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How Land Developers Can Collect Land Data Cheaper and Faster

A sign of a thriving market is seeing cranes working on new construction projects everywhere. Throughout Dallas and most of Texas, if you look up, cranes are what you see. Anywhere from office buildings, retail, and multi family communities to new neighborhoods, developers across Texas are looking for new opportunities to invest in.

Any experienced developer knows how many studies must be completed and hoops have to be jumped through before making a purchase on a property for development. It is important to have up to date property details and surveyor data. Every property requires land moving to make it suitable for construction and can be a costly expenditure. If the land would require to much work, it could make or break the deal financially.

Traditional Way to Collect Data

Before buying a piece of property, you have to assess the costs that will be incurred before it can be developed or flipped. Every deal made has to be a financially viable opportunity. One of the biggest costs, that could make or break a deal, is land moving. The due diligence process can already be costly and there is often a good chance all the money spent in the process could go to waste if it is decided not to proceed with a purchase.

Traditionally, a developer would bring in a land surveyor to perform a detailed land study to gather information to estimate the costs associated with “prepping the land.” While a Land Survey is vital and even required to move forward with the construction and development of the property, there are other ways to more quickly and affordably collect preliminary data prior to making the purchase.

Drone Mapping

Drones are changing how many industries capture valuable data and information. With drones, we can fly an entire property capturing hundreds of GPS located direct overhead aerial images. We process these images into a highly accurate and detailed aerial map. As shown on the image to the left, we can consistently provide 3- 5cm of true ground level accuracy with pictometry and export a resolution of as good as 1/2″/ pixel of the image, allowing you to see every detail of the property. The DJI Matrice 210 with RTK triangulates its location to precisely capture each images location for precise map processing. This image can be very valuable both in the early stages of considering buying a property and being correlated down the road with the engineer certified land surveyor. The use of this data collected can save the survey team in the field time and you money. In the overlay here, you can see how much more accurate what we can process is in comparison to google maps.

DTM (Digital Terrain Model)

For developers, the real value is found in the Digital Terrain model. As pictured to the left, this export can give you a pretty accurate read on areas of a property that will be difficult to work with such as creeks, sloughs, ditches, and areas that are prone to retain water. Knowing the elevations and lay of the land give you the data you need to perform calculations and estimations on where the land needs work, quickly calculating how much the investment will require, and calculating what the return on investment could be. Aerial mapping can be surprisingly efficient and we can sufficiently map large properties to fit in your time constraints. Multiple exports are available to fit your capabilities from a .jpg to a geolocated image that can be plugged in to Google Earth and even Auto CAD.

To learn more about how aerial mapping can help with your next project, give us a call today at (214) 842-6000!

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