Arriving into Hao Yong Village in Hainan Province, a Mavic Pro stuffed deep into my rucksack, I felt a sense of trepidation. Not just because of foreboding clouds, government officials and barking dogs, but because of my missing friend, ally and translator, Google. After getting both sill and video footage in the bag, we set about getting our mobile device to connect via a Baidu interface to Google Maps on our Drone Deploy app. Amazingly the technology shunt enabled us to capture some amazing images and data from the 700 hundred year old village now quickly disappearing beneath a layer of tropical vegetation. Due to the dense forest cover and collapsing architecture, getting any data on the site has been limited due to site access. But the use of our drone has enabled us to capture incredibly high-resolution imagery and 3D data about the buildings, vegetation and topography of the site, so much so that we are picking up all of the inaccuracies of the CAD survey.
The survey carried out from an altitude of 50m was completed in under an hour but is already providing details that would take months to acquire by ground survey. Intricacies of the wall geometries and varying pathway widths, height of tree canopies and the condition of the building roofs are all easy to identify from the orthomosaic imagery. Whilst most of the ground is obscured by vegetation, there is still sufficient information to be able to read the lie of the land and to gain an insight into the hydrology and landform. The data collected is helping to understand the morphology of the village and how new development can be planned into the village without disturbing the site heritage.
To understand more about the project and the role of Survey Drone in preservation of heritage sites please click here