Drone Services

Visual Media and Photogrammetric Models

The role of drones in reality capture and building documentation continues to evolve rapidly every year. With billions of research and development going towards the unmanned aerial vehicle industry, many previously cost-prohibitive services are now within reach of most professionals within our industry. Clients often find our 3D drone surveys to be a great alternative to a full exterior building scan using terrestrial laser scanning.

There are two primary types of data sets that can be captured and delivered using drones: visual media, and photogrammetric models. Drone media consists of high definition digital photographs and video clips. Photogrammetric models are digital 3D models that are creating using photographic data to determine the characteristics of the built environment. Both types of data sets can help document buildings when cost, accessibility and safety are top priorities.

If you have special flight specifications for our pilots, we request that you provide as much detail as possible for our team to use as reference.

Visual Media

Through our drone flight operations, our team can capture data over a large physical area in a relatively short amount of time. These data sets will often contain hundreds of high resolution digital images and video clips. Leveraging this set of visual media can reduce time on site and in processing, saving our clients on the overall cost and schedule of their projects. When its comes to accessibility, drones allow our team to visually access spaces where terrestrial laser scanning may not be viable. For example, if a building is abutting a body of water, or if there is no adequate access to the rooftop, our team will use a drone to augment other components of the data set. Safety is always a top concern for our field operations teams, as well as our on-site partners, and drones can mitigate the necessary exposure of crews to unsafe conditions such as fire damage, decaying infrastructure, or hazardous air quality.

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(Above: Visual Media of a building with an inaccessible roof that also directly abuts water)

Photogrammetric Models

Photogrammetry refers to the science of using photographs to generate a set of accurate measurements. Existing Conditions can leverage sets of photographs and use photogrammetry to build a digital 3D model that help clients save on cost in a variety of ways. Performed at the beginning of a project during the due diligence phase, clients can use photogrammetric models to avoid being forced to erect scaffolding in order to adequately survey the upper levels of a building's façade. Façade documentation by drone survey can provide a detailed perspective of every square foot of a building in a high resolution color image. Drones allow access to the out of reach upper floors of a high-rise that can not be reached with traditional scanning, allowing the client to save time money. Given that the massing of many high rise buildings are "stepped-back" as the building rises, a drone survey provides a perspective that would otherwise be unattainable from street level.

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(Above: Photogrammetric Model and Visual Media of an inaccessible building)

Our Visual Media Deliverables

We typically deliver a minimum of 15 high-resolution aerial images and 5 high-definition aerial video clips, though our work is always driven by the client's scope. For some projects, we are also capable of delivering an accessible online 3D model to use for facade and roof inspection (example above).

To ensure quality control, our pilots are provided with a standard set of instructions.

  • Standard Shot List
    • Images are captured at 100' and 350' from the cardinal directions (N, NE, E, SE, E, SW, W), according to FAA height restrictions and project scope
    • Panoramas will be taken at 100', according to FAA height restrictions and project scope
    • Videos are captured from a variety of different angles and altitudes to provide multiple perspectives of the property. We often work closely with our clients to highlight specific areas of the property or local features in the project vicinity.
    • Standard Time 
      • The flight time is typically between 11 AM and 2 PM in order to work in optimal lighting conditions. If you would like to request that we capture imagery and video at a specific time frame, simply let us know in advance. Please note that flights completed outside the typical 11 AM - 2 PM time frame may be subject to harsh shadows or glare, due to the fact that the sun will be lower in the sky.

    EC Drone Image

    Please note that adverse weather conditions or supplemental requirements may lead to an extended timeline for the imagery delivery as our pilots may need to reschedule in order to fly safely and capture the best imagery possible.

    For specific requests around preferred date and time, we will do our best to accommodate your specific needs.