so anybody else think?
that in, oh, 2-5 years there are gonna be a BUNCH of survey offices with dusty drones sitting in the bottom of closets, and a BUNCH of people wondering why they spent their time and money on a license?
look- i fully appreciate the technology and its application.
just got up this morning and already, an hour in, have seen more ads, marketing material, linkedin posts, and videos of "holy crap this thing is going to reinvent the wheel!" it's eerily reminiscent of the din around GIS 15-20 years ago, except this time it seems to be coming more from within the industry.
meanwhile, i think i'll skip getting in line for one and do what i ENJOY doing- getting out in the weeds and doing the work myself.
Oh I feel like there is definitely an opportunity to make money with it and as a result it is going to be THE HOT TOPIC for quite a while.
Will it help all of us like GPS and Robotics have?...…..Maybe in time once the price comes down but it is my experience that the surveyors around me will spend $50k on new equipment and from sheer stupidity refuse to charge for it. They spend a lot of money on new fancy equipment and because that new fancy equipment allows them to do the job faster they actually discount their work......amazing.
I like the idea of doing detailed CM accuracy aerial photos of say curb & gutter, striping, edge of pavement, poles and lights, landscaped areas and sidewalks. It will be a boon to those who know how to utilize it but a desktop ornament to others.
It would be great to be able to fly a roadway and get detailed accurate mapping without putting someone in danger or shutting down a busy area to do it. Being able to fly a mall area or shopping center would be wonderful.
I am interested in knowing if I can use it for locating creeks and streams in dense canopy and brushy areas. Sorta a LIDAR application I guess so they do not have to be physically located which involves lots of line cutting and lots of man hours.
It is definitely in the back of my mind and on my thoughts and I feel like it needs about 5 more years for the technology and software to mature before I can buy it, but I am interested.
For now I am more interested in GPS and being able to get a 4 constellation solution with a network rover.
My Stripper Name is; Just A. Surveyor
Excuse me while I whip this out!
I agree with you, I think a lot of Survey Companies will be using drones, however everybody and their brother n law will have one, so that is going to drive the cost down, you will probably be able to hire a guy to fly the site for 25 or so an hour.
Aslo I think once mistakes start happening due to drone use, on elevation grades that will hit the brakes on topo with drones.
I expect drones and drone mapping to be commonplace in 5 years. Everybody will have it. If it was really expensive to have a drone one might easily hire one, even now. But it's not so. The main thing holding drones back now are the FAA rules.
"Convention is like the shell to the chick, a protection till he is strong enough to break it through." Learned Hand
A real boom for our industry will be here when a drone can remotely sense and accurately locate a buried piece of vertical rebar.
voila. that's what i'm talking about- sort of. i have no doubt it could get to that point. BUT... how's a drone gonna figure out a pincushion, or an old tree line that falls 8-20 feet away from that shiny new vertical rod (or old rusty one, for that matter)?
guess the point i'm getting at is they are definitely good for what they're good for. but the enthusiasm and spending sprees that seem to be happening right now belies the fact that- at least for a damn good while- drones can't do title surveys or really much of anything else that conventional aerials can't (i.e.- tree surveys, obscured areas- whether that be under roofs or vegetation).
i get that it's the shiny new toy, just my impression over the last few months i guess is that everybody and their dog must be switching their workload to doing open area volume calcs and topos exclusively. and if that's the case then cool- more work for me on the "old fashioned" stuff. i'll happily take it.
The main thing holding drones back is the data size. If they can get the image and point cloud sizes on large projects more manageable it will be a real plus for them.
This is already on the horizon. MicroDrones has a sUAS to achieve better results with accurate IMU, Sensor and Camera that can fly higher (350' vs. 200'), and with less overlap (40% vs 75%) than low-end drones like the P4Pro.
Licensed Surveyor in NY
sUAS Remote Pilot
Today we spent most of the time restoring three monuments that had been run over and bent and replacing one that had been destroyed.
Two monuments were easy enough, the digging was tough thru hard packed clay, and it only took a cheater pipe to straighten them out and then drive deeper so they were not in the way of a brush hog or lawn mower.
One was in softer sandy loam and had to go the client's shop and take the vise to hold while taking the "S" and making it straight agin. Put in the hole and drive it subgrade and pile some ironore rocks around it.
The other half was simple prismless ties to all the buildings and house and drive and meters and poles and fences.
I had one hub and 38 points of interest,two were straddle hubs because a 3/4in rebar in that rock pile was behind two large oak trees.
Got back and as soon as we got everything inside it started thundering and it is raining and I was really wanting to get the other half of the yard mowed.
No Drone is ever gonna replace any of what we did today.............
RPLS NE Texas