Comparing Drone Technology to Conventional Methods for Beach Monitoring Surveys

Comparing-Drone-Technology-Tarheel-Surveyor-Spring-2017The Spring 2017 issue of the Tarheel Surveyor features McKim & Creed’s award-winning proof of concept (POC) comparing unmanned aerial systems (UAS, also known as drones) to conventional surveying methods for beach monitoring surveys. The Tarheel Surveyor is published by the North Carolina Society of Surveyors.

McKim & Creed and Esri pitted three technologies–conventional surveying, terrestrial LiDAR and UAS–in a head-to-head comparison of accuracy, cost, time and environmental impact. The test site for the UAS POC covered approximately 100 acres along Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and included two rock jetties. This area is prone to erosion and is surveyed regularly to accurately measure and map the erosion and determine the urgency of beach renourishment programs. Such erosion can cause costly property damage and disturb environmentally sensitive shore bird nesting areas.

The POC showcased Esri’s Drone2Map software, which processes imagery collected by UAS into an accurate, usable dataset that can be seamlessly imported into Esri’s GIS mapping platform.

Click here to learn the findings of the POC and/or download the article.