Drone surveying: The new go-to for measuring elevation

Drone surveying: The new go-to for measuring elevation

Accurate topographic data supports emergency management strategies, land-use planning, mining operations, and many elements of environmental research. Thanks to NASA’s Shuttle Topography Radio Mission (STRM), most of the earth now has at least 30m resolution elevation data. But for many projects, this just isn’t enough detail. Drone surveying presents a new, flexible, affordable method for collecting elevation…

Rivers of ice: Using drones to understand glaciers
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Rivers of ice: Using drones to understand glaciers

It’s not news that glaciers are retreating globally. In recent years, the steady retreat of glaciers has been one of our most visible indicators of climate change. Between 1994 and 2017, 6.1 trillion tonnes of ice was lost from the world’s glaciers. But understanding the relationship between climate change and glaciers isn’t as simple as…

What is the resolution of drone mapping?
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What is the resolution of drone mapping?

Many people use drones for mapping to achieve greater resolution when compared to traditional aerial photography or satellite imagery. But what does ‘resolution’ really mean when considering remotely sensed data? There are actually three main types of resolution relevant here: spatial, spectral, and temporal. Let’s explore each below in the context of drone data collection….

Drone Surveying Equipment – What to pack when going on a family holiday.
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Drone Surveying Equipment – What to pack when going on a family holiday.

Learn how to pack the bare minimum when taking your drone surveying equipment on a family holiday. It’s school holidays in Queensland and what better time to get out and about camping! It might be the middle of winter for most of Australia, but that seasonal description doesn’t really fit in the tropical north. So…

Spectacular drone mapping on the Great Barrier Reef to find live coral

Spectacular drone mapping on the Great Barrier Reef to find live coral

How much live coral do we have on the Great Barrier Reef? Get valuable information & learn more about our drone mapping on the Reef. As a student in the late 1990’s I was incredibly fortunate to visit the University of Queensland Heron Island Research Station many times, firstly for undergraduate subjects, and then later for my…

What is an Orthomosaic?
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What is an Orthomosaic?

Orthomosaic, the Short Answer: The output from a process where a number of overlapping photos (e.g. from a drone or aerial camera) are stitched together with distortions removed to create a complete and continuous image representation or map of a portion of the earth. The orthomosaic below is made up of 283 individual drone photographs….

How to figure out the optimal drone flying height for mapping!

How to figure out the optimal drone flying height for mapping!

People frequently ask about how to calculate the optimal drone flying height, however, it’s the wrong question to ask. What is more important is to understand the size of the feature/s that you are trying to map. It may come as no surprise that as you increase the altitude of your drone, you are able…

Ten Tips for Catching a Drone Safely with your Hands.

Ten Tips for Catching a Drone Safely with your Hands.

Catching a drone by hand can be dangerous! Find out how to catch a drone with your hand safely in this article. Get more information today! I often joke that drones are like flying Edward Scissorhands. Those propellers can really do some damage if they come into contact with anything other than air! Just check…

How can I get ground control in a marine environment?
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How can I get ground control in a marine environment?

I’m sure that my certified surveyor friends cringe when they hear about our methods of ‘Marine ground control’ on the reef! But here goes… What is ‘ground control’? No, we’re not calling Major Tom… Ground control points (GCPs) are points or features on the surface of the earth (or even underwater) with a known location….

Drone Pilots Reinvent Themselves as Mother Earth’s Paparazzi
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Drone Pilots Reinvent Themselves as Mother Earth’s Paparazzi

Mother Earth’s Paparazzi is a term used to describe drone enthusiasts who capture images of mother earth to help protect at-risk ecosystems. Over the past seven years, I have captured tens of thousands of beautiful drone images. But I don’t consider myself a skilled photographer – I’m simply lucky that my subject is stunning! And…

How to Map With a Drone (Top 10 Tips)
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How to Map With a Drone (Top 10 Tips)

How to map with a drone: I know that lots of people love flying drones, but I’m not one of them! Yet what I do love is the #earthobservation data that I can capture with my drone. I’ve been working with remote sensing data since the late 1990’s and know full well that not all data…

Calling drone pilots help map the sea cucumbers population
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Calling drone pilots help map the sea cucumbers population

Sea Cucumbers have threatened species and it’s critical we create the largest population map of their habitats. The first time I flew my drone on Heron Reef about five years ago I was blown away by what I would now be able to map and monitor. I was looking for live coral and I certainly…

Earth observation data reveals the when and where of mangrove dieback
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Earth observation data reveals the when and where of mangrove dieback

Earth observation data reveals valuable information that you should know. In the wake of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (#COP26) there’s even more than usual climate related information hitting the headlines. And this just landed from Professor Peter Macreadie and team from Deakin University (and others), reminding us to consider the role of blue carbon ecosystems (e.g. mangroves,…

(Fantome Island) Before quarantine hotels there were leprosariums

(Fantome Island) Before quarantine hotels there were leprosariums

(fantome island) Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article contains material that may be considered culturally sensitive, including imagery of previous occupations. In this ‘unprecedented time’ of global pandemic, I wonder – just how unprecedented is it? Certainly we’ve seen the fear of mass contagion and need to isolate the…

DJI drone comparison: DJI Mavic 2 Pro compared with Autel Evo II Pro
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DJI drone comparison: DJI Mavic 2 Pro compared with Autel Evo II Pro

DJI drone comparison: Facing off against each other we have the Autel Evo II Pro and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro… In many ways they are so similar that one might think they have come from the same factory or is it just a case of parallel evolution? Regardless of the intellectual property claims, let’s…

Moo alert! We want to create an outstanding pasture for out standing cows!
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Moo alert! We want to create an outstanding pasture for out standing cows!

Cattle are definitely one of the rock stars in human history. They have been contributing to our society as draught animals, providing resources such as meat, milk, leather, fertiliser, by-products and as trusting companions and possessions. Why did the cow get an award? For being out-standing in the field.   (Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash)…