use case Digital Infrastructure

Drones in use – and their added value

To support the tasks and processes involved in the planning and development of the Berlin TXL district, we make use of drone technology. The main focus of this is on continuous, precise and comparatively cheap collection of spatial data.

Generally, data collection takes place during a weekly flight over the entire site. Using the data collected, approximately 10,000 photos per flight, digital elevation models (DEM) and digital orthophotos (DOP) are generated using photogrammetry and computer vision. This provides detailed images of the roughly 500-hectare site in a short period of time and with comparatively little effort. By comparison, a traditional aerial survey using a conventional aircraft would substantially more effort as well as uneconomical.

The products generated weekly (DEM/DOP) and other project-related spatial data are processed and made available on a weekly basis – albeit with different access rights – as a geodata service (Web Map Tile Service, WMTS) and in the geoportalvia a login. The data can also be downloaded directly or transferred on a physical storage device if needed.

The DOPs in particular now benefit numerous use cases. In the area of facility management, damage to surfaces and buildings can be identified and their repair ordered. The performance of outsourced services, such as garden maintenance, cleaning of paved areas, or winter road maintenance can also be checked at any time. Combined with processes that depend on the geographic information system (GIS), the photos act as the basis for land management on the site. For example, the position and dimensions of rental or construction areas can be validated with just a few clicks, and evidence (i.e. before and after comparison) collected at the same time. In the field of environmental protection, flora monitoring is carried out with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and monitor invasive plant species

Orthophotos are also becoming increasingly important in planning and construction. They serve as a basis for long-term projects like the nature park, or for erecting temporary construction roads, train tracks and much more. The photos are moreover essential for monitoring and assessing the plausibility of plans based on measurements. By superimposing the DOPs on measurement data, numerous gaps in documentation have already been detected and filled.