Although we offer valuable drone services for construction projects, many construction companies don’t know what that means. Education is our biggest challenge, because when people think drones, they think pretty pictures… period. Here we will show an example of a construction project we’ve worked on to illustrate and educate about drone services for construction projects.
The Lower Boulder Creek ecosystem restoration project is a great example of utilizing the multiple services we can provide on a construction project. During construction, we visited the site about once per month. At each site visit, we flew several missions to accomplish different tasks. The work we did served several purposes during and after the project.
Mapping Services – A new meandering channel was constructed for the Lower Boulder Creek to flow through. We mapped the area several times during construction. The orthomosaic maps were georeferenced and showed a current plan view of the entire one-mile site at a resolution of less than 1cm/px. The map allowed us to easily take distance, area, and volume measurements as needed across the site. We also produced a digital elevation model that quickly showed the grade and elevation changes on the site through the color coding of the elevation data. It was easy to identify high and low spots in the channel as a quick spot check as they worked. Now that the project has concluded, all the maps and native images that comprised the maps are used for as-built documentation. Each native image has EXIF data embedded, which shows date, time, and location of each photo.
Inspection Services – Although inspection services were not a requirement on this job, the orthomosaic maps and oblique images provided incredible detail to show the state of the job, equipment, and materials on site. We did not get the opportunity to do a pre-construction flyover on this particular site, but when we do pre-construction flyovers, our low altitude aerial views often reveal important things that are missed from a ground view. We encourage pre-construction inspections in conjunction with pre-construction marketing shots.
Marketing Services – During each site visit we took both photos and videos of the site. As part of our service, we uploaded specific pictures to the client’s social media accounts as project updates, while providing all native pictures and videos to the client. As a result, the progression of the project is shown in several different online portfolios that exist on social media and the client’s website. The marketing intent is not only to showcase the client’s work, but to utilize the online portfolios for search engine optimization (SEO) credit. The client has hundreds of pictures of the project at different stages and angles, which is ideal when searching for the perfect picture to include in proposals for new work. The video was used on the client’s YouTube channel to promote and showcase the project, while gaining SEO credit. Other entities associated with the project used the video in their promotion efforts as well. Finally, we did a live feed from the drone during the ribbon cutting ceremony when the old channel was diverted into the newly constructed channel. The live feed allowed us to narrate form the ground with a view from the drone.