
 
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Company I work for in Canada does use a surveyor for stockpile measurements. A few years back they began using a company called Stockpile Reports and used their cell phones to take walk-around pictures of their stockpiles. The pictures were used by Stockpile Reports to give a quantity of the piles. They have now gone airborn with a P4P to do the photo work and still use Stockpile Reports to process the images for quantity analysis. They have checked the piles flown with a surveyor and find the variance in amounts to be negligible. They believe that the P4P photos have better accuracy as the ground survey depends on interpolation between recorded shots which means take lots and lots of shots. They are currently trying to incorporate the P4P into other aspects of survey such as Original Ground pick-up etc. As far as their using Stockpile Reports they find that it is a third party entity that gives more legitimacy to the results. Remember even on the ground, survey came be inaccurate, the company doing it just takes the heat if its wrong. Certification or registration or whatever does not mean that results will be perfect all the time, large companies have insurance for F-ups.
As far as in house stuff this company finds their P4P surveys to be top notch and are moving ahead - the cost difference is increadible.
GCPs are another way to increase accuracy and just as in regular survey work using known benchmarks helps to establish exactly where in the world the site is. Not having GCPs does not necessarily mean your elevations are off or your numbers don't add up. A surveyor can survey a pile without having to know or record where in the world it is, as can a properly flown and processed photogrammetry flight. As with anything, the more precise you want the result then the more information you have to gather.
My humble opinion.
 
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Thanks for the input everyone, looking into the best option for gcp’s from Trimble base station to AeroPoints System
 
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Ok just to revisit this, not to have an internet fight, but because it’s relevant to what I do. Im a PE and I also still go in the field and survey. Stake-outs or general topos. No ALTA surveys or setting pins on property lines. Anyways, I think you are conflating poor craftsmanship with certifications and legality. If the farmer isn’t pleased with the results he just won’t re-hire or maybe he won’t even pay. You said making a 3D model doesn’t require credentials but measuring a stockpile does. Can you explain, please? I think it all depends on the specific task at hand. There is no law that says no one but a licensed PLS can measure how big a pile of dirt on private property is. I think this narrative here that i see often is probably to protect our line of work and not allow it to be undervalued or minimized, but I think it discourages many also.
Sorry for the delayed response to this. First I want to say that I didn't mean to discourage anyone from trying to get into this type of work. Honestly I have helped a few of my clients get set up to do their own stockpile measurements and would love to see more drone operators utilize their equipment to its full potential. However depending on the state/country you are in you may need to exercise caution. I dont claim to be a surveying law expert in relation to drones and I dont think anyone actually is since its such a new practice and surveying laws vary greatly from state to state. When I reached out to my states board of surveyors/engineers to find out what I needed to have stamped they told me that if a map/plat was delivered to a client that had any form of "measurements" (labled distances, contours or volume calculations that quantify something for payment) than that would qualify as a topographic survey which does in fact need to be stamped by a PLS. So thats where I got that and once again I would advise anyone that's thinking about offering a service like this to reach out to their local board of licensure and be sure what they want to so does not require a license. As far as farmer Joe goes in 15 years in business I've never had someone inquire about measuring stockpiles just to know how big they are but if that really was the case and you just told him verbally that they're "this big" then no you prpbably wouldn't need a license but the OP was asking about construction companies and they typically use this data to determine payment or track excavation progress which they would want in writing in some form and that would(in my state) require a license. Even when a license isn't required if you start doing work in the construction sector than you'll see most companies that need this type of service need it done bi-weekly or monthly to track quantities so you would absolutely need to use GCPs or the numbers will be way off since your maps would only have relative accuracy.
 
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I have flown a local quarry a couple of times for Stockpile Reports, who was hired by the company that operates the quarry. I guess they are happy with the deliverables from Stockpile Reports because this month I am booked to fly the quarry as well as four of their retail store yards.
Company I work for in Canada does use a surveyor for stockpile measurements. A few years back they began using a company called Stockpile Reports and used their cell phones to take walk-around pictures of their stockpiles. The pictures were used by Stockpile Reports to give a quantity of the piles. They have now gone airborn with a P4P to do the photo work and still use Stockpile Reports to process the images for quantity analysis. They have checked the piles flown with a surveyor and find the variance in amounts to be negligible. They believe that the P4P photos have better accuracy as the ground survey depends on interpolation between recorded shots which means take lots and lots of shots. They are currently trying to incorporate the P4P into other aspects of survey such as Original Ground pick-up etc. As far as their using Stockpile Reports they find that it is a third party entity that gives more legitimacy to the results.
 
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I have flown a local quarry a couple of times for Stockpile Reports, who was hired by the company that operates the quarry. I guess they are happy with the deliverables from Stockpile Reports because this month I am booked to fly the quarry as well as four of their retail store yards.
Stockpile Reports' prices are right up there aren't they !
 

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Stockpile Reports' prices are right up there aren't they !
I'm in the process of flying for SR as well, except I do all the leg work, find new customers, do the flying and charge for piles. I then share the results with the
Stockpile Reports' prices are right up there aren't they !
Dave - curious if you could share the price comparison between in-house missions vs. Stockpile Report provided missions. In either case, SR charges to calculate the piles, so the only variable is between an in-house mission flown by an employee of the company vs. SR dispatching a local Part 107 pilot. What are your numbers on this? Thanks in advance...
 

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