Why is it important to document your site from the air using UAV/Drones?

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Ryan Holmes
Multivista Program Director – UAS

Typically, visual construction documentation is based on ground-level photography. However, these methods can miss out on identifying important details or hazards that aren’t completely obvious from the ground level.  

Let’s break down a few ways that UAVs can help document some of the most important and not-so-obvious details of a construction site from the air.


Right at the start of any project, the earth needs to be prepared to accept whatever utilities and foundations are going to be placed there.  A good earthwork deliverable will establish a baseline of the site to determine what you are starting with, and then as the project moves on, assess the amount of earth moved daily or weekly through aerial mapping & laser scanning documentation.

Capture all on site activities that have happened and when via aerial mapping, still images, and HD video at a frequency that matches the rate of construction.

Determine the rate of jobsite progress by comparing week over week material movement, and infrastructure development.


Evaluate material, equipment, and personnel workflows from an aerial perspective. Frequent UAV/Drone flights documenting the project’s progress provides valuable and timely reality capture data so teams can assess and collaborate to ensure work on the ground best matches up to project priorities.

View material, equipment, and personnel workflows from above to see and understand what the project’s status is, based on where the priorities are being placed.

Compare aerial maps with architectural plans to expose conflicts and highlight missing items that need to be addressed to meet timelines.  This can help to eliminate sources of rework when concrete is being placed and anytime a specific sequence of events must be adhered to during the construction process.

Identify velocity and resource gaps to better manage time on site or address delays as early as possible.

Utilize site mapping to better assign workstations,  muster points , parking, materials storing, and other site logistics.


Seeing an entire jobsite from above can help identify and avoid potential hazards before they become a problem.

Review (and mitigate or eliminate) unsafe areas so that personnel can focus on the needs of your project.

Optimize site workflows early and address potential hazards before they become major issues when site activities are at full speed.


When comparing the images, point clouds, and surfaces captured by drones to the architectural plans, surface and 3D models, this enables construction teams to conduct multiple near-real-time assessments to ensure work matches the design intent.  Track earthwork, ensure all elements are installed prior to a concrete pour, and evaluate site layout and haul routes prior to excavating for utilities and foundations. These are just a few examples of many that drone data can help address in the QA/QC process.

After a project handover, drone documentation provides additional coverage to mitigate or prevent  any potential claims.  This documentation will  validate the work completed and that quality measures are in place.


If a picture is worth a thousand words, then imagine adding a high-definition video at 30-images per second to add even more perspective and value.

Having HD quality video and photographs of your site’s progress from every major milestone, helps to not only showcase the development cycle but also the quality in the work being completed.

Looking to drum up interest in your project then HD aerial footage, time-lapse and sizzle reels are a great way to showcase your site to potential clients.

For Construction Managers/General Contractors, sizzle reels are a great way to show off your portfolio of work to owners/developers in just a few minutes time.

Ready to transform your processes with UAVs?

Multivista offers a full suite of professional construction UAV/Drone services, including photo, video, panoramas, mapping services, and more. Our Multivista Documentation Specialists are certified UAV/Drone pilots who have completed extensive training.

As well, our local Multivista teams handle the responsibilities around acquiring flying permits and completing flying operational requirements as another layer for streamlining your site documentation needs.

Want to see what UAV/Drone services can do for your construction business? Request a demo here.

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