Volumetric Analysis from Photogrammetry Data
Updated: Jun 13
The imagery captured from a Drone or an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can be used for multiple purposes - You may read my previous post on 10 Commercial Applications of Drones here.
Drone-based output often comes embedded with positional information (depending on the payload used). Each pixel is a piece of geospatial information and one can plot it on a map. Survey-grade drones use 'Photogrammetry' payload to capture imagery in 3D: these drones capture Z values (height) as well apart from the 2D X and Y values (length & breadth). As you would imagine, this makes the imagery informationally richer.
Drones have enabled us to capture footage and its geometric information in high resolution, they come with multiple sensor options, one can deploy a mission at any time of the day, and over a geographic extent of our choice (complying with the local regulations of course). These advantages notwithstanding, just capturing visuals is not enough - one still has to process & analyze it to derive meaning from the data stored within the imagery. In the case-video below, you will see how we analyze drone imagery to estimate the storage capacity of a storm water retention basin using a powerful geospatial application specifically developed for drone data processing.
(The video is best viewed in Youtube's HD setting either on PC or on Landscape mode in Mobile Phone. You can reduce / increase the play speed as per your viewing preferences.)
Case Video: Volumetric Analysis of stormwater basin
Interesting, isn't it? The concept at work is very simple, yet, the computation wouldn't have been possible if the data wasn't rich enough - survey-grade drone images helps us capture high-res 3D information.
Can you think of some other applications which could benefit from analyzing & interpreting Drone imagery data? One unique application is 'stockpile estimation'. The principle behind it is, in a way, the same as the one used in the case video - we had used depth differences from ground level to ascertain the volume of the storm water basin. In stockpile estimation we use height differences from ground level to ascertain volume & quantity of bulk goods, inventory etc. located in open spaces such as in mines, ports, warehouses etc.
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