New to Aerial surveying

Hey everyone, just had a scenario and a couple ideas and wondered how plausible/practical they were. My equipment in this scenario would be a DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral with NTRIP RTK. (This is very much in an agricultural environment)
Read the scenario first and think of how you would solve this problem, then feel free to comment on my ideas and think about how it would work… Thanks for any and all input,

You’re an agricultural custom pesticide application operator who works with many acres of corn and soybeans, applying in the mid summer. You have gps guidance on your equipment and it would be very helpful if you had GPS guidance lines and boundaries before you got to the field. (The field will be flown beforehand anyway to pick out any objects or obstacles that you need to work around) You have a DJI mavic 3M with rtk correction from a local NTRIP caster. You want to find a way to make an aerial map several weeks before the application and be able to pick points on the map you generated and have precise* points to work with to create field boundaries and guidance lines. The lines can be generated with 2 coordinate points easily but boundaries require a shape file of the field outline.

Idea 1: fly over a farm to be applied that we have not dealt with yet and have no existing data (custom work and have no records of field boundary etc) and be able to pick accurate* points and generate a boundary shape file to upload to our John Deere ecosystem

Idea 2: the same process as before but be able to pick coordinates off of reference line (be it a fence post, corn row or other aerially visibly reference point and be able to generate a guidance line from those points (all that matters for this sake is that I can reasonably pick 2 points in a line and get accurate coordinates from them)

If you have any questions or need clarification don’t hesitate to ask please!

*= accurate within 1-4 inches would be great but let me know what the realities of this are as I’m just starting down this path

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How would ground control points play into this?
Are they necessary?
What type of software would you use for an application like this?

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MyJohnDeere can do that right in the maps boundry maker

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That’s what we’ve done for a while but the imagery from Google isn’t accurate enough for guidance lines and we have guys that change the way the rows go from year to year,


Hi Ian,

If I understand correctly, you want to make an aerial map and then use that map to determine the boundaries and guidelines. I see that this objective is entirely feasible.

About the GCPs, they are necessary for stitching the pictures into a map more accurately.

The workflow generally will be:

  • Collecting the GCP
  • Drone flight
  • Image processing using photogrammetry software
  • Import the orthomosaic image in GIS software
  • digitizing boundaries and guided lines

For the photogrammetry software, you can check DJI terra, PIX4d or Metashape, and QGIS for the GIS software.

When it comes to accuracy, I’d say with the right tools and techniques, achieving a precision within the range of 1 to 4 inches is entirely possible.

We also have this blog post about Precision Agriculture: How Reach Receivers Can Help Your Farm, that you might like to check.

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