Having the land you wish to build on properly surveyed is one of the first and most important steps in any construction project, and land surveying services offer a range of methods and services that will give you a thoroughly accurate picture of the topography, contours and composition of your land. However, while traditional ground-level surveying is more than adequate for most construction operations, there is a more modern alternative that offers a number of unique advantages—aerial surveying.
What is aerial surveying?
Aerial surveying is pretty much exactly what you'd expect—it involves your land surveying team using aerial photography, filming, LIDAR scanning and other processes to thoroughly survey every corner of the land you wish to construct on. In previous years, most aerial surveying was carried out with manned aircraft mounted with sophisticated scanning equipment—however, while this is still an option chosen by many, unmanned aerial drones have recently become the most effective way to undertake aerial surveying.
What are the advantages of investing in aerial land surveying?
Due to the added equipment, training and manpower required to conduct aerial land surveying, it is generally more expensive to undertake than conventional, ground-level surveying. However, aerial surveying can be well worth the extra financial outlay for several reasons:
Ground-level land surveying can be a challenging and time-consuming process, especially when you have large areas of land to survey or your prospective construction site features many changes in elevation and topography. Aerial surveying can be achieved far more quickly, as the high vantage point provided by a plane, helicopter or unmanned drone allows unparalleled visibility of the construction site. When allowed to reach suitable altitudes for whole-area scanning, an aerial surveyor can thoroughly survey your land in a matter of hours.
Immune to rough terrain
Uneven terrain can be one of the most challenging obstacles for a conventional surveyor team, and surveyors navigating large, rural construction sites often find themselves dealing with hills, ditches and bogs that can make the surveying process more expensive and time consuming.
Aerial surveying is therefore ideal for surveying these awkward construction sites, as the drones and aircraft used to survey the land can bypass difficult ground easily. Choosing aerial surveying can also increase construction site safety by preventing surveyors from having to deal with dangerous terrain, angry livestock, etc., in person.
Easy data transfer
Conventional surveyor services tend to rely on traditional methods to record their findings, which can lead to delays when trying to have surveying data shared with construction companies, engineering services, etc. Aerial surveyors use far more high-tech means to record their data, transferring their photographs, film footage and scanning results directly to a central server while still airborne. This allows important land data to be rapidly shared between all personnel and services who require access to it, allowing your construction project to proceed much more swiftly.
Will not interfere with ground-level work
Many construction firms and developers will have their workers start ground preparation operations before surveying is thoroughly completed, which saves both time and money by getting an early start on tasks that do not require highly accurate surveying data. Choosing aerial surveying services allows these preliminary projects to be carried out uninterrupted, and ensures that valuable surveying equipment (not to mention the surveyors who operate it are kept well away from dangerous construction equipment.