Real estate is going hi-tech and with a single click, accurate mapping, survey and measurement can be done. By M.A. Siraj

Real estate business is increasingly witnessing use of drones and Geographical Information System (GIS) for mapping, surveying, boundary inspection and for monitoring of physical state of infrastructural facilities. Recently, the BBMP sought the services of drones to map the gaping hole developed in the Sumanahalli flyover in the north-western part of Bengaluru.

The drones are proving to be an immensely helpful tool in aerial mapping of properties under development, road and bridges, chimneys and boilers in industrial establishments, photographing towers, skyscrapers and all kinds of tall structures, seashore installations, windmills and turbines and railway bridges. According to G.N. Yuvaraj, CEO, Icon Cadsoft, drones can drastically cut the time consumed in collecting accurate data by acquiring the data from the sky in the form of geo-referenced digital aerial images with resolutions as sharp as 1.5 cm per pixel. It enables checking of the built space to fiind out if it conforms to the design and can be shown to clients in the office. “It can even check the shuttering in an under-construction building and show various levels of elevation in varying colours,” he added. He was speaking on use of drones in civil engineering at the Institution of Engineers on Wednesday (November 27).

The images captured by drones can even effectively convey the state of joints and degree of corrosion in vital infrastructure such as bridges, chimneys, towers and transmission lines detailed up to the single rivet. Drone-mapping brings down the time to a fraction of earlier requirement and addresses the issues of accessibility challenges with regard to structures that may pose risk in terms of physical climbing. Drones also minimise the scope of errors of measurement by providing accurate readings obtained through high resolution UAV cameras. Says Mr. Yuvaraj, “Drones can be deployed to gather as much data in one day which teams of several men could take weeks together to collect. He says they can replace men required for mapping in risky situations such as tunnels, dams, mines and unstable slopes. They can even be deployed to inspect roof-top solar panels to identify sources of leaking energy. “Abandoned structures with difficult access too can be mapped and surveyed by the drones,” he adds. He says Icon Cadsoft is helping civic authorities in town planning and smart city projects.

Comprehensive tool

T.V. Venugopal, CEO, Bharath Bhumi, says GIS is emerging as the most comprehensive tool for real estate developers as well as broking firms as it can combine Excel, CAD, PDF etc., on the same platform and can provide photographs, text, voice as well as a 360-degree panoramic view of the property at various stages of development. The changes can be made in real time and can help clients arrive at a better decision by being interactive.

He said maps are static and cannot be updated while the ground situation for builders and realtors in today’s fast-paced world changes by the hour. In situations like this GIS could enable them to identify sold or unsold plots, access or provide data about the owners, measurement, and geographic features (such as elevation, gradient, trees, overhead water tanks, passing nullahs) to the clients without physically being there with a single click of the hand.

He said his firm is currently helping BBMP replace sodium vapour lamps with LED lights on 4.75 lakh lamp posts in Bengaluru municipal limits. The mapping of the lamp posts with GIS can generate the data pertaining to the foundation of the post, height, position, physical condition and other signages it supports.

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