Olsson Survey Professionals Talk Drones on Radio

July 22, 2019

Two Olsson survey professionals recently shared insights on drones on a Denver business radio program.

Dennis Wolf, a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) pilot and land survey technician, and Michael Laird, a senior surveyor who leads Olsson’s UAV program, were guests on the July 15th “Connect & Collaborate” show on Denver’s KDMT Money Talk 1690. UAVs are popularly referred to as drones.

Among their takeaways is that UAVs can extend a surveyor’s access to unsafe or difficult-to-reach areas while also saving time and money for the client.

For example, Dennis described how preparing an American Land Title Association (ALTA) survey of a major retail location might take about 14 hours using traditional ground-based equipment. In part, that’s because all parking lot markings must be included.

Field work for the same survey using a UAV would take about three hours, thanks to the ability of an experienced drone pilot to quickly produce an aerial photo overlay.

“It’s really more of a time and labor saver. It’s more cost-effective,” Dennis said.

Michael discussed getting precise survey data from locations that were unsafe, if not impossible, for a surveyor to access. As examples, he mentioned obtaining emergency surveys of rail lines that were cut off by flooding or landslides.

The show was sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado and produced by the Colorado Business Roundtable. YouTube and audio links are here. Dennis was also a guest on the show on June 17, when UAVs were discussed.