Is it possible to do Land Surveys with an P4?

Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
4
Age
31
ust looking for some advice on how to do Land Surveying with a phantom 4. Will I be able to use a regular V1 phantom 4? Do I need any specific apps or other software?

Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
10
Reaction score
6
Location
San Francisco, California, USA
Check out the freeware WebODM. Donate $50 and they send you a program to easily install it. You must have a relatively new computer with minimum 16 GB of RAM. After that, it's all free. You can also use it with GCP's. I use it to calculate the volume of stockpiles of sand and rock that are about 35,000 C.Y. without GCP's. This program really works well, it outputs an orthophoto of the whole site which is scalable for using as a plan, with the perspective of straight down at every point. It also outputs a .LAZ file of point cloud data which I use in AGTEK Gradework 4D to calculate volumes of stockpiles. However garbage in - garbage out! You must fly the site using several patterns at differing heights and gimbal angles. I use DJI's GSP app to fly my P4Pv2 for free.

I am starting to work with Ground Control Points. If you have an existing Topographic elevation plan, set your GCP's out where you know the elevations from the plan, or use landmarks in the plan such as storm drains and manholes, or top of curb elevations. If you don't have an existing topo to start from, then you need very expensive GPS equipment, requiring a monthly license fee to start your topo.

I started out using maps made easy. That site is good, and you can use about 70 pictures of 20 MP quality for free data output of a orthophoto and .las files. The problem being larger sites, and higher accuracy demand many more photos. On a 6 acre site I use about 300 photos at 20MP ea pic. using WebODM and it takes about 2-3 hours of processing time. I think that maps made easy is the least expensive because you pay per use, but they only have a Beta program for GCP's.

If your company will pay for Drone Deploy or other web apps, it will cost them about $300/mo PLUS another $50 for a map using GCP's!

I would recommend that you start with maps made easy for free, to get a feel for it. Then download and install Web ODM. It is surprisingly easy to use with great results, for free. Attached, find two orthophoto sites in San Francisco using WebODM. This Adobe Acrobat file is much smaller than the typical orthophoto tiff file for your easy download.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: umanbean
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
73
Reaction score
61
Age
61
Location
Denton, TX
ust looking for some advice on how to do Land Surveying with a phantom 4. Will I be able to use a regular V1 phantom 4? Do I need any specific apps or other software?

Thanks in advance!
The first thing you will need is to be a surveyor/RPLS. It is against the law in most states to pass mapping off as a survey without the stamp from a board-certified land surveyor. After that, you will need the basic surveying tools and the knowledge to use them. The rest is easy. Not trying to be a pain but if you have to ask, you probably are not qualified to do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mjwarch
Joined
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Age
64
The first thing you will need is to be a surveyor/RPLS. It is against the law in most states to pass mapping off as a survey without the stamp from a board-certified land surveyor. After that, you will need the basic surveying tools and the knowledge to use them. The rest is easy. Not trying to be a pain but if you have to ask, you probably are not qualified to do it.
RMartin is correct. In most States only a Registered Land Surveyor can provide surveys. You need to check each State law regarding surveying. In some State you can provide topos, but cannot provide surveys, unless you’re a Registered Surveyor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vinci
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
4
Age
31
Check out the freeware WebODM. Donate $50 and they send you a program to easily install it. You must have a relatively new computer with minimum 16 GB of RAM. After that, it's all free. You can also use it with GCP's. I use it to calculate the volume of stockpiles of sand and rock that are about 35,000 C.Y. without GCP's. This program really works well, it outputs an orthophoto of the whole site which is scalable for using as a plan, with the perspective of straight down at every point. It also outputs a .LAZ file of point cloud data which I use in AGTEK Gradework 4D to calculate volumes of stockpiles. However garbage in - garbage out! You must fly the site using several patterns at differing heights and gimbal angles. I use DJI's GSP app to fly my P4Pv2 for free.

I am starting to work with Ground Control Points. If you have an existing Topographic elevation plan, set your GCP's out where you know the elevations from the plan, or use landmarks in the plan such as storm drains and manholes, or top of curb elevations. If you don't have an existing topo to start from, then you need very expensive GPS equipment, requiring a monthly license fee to start your topo.

I started out using maps made easy. That site is good, and you can use about 70 pictures of 20 MP quality for free data output of a orthophoto and .las files. The problem being larger sites, and higher accuracy demand many more photos. On a 6 acre site I use about 300 photos at 20MP ea pic. using WebODM and it takes about 2-3 hours of processing time. I think that maps made easy is the least expensive because you pay per use, but they only have a Beta program for GCP's.

If your company will pay for Drone Deploy or other web apps, it will cost them about $300/mo PLUS another $50 for a map using GCP's!

I would recommend that you start with maps made easy for free, to get a feel for it. Then download and install Web ODM. It is surprisingly easy to use with great results, for free. Attached, find two orthophoto sites in San Francisco using WebODM. This Adobe Acrobat file is much smaller than the typical orthophoto tiff file for your easy download.
Thank you for taking the time out to explain in such detail!!! Really appreciate the help!
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
4
Age
31
The first thing you will need is to be a surveyor/RPLS. It is against the law in most states to pass mapping off as a survey without the stamp from a board-certified land surveyor. After that, you will need the basic surveying tools and the knowledge to use them. The rest is easy. Not trying to be a pain but if you have to ask, you probably are not qualified to do it.
Well I figure those laws apply to persons residing within the USA....I'm from the Caribbean...laws down here are a bit different in that I can provide the service as a subcontracted job but you're probably right about the board certification part. My enquiry was just out of curiosity as someone had asked me about it recently and I am currently exploring my options.
Thanks for your input!
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
40
Reaction score
18
Age
65
The first thing you will need is to be a surveyor/RPLS. It is against the law in most states to pass mapping off as a survey without the stamp from a board-certified land surveyor. After that, you will need the basic surveying tools and the knowledge to use them. The rest is easy. Not trying to be a pain but if you have to ask, you probably are not qualified to do it.
I agree with the added clarification that licensed engineers are typically permitted to do “engineering surveys,” which include everything a licensed surveyor can map except boundary (property) lines.

Also, the deliverables produced by current drone “aerial mapping” technology, including the post-processing software, are of limited use since they are missing lots of key information shown on most “maps” that has to be added via additional ground surveys and drafting. This includes features like building footprints, edges of pavements, sidewalks, utilities, etc. These have to be added manually by a human mapmaker since the current software isn’t able to. So, after what most people think of as a “drone survey” the “map” still has to be drawn from the aerial and supplemental data.

A hobbyist can explore all of this legally as long as he isn’t selling maps or aerial surveys.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Vinci

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
138,994
Messages
1,434,626
Members
100,935
Latest member
kosmo_gizmo