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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Drone Mapping Projects with Skycatch Edge Solutions

Drone mapping technology has revolutionized the way mining companies operate, providing them with frequently-updated 3D data of their sites. However, many companies are still struggling to achieve the accuracy and consistency they need for reliable and repeatable data. 

Achieving consistent, repeatable data has been a major pain point for mining companies using drone mapping technology. The accuracy of the data collected by drones can vary widely depending on factors such as wind, lighting, and operator error. This lack of consistency has made it difficult for companies to use drone data to make accurate decisions about their operations. 

Furthermore, most mapping software that is currently available on the market is not designed for the specific needs of mining companies, which means these companies are spending a lot of effort to create sub-optimal data.

This is why we developed different data processing products known as Skycatch Edge Solutions, all powered by Skycatch Vision Engine (SVE).

Increase Repeatability With Skycatch Edge Solutions

Skycatch Edge Solutions are a combination of products that enable in-field, quick processing powered by Skycatch’s Vision Engine (SVE), a proprietary 3D reconstruction engine for geo-referenced data. 

All of our Edge Solutions are powered by the Skycatch Vision Engine, which can produce an accurate 3D data model of the site, and is also used to generate orthomosaic and digital elevation models (DEMs) from drone images. Skycatch Vision Engine technology

 is built to replace complex data processing workflows, and delivers unparalleled, repeatable data products to sub 5cm accuracy (at 1cm GSD), with no ground control points (GCPs) required. 

Why Transition Away From GCPs For Mapping Accuracy?

In the past, to achieve accuracy in drone mapping, users would need to place ground control points (GCPs) on the ground at strategic locations throughout the site. With enough GCPs placed properly, throughout the site, users could get accurate data products.

However, there are many challenges associated with using GCPs:

  • They can be time-consuming to place, especially if the site is large.

  • They have the tendency to be moved or removed by people or equipment on the work site.

  • They can disrupt the work site as they can't be in the way of equipment and buildings.

  • They can be difficult to retrieve after the mapping is complete.

  • Placing and retrieving can potentially be dangerous if the work site is in a remote or hazardous location.

  • These are time-consuming but required every time before flight to achieve mapping accuracy.

If even one GCP is placed incorrectly, it can throw off the accuracy of the entire mine site operations. Inaccuracy could lead to several operational inefficiencies & delays at the mine sites? This could also lead to potential safety risks at the mine sites as well due to those in the field having to repeatedly go back into the field to correct the locations.

Skycatch Edge Solutions offer sub 5cm accuracy across all data points in the point cloud, every time so you are able to repeat the same workflow on any mine site knowing your workflow is producing accurate, consistent data every single time. 

Our solutions are also compatible with most RTK enabled drone systems, meaning you can use it without GCP workflow to achieve sub 5cm accuracy.

The Importance of Automation and Accuracy

Geospatial industries are under pressure to do more with less. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to ‌automate workflows and improve efficiency whenever possible.

Time-to-data is critical in many applications, such as emergency response and construction. The faster you can get information about the site, the better. Speed and accuracy are also important in surveying and mining applications. Inaccurate maps can lead to missed deadlines and cost overruns.

The Edge system from Skycatch offers a more efficient and accurate solution for drone mapping, without the need for GCPs. It is an affordable, all-in-one GNSS and imaging solution that is ideal for a wide range of applications. With Edge, you can get the information you need, when you need it.

Edge Solutions Options




Best for low density, fast data processing while in the field

Best for offline data processing, on-premise, at a higher density

Best for projects requiring your own private server

Serves as a GNSS base station in either PPK or RTK mode. No GCPs required

Repeatable data collection with exceptionally high density, high fidelity outputs

Provides the same utility customers would expect from the EdgePlus solution

Capable of self-positioning. Works with known or custom coordinate systems

Secure, offline processing, no internet required.  Can run on a laptop or desktop computer

Secure, offline processing, no internet required

Quick visualization of the data via a mobile device

Faster turnaround of critical data. 

Can be upscaled to achieve greater performance and be customized to achieve more robust integrations. 

< 30 minutes @4 pts/m2 for quick visualization of data* 

 < 30 minutes @64 pts/m2*

< 30 minutes @64 pts/m2*

*Time to process 500 images with DJI M300RTK w/P1 camera

**Available on-demand for enterprise level

Applications for Skycatch Edge solutions have a wide range of potential applications, including:

  • Construction: Track progress on construction projects, as well as to check for potential problems such as subsidence or foundation issues.

  • Mining: Map mines operations and track the progress of excavation projects.

  • Surveying: Survey land, calculate volumes, and create contour maps.

However, our Edge Solutions are each built to satisfy different data processing requirements. Let’s take a closer look at those now.

Edge1: Perfect for low-density data processing in the cloud

The Edge1 from Skycatch offers centimeter-accurate mapping with no GCPs. It comprises two parts: a GNSS base station and an in-field processing unit.

The GNSS base station is placed at the work site and provides real-time kinematic (RTK) or post-processed kinematic (PPK) corrections to the drone as it flies, resulting in more accurate mapping. 

The in-field processing unit is used to process the images taken by the drone in near real time so you can use your data immediately, rather than waiting days or weeks. This unit contains all the software needed to generate an accurate map of the site and process images at a lower density (see chart above).

EdgePlus: Perfect for on-prem, offline data processing at a higher density

The EdgePlus is an upgraded version of Edge1 that includes on-premise data processing. This means that the data does not need to be sent to the cloud for processing. Instead, it can be processed locally using a laptop or desktop computer. 

This is ideal for applications where internet connectivity is limited, such as in remote locations or after natural disasters. It’s also ideal for a higher volume of data where additional power is needed to maintain rapid processing (see chart above).

EdgeServer: Perfect for on-site processing via a private server

EdgeServer is a powerful, on-premise data processing solution that is designed for enterprise users as an on-demand option to easily integrate into their native systems/platforms. 

It includes all the features of EdgePlus, but with the utility of being able to use it locally in your office or data center. 

EdgeServer is the ideal solution for enterprise users who need to process large amounts of data quickly and securely.

To learn more about the Skycatch Edge Solutions, download our fact sheet here.

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