Aerial Surveys: What Are They And Do You Need One?

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Typically, most land surveys are carried out from the ground. This is where the land surveyors visit the site and use specialised surveying equipment to plot and map the site in question. However, thanks to technology innovation, land surveying can also be carried out from above ground. These types of surveys that can be carried out from above ground are called aerial surveys. Below, find out how they are undertaken, their applications, and more.

How are aerial surveys carried out?

Aerial surveys are carried out using different types of technology. The most advanced technology used is satellite imaging. Here, satellite images of the particular piece of land are captured from space using satellite equipment. With these types of images, lots of topographical data can be captured at any time and from any given location. In other cases, survey planes can be used. These are aeroplanes fitted with specialised survey cameras that can capture images and topographical data as well. And in recent times, cheaper and more flexible unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones have been applied to collect similar data.

Information that can be obtained through aerial surveys

Aerial surveys can obtain a wide spectrum of information from any given piece of land. This information includes:

  • Terrain: Is the land flat, rough, sloping, hilly, etc.?
  • Environment: Features on the land, e.g. trees grass, rocks, wildlife, water bodies, etc.
  • Mapping: The dimensions of the land, adjacent properties, land sizing, easements, subdivision, etc.
  • Comparison to other plots in terms of size, development, topography, dimensions, etc.

Advantages of an aerial survey

Aerial surveys have many advantages over traditional on-ground surveys. They are:

  • They are applicable to any type of property. Whether your property is based in a developed urban area or a rural location, aerial surveys can be carried out successfully.
  • Aerial surveys offer a unique and more visually informative perspective of the land in question. That's because the images are taken from above as opposed from ground level.
  • Aerial survey images are 100% percent accurate as they capture real data and not calculated data. They are therefore more reliable even though they have to be complemented by traditional mapping data obtained on the ground.
  • There is little obstruction encountered when undertaking aerial surveys. For example, when surveying urban land, aerial surveys are not affected by traffic, human congestion, lack of free space, obstruction from other urban properties, etc.

Your land surveying contractor can advise you on whether you need aerial surveys based on the information required. And if aerial surveys are required, they can further advise you the information required and for what purposes. If you think it's a good idea to undertake a land survey, consult a land surveyor who offers the service.