June 11, 2020

Drones to the Rescue

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Blog Aerial Spire Credit Union Blog Aerial Spire Credit Union

Drones have become a familiar tool within the real estate community, with more and more creative uses popping up every day. From roots based in film and television, aerial imaging has expanded rapidly to aid people every day in activities such as construction monitoring, project documentation, inspections in hard to reach areas, photogrammetry, site mapping, unique visual imagery to support land planning and design, and marketing campaigns.

Westwood recently utilized drone imagery to help Spire Credit Union efficiently complete an ALTA survey in less than ideal winter conditions and also provided project visual documentation and quality images for their branding and marketing material.

As the proposed Spire Credit Union project located in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota kicked off, the field team decided to take a high resolution drone photo as part of the survey as a historical record of the existing site as well as to test our drone capabilities.

Blog Spire aerial pre-development Blog Spire aerial pre-development

Spire leadership needed to complete an ALTA survey with private utility locates for full project documentation and approval. The request came in late November and immediately after the utility locates were completed, an arctic snowstorm arrived and blanketed the site in snow and high winds. As our survey team was challenged to capture all of the site data, the various painted lines on the ground grew harder and harder to find and make sense of where they were leading to and from.

Blog Spire snowstorm Blog Spire snowstorm

As the survey background and line work was processed in the office, we realized that gaps in the actual survey data were significant. Upon pulling in the original aerial image to help supplement and confirm where the private electric, gas, and communication lines ran throughout the site, we quickly learned that the resolution of the image was detailed enough to place it under the AutoCAD lines and simply connect the dots to verify locations. Without the aid of the aerial imagery, we would have had to remobilize to the site, resulting in lost time and increased fees.

Blog Spire Aerial ALTA Blog Spire Aerial ALTA

Based on the success of the original drone flight and images, Westwood completed a new drone flight at the completion of the project to supplement the final ALTA/Record Drawings. We also provided a closeout document aerial and overhead images to supplement the final construction plans and provided Spire with high quality images for use in their marketing campaign.

Whether it’s for new development, reconstruction, or existing building and site improvements, let Westwood help visually document your next project – after all, a picture is worth a thousand words!

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