New technology creates new applications for drones every single day, it seems, and one of the fastest growing aspects of drone technology is photogrammetry — the ability to use drones to measure 3d topography, quantities, and objects, and then create contour maps, 3d models, orthomosaic photographs and orthorectified photographs.

What sets us apart from other companies that offer a similar service? Experience. Aaron Yates worked as a land surveyor for over 10 years and regularly created topographic and design surveys and¬†computed material quantities as part of his regular duties. He also worked regularly with civil engineers, architects, contractors, and project managers, so he’s well-versed in their needs for this type of data. We use software such as Pix4d, AutoCAD Civil 3D, and ArcGIS to customize and refine your final product so that you get exactly what you need, accurately, precisely, and quickly, whereas other companies may only be able to provide you the raw data. And we’re here to answer your questions about how to use this information once you receive it.

Here’s an example of a recent project. The first is Schreiner University. We mapped the campus in Spring 2017 due to the fact that the campus is changing so rapidly that the local government mapping projects nor Google mapping projects can keep up with the campus! Here’s an embedded sample of that project.

Topographic Surveys

A topographic survey is a type of service and mapping product that represents the features and shape of the land, such as hills, valleys, rises, depressions, etc. Topographic surveys are used for civil engineering design, architectural planning, and much more. Our drones are capable of measuring up to 2,500 acres in one single flight, and from that one flight, producing contour lines, orthorectified mapping images, and 3d models of the land with 5 centimeter accuracy. The technology is truly amazing, and must be seen to be fully appreciated!

Contour lines can be generated down to 1-foot or 0.5-foot intervals, and “spot” elevations and real-world geometry can be provided for almost any feature on the land. We can also use this data to measure volumes, such as the volume of a pit or the material quantity of a pile of road base.


Ortho Photos

What is the difference between a regular “aerial photo” and an orthorectified mapping image? Aerial photos, in our vocabulary, typically refer to “beauty shots” or marketing-style photographs of property or features, such as real estate marketing photos, architectural beauty photos, etc. But ortho photos are used for mapping, and are generally looking straight down on an area from up above. Think Google Maps or Bing Maps imagery — those are typically satellite-generated ortho images used for mapping.

Our drones create orthoimagery for specific projects, parcels, or areas for very accurate orthorectified mapping imagery that can be used in software like ArcGIS, AutoCAD, and others to create maps and design work. The imagery can also be exported for use in Google Earth and other consumer-level software for updating real estate marketing materials, and other related uses. See the photos below for an example. These images are useful for determine locations for homes, buildings, landscaping, etc.




To inquire about pricing and booking, please email Aaron Yates, owner/operator, at Email is always the best way to reach us, and is much preferred over phone calls to avoid endless phone tag. Or call our office to make an appointment to meet or speak with Aaron about your project: 830-955-5510.