How to use drone data to accelerate real estate projects

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

Check out our latest guide and discover the top 5 reasons to use drone data capture for your project.

Ensuring the data you have on your real estate development is accurate and up to date is critical. Using manual processes to collect site survey data can often be time-intensive and costly. Terrestrial data collection can also often lack context, be prone to mistakes and sometimes need rework - not what you need when you have project targets and deadlines to hit.

Given the size of many project areas and the rapid development of real estate sites, it can sometimes take teams months to digitise a large site manually, by which point the data goes out of date, is unreliable for decision-makers, and can cause significant development delays. With the help of new data capture technologies and the advancement of visualisation platforms for data, you can collect, process and view data far more quickly and with greater accuracy, which allows you to complete real estate projects faster with greater efficiency.

Data captured and visualised by Sensat for the Milton Keynes East development

What’s possible with drone data?

Drones, and the data they produce, are pivotal in making your existing workforce more effective, more collaborative and more productive.

For example, the combination of fast and accurate survey data collection, delivery, processing and then the conversion of CAD into a 3D digital environment, helps streamline many aspects of the construction process

Throughout every phase of your real estate project - from initial survey setup and designs through to progress monitoring, earthworks monitoring, asset handover, maintenance, procurement, decommissioning and beyond - drone survey data can be collected and visualised to help you deliver housing projects on time, to budget and to high specifications. This data, when hosted in a visualisation platform, can also help you make more informed decisions so your project team can build more sustainably and meet government guidelines.

There are many reasons to adopt drone data capture and visualization to improve accuracy, reliability, speed, efficiency, safety, and enable multiple spectrums of data delivery. This data can also help you when collaborating with councils, architects, designers, and developers, as well as give you images for stakeholders and public engagement during planning and consultation.

And because drones can enter restricted spaces people can’t, data can be collected for the most difficult to reach sites. Once processed, this data can provide multilayering when combined with existing data, to give a better picture of a site and project. And finally, by capturing data with drones, you can ensure a safer development site —with fewer workers needed on site, as drones do the physical work for you.

What can I do with a data visualisation platform?

When data capture is combined with a visualisation platform, not only can you view all your data in place, but you can enable collaboration between teams. When you integrate drone data into 3D visualisation software, you can create a shared model for an unlimited number of users across different disciplines. 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.

The latest visualisation platforms are packed with features and are capable of tracking and measuring complex project performance from any internet-connected device.

For example, in Sensat’s visualisation platform it’s possible to get access to all above and below ground data and information, including:

  1. Geospatial and topographic site information

  2. Integration of buried services and below-ground utilities

  3. Masterplan models and BIM integration of all associated commercial

  4. Residential structures, and all engineering design information for the associated infrastructure.

This gives you a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) of your development site or project, so all stakeholders are working on the most up-to-date information to create a holistic project overview.

This isn’t all, other features include:

Data integration

Complete integration of all you stakeholder data including underground services, massing models, BIM, CAD and topography - with no limits we provide instant access to large data sets across multi-disciplinary projects.

Measure + Design

Measure and design tools within the visualisation platform, which help with analysis, volumetric measurements, cropping and downloading, allow for accurate and reliable information critical during design and planning phases.

Open source + Live data

You can have all your import open-source data, land boundary constraints, planning GIS information all in one platform

Asset management

At the end of the project lifecycle, a visualisation platform gives you the ability to create a full digital model of the entire development for operations, asset management, and more.

Quick, simple and effective, capturing survey data of your real estate via drones can be processed and aggregated in a visualisation platform in a number of days, giving you a digital representation of your site to move to the next stage of your project.

For more information, check out our real estate guide on when and why to use drone data for your project.

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