The use of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) – cameras and Lidar sensors mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or ‘drone’) – to acquire geodata for mapping purposes has evolved beyond infancy and is now rapidly maturing. How will UAS mapping evolve in the foreseeable future? To envisage where exactly UAS technology is heading, it is appropriate to start with the big picture before examining the details.
So what is the current big picture for unmanned aerial systems? How are they embedded in today’s society?
First of all, our planet is confronted with climate change, with the threats of sea-level rise and extreme weather patterns. We are also seeing the world’s population rapidly expanding, a migration away from rural areas and the industrialisation of farms and forests.
The resulting – and ongoing – societal developments have continuously increased the need for highly detailed, accurate and timely spatial data. This ever-evolving landscape forms the backdrop for examining where UAS mapping is now heading.
Source: GEO 4 Construction