Virtual design and construction teams are quickly discovering the value that drone mapping brings to all stages of a construction project, including initial site survey and design, volume and elevation measurements and comparisons, and quality assurance. In a fraction of the time it takes to conduct a ground‐based survey, a drone can automatically fly and capture imagery of a project site that can then be processed into highly accurate point clouds compatible with Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.
Using traditional ground methods, a 60‐acre site could easily take two or even three weeks to survey. Drone mapping reduces that process to four days or less from the initial request to importing the point cloud to BIM software. Some of the biggest time savings come from the data collection step. For most construction sites, it takes less than an hour to fly and capture mapping imagery. The flight photography is then processed to a cloud‐based server platform to create a map and 3D model, allowing export as an Autodesk™ Revit™ file for BIM integration.
Not only are drone‐based surveys faster to perform than ground‐based surveys, but they also deliver much more detailed data. A traditional survey may only yield a few hundred points of resolution, whereas drone‐generated point clouds can contain millions of points. The result is a high‐resolution 3D model that is revolutionizing the workflow of many around the world.