Comprehensive Planning, Housing, and Environment

Drone Program

Safely capturing high-quality, data-rich imagery for projects and stakeholders across our twenty-seven communities.

SRPEDD's Drone Program adds value, data, and new perspectives to every project.

Our drone is a key tool that allows us to better serve the region. Our goal is to use drones to gather valuable site photos, generate 3D data, such as point clouds, and to otherwise provide "bird's-eye" insights. SRPEDD maintains a specially insured, FAA-certified remote pilot who works with staff planners and community stakeholders to meet our overall program goals and add value to every project.

Drone Capabilities

Telling a Story

A flyover can show a project area from a unique perspective, helping inform public engagement. Drone images also make stunning additions to project texts or cover. For the Mattapoisett Master Plan, aerial footage (below) showcases the town and will be a key element to invite participation in the master planning process.

3D Models

Using a techique called photogrammatery, we can capture incredibly detailed, and accurate 3D models of a site. In turn, we use this date to create a 3D basemap for GIS development or to simply help visualize a complex project area. Below is a model of a project site in New Bedford; you can click on the photo to view the high-resolution map and 3D model.

Measurements

We can capture data that allows easy, accurate measurements. These can be simple two-dimensional calculations (e.g. lane widths or building heights) or three-dimensional (e.g. cut/fill, volumes, or viewsheds).

3d measurement overlay of spoil pile
We were able to measure the volume of this large spoil pile behind a local highway department to help them plan on how to dispose of the spoil.

Observations

More than just a pretty picture, drone imagery can be used to capture data where it's tough for a person to reach. We can also capture change over time, whether it's phases of a construction project, or how the seasons affect parking in a downtown area. Imagery captured throughout this flight helped identify invasive species and gauge the level of sedimentation on the Nemasket River.