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Mapping from Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV)

Photo: COWI, 1402
The UAV is an extremely effective tool for collecting aerial data quickly and accurately, and since 2012 COWI has operated UAVs as an alternative to traditional mapping and surveying techniques.

Benefiting from more than 40 years of experience in mapping and surveying using aircrafts and satellites, COWI is a leading company within this area. Since 2012, we gradually started using UAVs, and today UAV mapping is one of our most important and most frequently used methods when mapping and surveying small to medium size areas. Thus far, UAV jobs have been conducted in Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Norway.


The UAV a useful tool in international mapping assignments

The COWI UAV is controlled from a computer on the ground, and it is airborne in 10 minutes. It delivers results immediately, which can be viewed and processed on the same day as the flight. Based on the data collected, it is possible to generate a terrain model for volume calculation as well as a geo-referenced overview picture of the area, providing information about the ground level and elevation of the area surveyed. This makes it a perfect tool for international assignments where quick delivery of data is essential, and where local data sources are sometimes unreliable.


Multidisciplinary method applicable in different contexts

One of our strongest skills is the delivery of orthophotos (dimensionally stable air photos) and altitude data of high quality. By using UAVs we are now able to deliver orthophotos from a smaller geographical area within a single day.

The UAV is, however, a multidisciplinary working tool, and we therefore use it in many other contexts; for example in traffic monitoring, visualisation, modelling of buildings and thermographic surveying.

Within these different contexts, we offer the following services and consultancy:

  • Mapping projects (e.g. orthophotos and digital altitude models)
  • Subsequent processing and visualisation of UAV data
  • In-depth analysis and interpretation based on the UAV data and other data sources
  • General consultancy (regulatory procedures, legislation etc.)

Apart from the services/consultancy just mentioned, we also combine technologies from our remaining portfolios with the use of UAVs.


UAV mapping and surveying in the private sector

UAV mapping and surveying is a relatively cheap method, and the application of it is therefore not restricted to the public/government sector. The method can also be useful and attractive for private actors, such as private golf clubs. A UAV mapping of a golf course provides a detailed and accurate altitude model as well as orthophoto of the entire course.   

LAST UPDATED: 12.12.2016