Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as Remote Sensors: An Effective Data Gathering Tool for Wetland Mapping
This research compares an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-facilitated wetland data collection technique to conventional methods using measures of convenience, cost-effectiveness, and precision. The increasing risk surrounding Ontario’s wetlands is due in part to the inefficiencies of current data collection techniques. A small UAV was deployed to survey and collect imagery data from a wetland complex in Wellington County, Ontario. Orthomosaic imagery, and digital model samples were generated using spatial analysis software. Collected imagery displayed finer data resolution than conventional aerial imagery, and can be considered more comprehensive and precise in collecting delineation data, including ground water, vegetation patterns, and habitat. The single user approach demonstrated time and accessibility convenience over labour-intensive field studies, and at a competitive cost. For landscape architects and related professionals, this remote sensing approach advances landscape comprehension and provides a precise, accessible, and affordable wetland data collection method.