Keywords and Definitions

We know that drones and their associated technology can be exciting but sometimes a little clarity may be required and helpful. Below are various keywords and definitions for some of the different terms used throughout our website and within our industry. 

3D Modeling – 3D modeling is a technique in computer graphics for producing a 3D digital representation of any object or surface.

Aerial LiDAR – An aerial mapping technology that uses calibrated laser returns from the earth’s surface that is reflected back to an overflying GPS-monitored aircraft equipped with on-board positional and IMU sensors.

CAD – Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers or workstations to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.

CAD Overlays – The process of taking an orthomosaic map image and overlaying a CAD design. This process will compare a live worksite or project against the original designs to ensure accuracy and predict errors or issues.

LiDAR – LiDAR or light detection and ranging is a method for determining ranges (variable distance) by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. LiDAR can also be used to make digital 3D representations of areas on the earth’s surface and ocean bottom, due to differences in laser return times, and by varying laser wavelengths.

Photography Inspections – Inspections, vertical or ground-based, for which are aided with the use of photos to gain a higher degree of clarity and resolution.

Point Clouds – A point cloud is a set of data points in space. The points represent a 3D shape or object. Each point has its set of X, Y, and Z coordinates. Point clouds are generally produced by 3D scanners or by photogrammetry software, which measures many points on the external surfaces of objects around them. As the output of 3D scanning processes, point clouds are used for many purposes, including to create 3D CAD models for manufactured parts, for metrology and quality inspection, and for a multitude of visualization, animation, rendering, and mass customization applications.

Thermal Data Collection – Drone collection method for thermography data such as roofing, building envelopes, or bridge conditions.

Thermography Data – Data collected and displayed based on a heat signature of an object. Depending on the object scanned, the usable data may reflect extreme heat signatures or extreme cold signatures.

Videography – The process of capturing moving images on electronic media (e.g., videotape, direct to disk recording, or solid-state storage) and even streaming media. The term includes methods of video production and post-production.

Vertical Inspections – The use of drones to collect data of vertical assets such as buildings, telecom towers, bridges, and more. 

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