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UAV for 3D mapping applications: a review

Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms are nowadays a valuable source of data for inspection, surveillance, mapping, and 3D modeling issues. As UAVs can be considered as a low-cost alternative to the classical manned aerial photogrammetry, new applications in the short- and close-range domain are introduced. Rotary or fixed-wing UAVs, capable of performing the photogrammetric data acquisition with amateur or SLR digital cameras, can fly in manual, semiautomated, and autonomous modes. Following a typical photogrammetric workflow, 3D results like digital surface or terrain models, contours, textured 3D models, vector information, etc. can be produced, even on large areas. The paper reports the state of the art of UAV for geomatics applications, giving an overview of different UAV platforms, applications, and case studies, showing also the latest developments of UAV image processing. New perspectives are also addressed.

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Acknowledgments

The work was partly supported by the 3M and CIEM project (co-founded Marie-Curie Actions 7th F.P.—PCOFOUND- GA-2008-226070, acronym “Trentino Project”). The authors are really thankful to Zenit (http://www.zenit-sa.com), Dr Deni Suwardhi (ITB Bandung, Indonesia), Dr Catur Aries Rokhmana (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia), and Prof. Juan José Fernández Martin (Valladolid University, Spain) for providing some datasets presented in the article and useful discussions on the UAV topic.

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Nex, F., Remondino, F. UAV for 3D mapping applications: a review. Appl Geomat 6, 1–15 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12518-013-0120-x

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Keywords

  • UAV
  • Photogrammetry
  • DSM
  • Archeology
  • Agriculture
  • Emergency
  • Urban