Ground control points and check points during drone survey


Ground Control Points (GCPs) are fundamental tools in Aerial, Drone and land survey. Sometimes GCPs are not needed, e.g., when surveying results are only for relative accuracy or to assess some details of an area by themselves. But when your aerial survey must feature absolute location accuracy—i.e., all points on the map have geo locations that tightly align with the points on Earth they represent—GCPs are a way to help ensure that accuracy. Read More >>

To understand ground control points in aerial photography, you can envision your drone map floating over the real area it represents. In this metaphor, thin spikes poke through the map and into the ground at precisely measured points along the Earth—points with known X, Y (horizontal axis) and Z (vertical axis) coordinates.

In cases where the aerial survey data is not corrected by real-time kinematic (RTK) or post-process kinematic (PPK) methods, GCPs need to exist at frequent intervals around your surveying area so that the map result is more accurate than standalone GPS-grade accuracy (a few meters).

Another case where you would need so many GCPs is if the drone data should be aligned with existing terrestrial measurements or with a custom coordinate system where no accurate transformation is available.

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