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What I've learned thanks to many of you.

chasco

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I use the 15mm lens for mapping and normally do a cross hatch flight. If my clients are happy, I'm happy.
Personally I find the lower altitude with the 23mm lens very low, but I guess is is based on what you need to capture.
If I flew that low on most of my jobs I would be flying below the cranes, not a good idea for an autonomous flight. I have flown videos under the crane booms though.
Here is one of the examples of my early videos.


I also mapped this site once a week for two and half years during construction. The mapping site is about 160 acres. Needless to say it would have been impossible to map this site much lower than 250 feet, I normally mapped at 300 feet and that gave me a .7 inch per pixel.
There's no doubt that everyone has different approaches which tends allot to do with what hardware is being used. We fly P4's and Yuneec H520E RTK's which are very similar camera wise but they do fly differently so obviously an Inspire with an 11mm is going to be an entirely different mindset. From my calcs the I2 with x4s at 300ft has a GSD of 1.06in/px which is not acceptable for our work.

At 175ft 160 acres is 3 batteries for one of our drones and 2 for the other. The only time we ever fly over 250ft is because of obstructions like cranes and buildings so you don't have much of a choice there. When you do have the choice though don't you fly as low as efficiently possible? If I can map 160ac with one battery but I have to fly at 300ft to do it i'll fly two batteries every time. Just for clarification I would never fly nadir at less than 150ft unless it was a really small project. Even with RTK you can see an increasing pattern of warping as the tiles get smaller and ends of the jobsites get further apart.
 

R.Perry

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First of all your numbers or wrong. At 300 feet with the inspire 2, 15mm lens the resolution is 0.7 and 250 feet is 0.5. If I'm flying a cross hatch it requires three to four batteries depending on wind. I don't know where you are coming up with 11mm
Since I don't have a RTK drone I'm not competing with surveyors nor could I. I do you use the surveyors GCPs to increase accuracy though.
It is all about what the client wants and needs. If you can do 160 acres with three batteries that is amazing to me, first of all at that altitude the inspire would be slowed down to about 14 to 16 mph and that would increase battery usage significantly. So what need would there be for less than 0.7 accuracy?
 

chasco

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First of all your numbers or wrong. At 300 feet with the inspire 2, 15mm lens the resolution is 0.7 and 250 feet is 0.5. If I'm flying a cross hatch it requires three to four batteries depending on wind. I don't know where you are coming up with 11mm
Since I don't have a RTK drone I'm not competing with surveyors nor could I. I do you use the surveyors GCPs to increase accuracy though.
It is all about what the client wants and needs. If you can do 160 acres with three batteries that is amazing to me, first of all at that altitude the inspire would be slowed down to about 14 to 16 mph and that would increase battery usage significantly. So what need would there be for less than 0.7 accuracy?
Sorry that was based on an X4S so I misread what you said you were using.


So what need would there be for less than 0.7 accuracy?
Mostly grade control for civil infrastructure. Things like paving sections, moisture conditioning lifts, pond liner verifications.
 

Midsky8778

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Speaking of RTK, where does that fit into mapping for construction? This discussion has me thinking orthos are valued mostly for their “overview” value, but wouldn’t connecting to an RTK network for increased accuracy be helpful in marketing the service? Being able to tell prospects that they can zoom in anywhere to check progress like a typical mapping deliverable, but ALSO take accurate measurements anywhere on that map seems like a great selling point.

My own experience is limited to an ongoing ortho capture of a ~20 acre site. The P4RTK is provided by the client and I connect to my state-run RTK network (Missouri). I don’t get to see the final product as I deliver raw assets for this job, but the collection workflow is fairly simple - which has me considering a P4RTK of my own.
 

R Martin

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Speaking of RTK, where does that fit into mapping for construction? This discussion has me thinking orthos are valued mostly for their “overview” value, but wouldn’t connecting to an RTK network for increased accuracy be helpful in marketing the service? Being able to tell prospects that they can zoom in anywhere to check progress like a typical mapping deliverable, but ALSO take accurate measurements anywhere on that map seems like a great selling point.

