Erias Group

Australia
Adelaide
Brisbane
Melbourne

Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby

Drone aerial mapping used for village and cultural heritage surveys

December 5, 2019

ERIAS Group UAV Operator launches drone to the amusement of villagers in Papua New Guinea

A recent social baseline survey undertaken by ERIAS Group as part of an impact assessment for Oil Search Limited in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea was supported by drone technology.

The ERIAS Group drone was used to capture over 11,500 high-resolution images at 17 sites across the project area. Data analysis allowed large-scale photographic orthomosaics and 3-dimensional digital terrain models to be created and imported into the project GIS database.  

 

Orthomosaic image of village in Papua New Guinea. Ideal for recording village assets and infrastructure, and for generating annotated Village Atlas

Orthomosaic image of village in Papua New Guinea. Ideal for recording village assets and infrastructure, and for generating annotated Village Atlas

Within the digital terrain model, trees, vehicles, houses, road cuttings, graves, water tanks, raised garden beds and other features are clearly seen.

 

Digital Terrain Model overlay on drone captured imagery displaying elevation heat map

Local communities were keen to observe the drone remote control screen to view their land from above. 

 

Contour mapping overlay on drone captured imagery

During the survey an inaccessible cultural heritage site located across a flooded valley at the top of a waterfall was recorded using the drone. A village leader was able to look at the drone remote control screen and guide the drone to the site, which is now registered with the National Museum and Art Gallery.

 

Plant health overlay on drone captured imagery

Drone mapping has allowed the project to obtain a game changing dataset that will be used to assist in managing existing operations and plan future activities. A key benefit is the cost efficiency drones offer when compared with the labor-intensive traditional techniques for mapping community and natural resource assets.