LiDAR or Imagery: Harnessing Drones the Photogrammetric Way
The mass marketing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, through the retail market coupled with latest advance in image matching and structure from motion (SfM) has generated tremendous excitement among gadget enthusiasts and working professionals alike. Recently, several articles and presentations from both licensed and non-licensed proponents who have received their Part 107 UAS remote pilot certification, along with product literature from drone equipment and software companies; all claiming to produce imagery-derived points cloud with very high map accuracies (such as 0.05 feet) without the aid or reference of proper ground control surveying techniques, sensor quality or acknowledgement of appropriate national map standards. Some of them went as far as advising users to avoid purchasing the upgrade for RTK/PPK (real-time kinematic/post processed kinematic) capabilities. Such claims hurt the professions that employ this technology?from surveying to mapping to engineering to architecture?in multiple ways. The presentation compares imagery-derived points cloud to the lidar-derived points cloud, highlights strength and weakness of each approach, and discuss the quality and the achieved positional accuracy for the products form each approach.