How Aerotas Processes Drone Data

How Aerotas Processes Drone Data

Aerotas provides human-in-the-loop data processing services for professional land surveyors and civil engineers throughout the United States. 800+ high-performing surveyors use Aerotas to process drone-collected data.

With Aerotas, you get to skip the photogrammetry and data extraction steps and go straight from flying the drone to finishing up in CAD.

You choose the right deliverable for your project

Aerotas pricing is quote-based for each project, and you can request a quote for free.

Proprietary workflow and the right high-performance computing architecture

Aerotas has invested in infrastructure – including high-performance computing architecture and a first-class team of ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrists and CAD Technicians – enabling us to deliver survey-grade deliverables in days, not weeks.

Aerotas has developed a proprietary workflow to process data in the most accurate way possible. The key to our workflow is our trained professionals involved at every step.

  • Human-in-the-loop at every step

  • ASPRS certified photogrammetrists

  • Multiple steps of quality assurance

  • Data team based in the U.S.

Once you upload your data, our ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrists produce a rich 3D model of your project and develop a preliminary accuracy profile. At Aerotas, every project goes through multiple rounds of processing to properly manage camera calibration, ground control, project cohesion, and a host of other things.


If the Aerotas Data Team identifies an error, we reach out to you immediately to ensure that you only receive the highest quality data. If the error is greater than 0.1' vertical, then we do not deliver without speaking with you first.

Examples of errors addressed in photogrammetry

  • Camera settings

  • Movement of ground targets

  • Variable altitude projects

  • Malfunctioning ground equipment

  • Photogrammetry processing

  • GCP quantity/geometry

  • Coordinate system mismatch

  • Camera calibration

  • Lighting conditions

  • Flight pattern/overlap

Professionally drafted linework created from your drone data

Once our photogrammetrists have finished creating the rich 3D model, our team of CAD drafters and technicians get to work extracting only the data you need. We use a suite of different 3D modeling and CAD programs to deliver on-time and on-budget, in the most accurate and efficient way possible.

Linework drafting is necessary because the outputs of photogrammetry are too big for CAD. There is just too much data that you do not need, and not enough data that you do need. Plus, automated contours face challenges, and Aerotas likes to perform an intentional selection of the critical points and lines that we export to CAD. This method is preferable to a “dumb” decimation of the point cloud.

Photogrammetry and drafting services grounded in end-to-end quality

No matter which service you choose, you’ll always get the same convenience, accuracy, and quality from Aerotas’ deliverables. When you upload data to Aerotas, you can rest assured that your data is being handled by ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrists and CAD Technicians here in the U.S.

We hold ourselves to the highest photogrammetry industry standards. In this case, our guiding document is the ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data; the same standards that are used for manned aerial photogrammetry with larger, metrically calibrated cameras.

No need to trust cloud-based automated services or software quality reports, with Aerotas you can be confident in the data because there is a human-in-the-loop correcting error and performing quality assurance checks at each step in the data processing workflow.

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What Aerotas wants from you

  • Images that the drone collected

    • 75% / 75% overlap

    • Nadir only, no obliques

    • Lawnmower (boustrophedonic) flight path

  • Ground Control in a TXT or CSV with your ground control points in PNEZD GPS format

    • 5 targets per battery

    • Corners of project + middle

    • Overfly by 1 flight line

    • Obvious center point

    • Visible from all angles

What you get from Aerotas

Aerotas can deliver your basic photogrammetry deliverables (Orthophoto, DSM, and a Point Cloud), a manually drafted clean TIN surface with spot elevation points, breaklines, and 1’ contours, or full linework that includes all planimetric features that are visible from the air.

Linework Deliverables (DWG):

  • TIN Surface

  • Spot Elevation Points

  • Breaklines

  • 1' contours

  • Planimetric Features

Photogrammetry Deliverables:

  • Full-Res Orthophoto

  • CAD-Friendly Orthophoto

  • Full-Res DSM

  • World File (TFW)

  • Point Cloud (LAS)

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Flexible pay-as-you-go pricing

Aerotas creates quotes for each project based on that individual project’s size, complexity, and the features requested.

Need more details on the exact files, deliverables, and specifications of Aerotas Linework?
Would you like to see how features are marked and a list of our CAD layers?

Visit our resources page for a full description of our products.