How to leverage drone data and 3D models for better collaboration

Updated: Nov 13

UK construction companies spend an average of 90 hours a year per employee on paperwork. This comprises nearly 40 hours reading paperwork, 38 hours filling out forms and 14 hours searching for mislaid documents.




Historically, blueprints, paperwork, and updates have been recorded using pen and paper and passed around manually or communicated via phone calls. A system like this is ripe with information silos and causes mistakes that leads to rework, project delays, and cost overruns. With such high volumes of traditional form filling and paper worksheets, which are created in tools such as Microsoft Word or Excel, as well as PDF, a more efficient and effective approach to updating and communicating site progress is required.


For construction workers that have experienced any struggle to access or share information, development in digital collaboration has been a huge positive step forward. Many construction companies have begun incorporating new technologies into their daily activities around digital collaboration.


What exactly is possible with drone data?


Drones, and the data they produce, are pivotal in making your existing workforce more collaborative and productive, while also supporting safety measures and increasing data accuracy.


The combination of drone data and CAD into a 3D digital environment is able to streamline many aspects of the construction process. One huge way is simple collaboration between teams. When you integrate drone data into 3D visualisation software, you create a shared model for an unlimited number of users across disciplines to access. Users can make notes and annotations for other teams and departments to access seamlessly, and in context with designs and the site. As new data is collected and construction specs evolve, the model quickly updates, giving all team members real-time access to the latest 3D version.


With the help of new technologies and the development of construction management software, project managers can do their job with higher precision. BIM systems can integrate with remote site management software, such as Sensat's, making it easier for construction managers to cost and time-estimate their jobs and keep everything in one secure, easily accessible place.


Data captured via drone and hosted in Sensat's visualisation platform



Easily track site progress


Remote site management software also provides the ability to keep a detailed depiction of a project’s progress. Given the size of many project areas and the rapid development of construction sites, it can take teams months to digitise a large site manually, by which point the data goes out of date. As a result, this data is unreliable for decision-makers.


Capturing site data using a drone allows teams to speed up the data capture process by days and in many cases even months.


Visualisations derived from drone data allow anyone in your team to work with a visual and intuitive 3D representation of your project. Share snapshots of your site with stakeholders and clients to seamlessly communicate progress on a project’s status. Visualised on online platforms, like Sensat's, enables vital collaboration and information exchange where traditional systems have been stretched.


Putting it into practice


Sensat has created a high definition digital twin of a 900-acre site as part of the multi-million pound Milton Keynes East development to support Berkeley Group in submitting a successful planning application.


Time and efforts of both Berkeley designers and project managers were saved by having the entire 6km² point cloud available to view and interact with on Sensat's visualisation platform. Since the data is all in one place and accessible from anywhere, it meant face-to-face meetings could be held remotely


"Sensat’s drone data capture service and software enabled us to accelerate the infrastructure design programme whilst also providing a powerful tool for public consultation."

Aaron Wadhams, Berkeley Strategic Land Technical Director


Learn more



Sensat prides itself on being industry leaders in drone data, quality and accuracy. Through the use of drones, we are able to collect and visualise up-to-date and highly accurate data that is valuable throughout the different design and construction stages of any infrastructure project.


To see Sensat's drone data quality for yourself, request sample data at data.enquiries@sensat.co.uk. Alternatively, check out our survey data guide to discover when and why to use drone data for your project.