Eyexfz2a header image template 2022

McGill’s Survey Team Offers Top-Quality Drone Services

How Drone Technology Increases Efficiency — Saving our Clients Time and Money

Drone surveying is a valuable tool in the engineering professional’s portfolio. With a drone, it is possible to conduct topographic surveys with a greater level of accuracy than previous methods — and in a fraction of the time. This significantly reduces the expense of doing a site study as well as the workload of field personnel.

McGill’s surveying division has worked on a wide range of projects throughout the Southeast, including public infrastructure and mapping, route surveys for utility design, as-built surveys, construction stakeout, right-of-way retracement, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood elevation certificates, FEMA flood study cross-sections, American Land Title Association (ALTA) surveys, geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, topographic site mapping, geodetic control surveys for photogrammetry, and site survey control.


McGill employs its own photogrammetry experts and is licensed and insured to provide aerial services. Our in-house surveying team includes two FAA-certified pilots capable of providing aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, which we frequently incorporate into our mapping outputs to save our clients time and money.

Dallas gordon 2019
Dallas Gordon, PLS

McGill Surveying Services Manager Dallas Gordon said, “When it’s possible to use the drone — we do — because we can capture so much more information that way.”


McGill makes it a mission to provide the most up-to-date technology and services to our clients. We are always looking for methods to improve our efficiency, so our professionals make it a point to keep up with the latest trends. When it came to using drones for surveying and construction mapping, