aerial-lidarDrones are here to stay and the advancements that they have made in five years are incredible. They are being utilized in ways that are very exciting, such as land surveying and inspection. Your recreational drone is a little quadcopter that can be used to hover over locations and take pictures or video. Meanwhile, the heavy duty drones that are prevalent in military or industrial applications are beefed up versions of their civilian counterparts. The FAA defines each category very differently; however, in some instances a pilot’s licence and flight plan are required to utilize a drone.


Drones, for all of their touted usability and maneuverability, still are not able to fully replace the reasoning of an experienced surveyor. A human is much better at deflecting strong winds than a drone at 500 feet. Aside from getting a little wet, rain doesn’t do much to a dedicated surveyor in the field but a drone is less than ideal for those conditions. Drones are basically just another tool that, under ideal conditions, can benefit the professional land surveyor immensely.

Limitations For Commercial Use

Last time we discussed the growing usage of drones and a little about their use in surveying. There are a number of interesting case studies dealing with drone usage, their advantages and disadvantages. As I mentioned before, the Federal Aviation Administration is heavily regulating the qualifications to fly a drone. It is a lengthy process involving many steps and testing. One day we may be able to use drones exclusively for surveying but those days are not here yet. In the interim give Bearing Tree a call for your professional land survey.