My own experience is limited to an ongoing ortho capture of a ~20 acre site. The P4RTK is provided by the client and I connect to my state-run RTK network (Missouri). I don’t get to see the final product as I deliver raw assets for this job, but the collection workflow is fairly simple - which has me considering a P4RTK of my own.

We connect to Allterra's network for our flights. There are some times that it is just not practical to shoot in subsurface utilities with a GPS, so we set our control and fly it. As long as the control is set and you are connected to the network, you can pretty safely digitize from that and not put people at risk. It isn't practical everywhere, but it is another tool in the box that we can whip out if needed.
 

chasco

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Speaking of RTK, where does that fit into mapping for construction? This discussion has me thinking orthos are valued mostly for their “overview” value, but wouldn’t connecting to an RTK network for increased accuracy be helpful in marketing the service? Being able to tell prospects that they can zoom in anywhere to check progress like a typical mapping deliverable, but ALSO take accurate measurements anywhere on that map seems like a great selling point.

My own experience is limited to an ongoing ortho capture of a ~20 acre site. The P4RTK is provided by the client and I connect to my state-run RTK network (Missouri). I don’t get to see the final product as I deliver raw assets for this job, but the collection workflow is fairly simple - which has me considering a P4RTK of my own.
RTK is all about positional accuracy not only in navigation but in the geotag entered into exif data. This means that more weight can be given to the images which also limits the amount of guesses processing has to make which in turn reduces distortion. All that said yes it is more accurate. We are making maps and models so yes that is obviously a huge selling point when you can market RTK functionality. It was the same thing with marketing GCP's as part of the service so it just keeps us on the edge of curve. We still use GCP's when doing grade sensitive work but the number of targets needed has greatly reduced which in turn saves us more time.
 

WildDoktor

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Hey guys, another (possibly stupid) question about construction progress jobs: Is it the owner, or the contractor, that normally wants construction progress documentation? And I guess a followup question would be: when going out to drum up business, is it owners or contractors that you want to go talk to?
 
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chasco

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Hey guys, another (possibly stupid) question about construction progress jobs: Is it the owner, or the contractor, that normally wants construction progress documentation? And I guess a followup question would be: when going out to drum up business, is it owners or contractors that you want to go talk to?
Owners/Developers like progress photos and video. I have recently gotten them into 360 panos and I think that is becoming their preferred media as long as it is easy to get to and navigate. Navigation has always been a learning curve for folks who do not work with 3D data often. Large home builders are starting to require weekly progress photos but we have also done asbuilt maps for them even though we were not the contractor. We as a contractor have project managers that are similar to owners but our main analysis is just the ortho and the LAS point cloud. When we work with other contractors we give them the whole shebang. As far as who to contact I am not really sure for someone that is unfamiliar with the AEC industry but if you are you will know contacts in the industry to get a direction. The main reasons it is hard to get on with contractors is 10 Because most of us have or are going to start drone programs and 2) because they really don't have corporate contacts for this type of thing and you would need to know who the project manager is to get a foot in the door. Anyone else will probably just put you on the goose chase. You can just visit a jobsite trailer and leave a card but make sure you have on PPE if you go on the site. You will get more respect when you walk in the door. They get allot of salesman so don't get offended, lol. Sometimes it is good to do a pro-bono flight.
 
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R.Perry

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Chasco, gave some good advice. What I found once I got my first job, (that was UC Merced), I received referrals and that has been keeping me as busy as I want to be. I was a home inspector so I also had basic understanding of construction, however the UC Merced was a tremendous learning experience.
What I have found is on major projects the superintendent is extremely busy so they aren't open to walk-ins. If you can, make an appointment with them. Look for jobs that haven't broke ground yet, you can get the information from the county building department. See if you can get your foot in the door prior to ground breaking.
Best of luck to all of you.
 

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