Utilization of Consumer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Land Management and Mapping

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Jay Grossman




Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date



With the growing use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (drones) in commercial and professional engineering markets, the consumer drone industry has gradually improved and now offers advanced capability at an affordable price. Offerings from a number of UAV manufacturers can be operated in high wind conditions, and along with their software counterparts, can provide aerial mapping, imaging and topographic information to the user. Acquiring this information, if accurate, is also more efficient than traditional surveying methods.This study collected photographic data using a small consumer drone and then processed this data using commercial mapping software to develop a topographic surface model. The accuracy of this model was then evaluated versus ground data acquired via conventional surveying methods. The efficiency of the data workflow using drones was also noted.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Daniel Asselstine is a Senior Civil Engineering major from Choteau, MT. His experiences with photography and the construction industry led to a passion for drones and their application in multiple industries. Daniel is excited to discover further uses for drone technology in his full-time position, and apply the lengths of his research onsite.

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