What is Orthographic Mapping?

During the early days of air travel, people marvelled at the images from above. It was spectacular to see the world in a whole new way. Today, most people have seen plenty of aerial photos, but that does not mean that we have fully mapped the world. Instead, there are ongoing innovations in technology that allow us to create images in a whole new way. This is the power of drone orthographic mapping.

What is Orthography?

First, you must grasp what orthography is. Orthographic images are a special type of image. In such images, you do not merely render objects in a single view. Instead, you use three different views: a frontal view, a top view and a side view. This is the standard practice in orthographic imagery, but some occasions necessitate more perspectives. The reason for portraying so many pictures is to provide more clarity. When a three-dimensional image is rendered in a flat format, it can be difficult to get a sense of scale. Orthographic pictures provide the added context to understand the objects in a three-dimensional way better. Such drawings have been used for quite some time, but it is now possible to render such images through advanced technology. This is what happens with orthographic mapping. This mapping style allows you to get a three-dimensional rendering of a landscape or building, and it all starts with drone technology.

Start with Drones

The reason drones are needed is that they provide a steady, vast aerial view. Drone technology is quite advanced. These machines can be programmed to fly in a regular pattern above a specified area. This ensures that the drone can capture enough images to document the site fully. It is this aerial imagery that can be leveraged to make an orthographic image. The key is to make sure the drones are properly outfitted with photogrammetry.

Equip the Drones with Photogrammetry

Drone images are impressive, but the drones need to be equipped with additional technology to finish the orthographic mapping. Photogrammetry is a technology that is designed to assess three-dimensional objects through photography. To do this, the technology uses the photos and recordings to make measurements and interpretations about the objects being captured. In other words, this technology can look at a two-dimensional image and render the three-dimensional objects present based on mathematical calculations. Clearly, this type of analysis is absolutely critical to turn static, flat images into robust, dimensional depictions.

Take Imagery of the Designated Area

Once the drone is properly equipped with the technology, the recording flight can take place. It is vital to have a set area in mind. You do not want to capture more images than necessary, and it is critical to assess the area in question fully. If you miss any parts, then your rendering could be incomplete or inaccurate. In most cases, the drone will be programmed with the flight path in advance. Then, it will fly independently for the whole flight. This rigorous process is the best way to ensure the best range of images.

Process the Images

Once the images are taken, the processing can begin. This is when the real magic occurs. Thanks to advancements in computer software, all the rendering can be done via technology. Such mapping used to take years of meticulous drawing by hand. Now, the process can be streamlined, and the result is a wonderfully detailed model of a landscape. The model will capture the depth and scale of all objects in the space.

Understand the Applications

The process sounds fascinating, but do you need such mapping? The demand for orthography is more real than you may realize. Obviously, this type of drone mapping is already widely used in industries like construction and mining. However, farmers are starting to rely on orthography to get a better sense of their land usage as well. There are also applications for infrastructure inspection. Even real estate experts have started to use drone mapping. As technology becomes more accessible, there will be more uses shortly for this specialized rendering.


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