Can I use my drone feed for referencing GCP instead of a base station?

By | September 12, 2022

In today's episode we discuss the use of base stations and if pilots can make do without one as they work on mapping deliverables. Are there any benefits to doing so?

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Drone Mapping Guide –

02:17 Today's question on mapping and if there are advantages to using the GCP from a drone
04:45 Paul elaborates on areas where the measurements can be erroneous during mapping
07:00 An example to demonstrate the difference in absolute and relative accuracy
08:44 Can missions be completed without a base station? Are they an absolute necessity in mapping? What other alternatives would work?

You're listening to the ask dronium Podcast you ask we answer your drone Questions whether you're here to turn Your passion into profit or you simply Fly for fun we're a community of Learners and teachers who aspire to Achieve greatness we are Hey everyone welcome thanks for joining Us thank you for all the drone new Members out there we're hoping that we Can help you Turn those skills well help you gain the Skills to pay the bills my name is paul My name is rob and as always Thrilled that you're hanging out with us If you are if you are then you're Hearing me say this but in all Seriousness appreciate you spending a Few minutes of your Very important time with us thank you Yes thank you got an interesting Question today i we may have touched This one before But we're going to hit it one more time Um Really truly understanding uh when you Create maps Uh with your drone How The drones gps system can affect Your map quality When you don't have a rover or in this User's Or question asker

His context is when you don't have a Base station so this will be a quick Easy one i also want to throw out some Other options for gps this will be a Little bit new So there will be some new information Tied in here because as you guys know The drone industry constantly evolves so As always my name is paul I think i've already said that Oopsie That the show is brought to you by the Show is brought to you by our droneu Mapping class we now have a longer Schedule join us for an extra day and Learn how to create point clouds from All different types of image acquisition Strategies it's the only drone mapping Class that is actually going to have you Fly and run missions and have a great Student-to-teacher ratio not only that But all the instructors actually have Real-world experience in creating these Maps and models join us for a mapping Class you won't regret it as it'll Seriously Improve your confidence and give you Enough practice and repetition to be Able to process any deliverable that You'll need in your business join us go To the and check out the Events section sign up for a mapping Class today Hello from regina saskatchewan canada my

Name is scott Thanks guys for a real commitment to Helping people develop and become Confident in this industry i really Appreciate it I'm sending this message because i am Curious to know an opinion In the case that i for whatever reason It may be do not have my base station With me to mark ground control points if There is any benefit had by using the Drone to mark the ground control points Or does the natural Error that a drone has Further Multiplied the level of error that the Map would have in its entirety Thanks very much Thank you very much for the question Scott um Yeah i mean i guess it begs the question Are you just wasting your time doing That i mean or can you make use of it if You at least understand What data you're getting well i think The latter question is more important Because if he were You know and i've gone back and forth on This issue throughout my mapping career But it's become clearer and clearer as Things have evolved but it Really depends on what you're doing with The data right i would say the only Instance where it would be okay is if

You're doing something like a volumetric Measurement where it doesn't really Matter Where your particular map ends up in the Real world Everything else i would argue it does Matter and so his question is is there Any benefit to using the drone to Mark gcps or do anything like that the Short answer is no And let me give you some context as to Why so in our mapping class exercise 5 Was taken from the drone you fly in and This was actually an accident exercise But we use it in class To go over scale constraints and then Taking linear measurements when you know The scale constraint is good to go so There is a 20-foot tape in that Particular exercise and we have students Mark the same side of the tape closest To the grass to showcase that if their Marking is good their scale will be good Now in that same exercise we've we've Given the example of well this showcases If you've got good gps data you've got a Scale constraint that you can still get You know reasonable information and Insights out of said data That is true to a point you might be Able to get a volume but when we have Students measure lines for example If we have A line

