Terrain Modeling

Terrain modeling with UAVs and GIS helps with site planning, creating contour maps, picking the best location for a home, or helping with trail routing.

Terrain Modeling Explained

uav mapping to build contour maps for terrain modeling

– Using photogrammetry, UAV images are compiled into different outputs
– Flying a drone with the camera pointed straight down can map an area more quickly, and is good for 2D terrain modeling
– To get accurate 3D models, using more photo overlap, changing the camera angle, and having a drone with RTK technology is essential
– Outputs include high-res orthomosaics, elevation models, 3D point clouds, 3D mesh and contour maps
– A big benefit is taking these outputs into other third party software, such as GIS to create trail maps, or into Sketchup for conceptual planning

Common Applications

  • Planning recreational facilities such as playgrounds, bike parks or trail networks
  • Creating contour maps for areas where no online data can be found, or where accuracy needs to be improved
  • Planning urban revitalization projects where the exact topography of the site must be known
  • Creating maps for future mining sites
  • Finding the best location for a building or home
  • Mapping golf courses
  • Anytime greater detail than google earth can provide is needed, or if online data is not to date