Photogrammetry is defined as the science of making accurate measurements from photographs, and can be used to produce outputs such as 2D and 3D maps and models.
Aerial photogrammetry software enables data collected by drones and UAVs using LiDAR scanners, cameras, heat sensors and infrared imaging systems, to be used to calculate precise photogrammetric measurements concerning the surveyed topography as well as buildings, landmarks and other manmade and geographic points of interest.
Drones, UAVs and remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS) are used to take regular aerial images whilst flying autonomously along pre-set flight paths, following a series of waypoints. Location data is collated using geotags which assign GNSS co-ordinates to each image.
From the input data, drone photogrammetry software can provide a number of different outputs. One of the most common output deliverables is a geo-referenced orthophoto or orthomosaic, which is a photo or series of stitched-together photos that has been adjusted for topographic relief, lens distortion and camera tilt, thus providing a uniform scale across the entire image. These allow mappers and surveyors to perform highly accurate measurements of distances and surfaces.
The accurate creation of detailed terrain models alongside specific distance and surface measurements can provide useful intelligence for military applications. Photogrammetric software is widely used in military applications to process data collated by military drones, UAVs and RPAS. Safer and requiring considerably less resource than traditional recognisance methods, the application of photogrammetry to aerial data provides military forces with a useful advantage in the field. Photogrammetry software can also be used to simulate flight plans and other mission critical simulations.
Drone photogrammetric software is also used within industry, for example by farmers for precision agriculture, by planners and architects for urban planning purposes and by fuel companies with interests in mining, solar farms and the extraction and delivery of oil and gas.
Available with on-the-fly editing tools and cloud-based processing, drone photogrammetry software can also include intelligent features such as extraction algorithms and feature identification programs.