Measured from say the intersection Line to the rear axle of the car to Showcase maybe who was at fault in that Particular uh map Well you can measure it's actually both People are at fault because they both Broke the line but that said you can Actually measure the distance from the Line to the car That line distance is correct but when You put it in something like global Mapper qgis arcgis you're gonna find That those Lines come up five to six feet to the North of where they're actually supposed To be so let's say you were to go to Court and say yes based off of our Findings our reconstruction of the area We found that this user was you know Eight feet into the intersection from The line showcasing that that person was At fault if i was a good sme For the defendant i could you know pull Up their data inside arcgis or global Mapper and say well how can you expect Anyone to believe these measurements When they're not true to their position In the real world Right and i just bring this up as a Legal example because Um i think it's important for people to Know that you may think that you have Great data you may think that everything Is great without using gcps

But it's really not Even with certain scale constraints There's a lot of limitations to that and We even teach with scale constraints You may still get a good relative Accuracy i.e taking measurements but the Absolute accuracy of like where those Measurements are in the real world Well they're not going to show up Exactly where you want them to so To answer His question are there any benefits to Doing it i would say No i don't think there are any benefits And this is consumer-grade Gps so you might see Large error especially when you don't do A good compass calibration et cetera so Got it so as long as you're not using it For any type of Important measurement Then do all the mapping three mod 3d Modeling you want just understand There's no point in doing the whole gcp Thing yeah and i think another example Is like let's say kevin's example amazon Distribution center right they're using Those ortho mosaics as a simple Time lapse kind of functionality right Of uh we just want to see the progress Of the site That map is not actually going into Say google earth or arcgis to say this Is where everything is in the real world

Those are two very different things Right so i would say You know without gcps uh You need to know that like your data is Not going to be where you think it is in The real world and also using consumer Gps your phone your drone that is not Sufficient for Gcps this brings up an important point Rob we've seen trimble's newest solution The da2 which is a rover it's rtk based Um 400 bucks now you got to pay the Subscription for tbc But now you're half the price of an mled Rs2 So mled is uh which amoled rs2 has Probably been you know go-to solution For a lot of drone mappers right it's Been very accurate and it's great in a Lot of states but trimble's newest Solution Really takes the cake Um in addition we are seeing other gps Solutions pop up some that we're gonna Test Um that could uh put arrow point um on a New competitive track so we'll see Interesting because the price of Airpoint is coming down right they have Been coming down yeah i believe you get What 10 now for six grand or five grand And the new ones are actually really Cool they're a lot easier to use they Have a display on them

Um so Uh you know a lot of people really like Those newer ones you can connect Multiple sets together yeah so so one Last question about using the drone to Get your your points Is it feasible Let's just say that you're in a position I don't know whatever you've traveled Eight hours and you forgot Your base station And it's the only thing you have To accomplish the mission are you going To go back and get them or is there a Way to Go ahead with just the drone and then Account for the difference accurately Um In all honesty the answer realistically Is no Um now could you have Something like survey nails Or a natural marker that you could know The point of And potentially mark that in the map Yes you could potentially do that okay Now in our neighborhoods we have them Every 60 feet or so yes but the hard part is Being able to see that at 200 300 400 Feet fluorescent paint maybe Yeah you'd have to definitely put Something there or use a landing pad and Put the center of the landing pad right

On the right right over it yeah even Better yeah so um so the answer is it is Possible it's a rare occurrence though That you're able to make that work yeah Yeah i mean in most places you're not Going to find a Perfect survey now right yeah and like Our brand new neighborhood you can see Them every 40 feet you know Exactly but uh but anyway interesting All right cool yeah i mean again Sometimes there are natural markers as Well that you might be able to use um But i think if you know it's always good To keep an extra Rover maybe in your car if you have the Money but that's expensive well but if You can get the 400 one I mean Gosh Don't leave home without it think of it You could buy five of those for one mlid Yeah and then you have them in all your Cars kind of like a garage door opener Or like a firearm so Same but different uh you know you know Anyway that's gonna do it for this show Today if you have a question go to ask thank you to everyone who Listens thank you for your support uh Consider joining us at a training coming Out to colorful colorado love to see you Or become a drone you member but that's Gonna do it for us today my name is paul

My name is rob this is ask drone you [Music] You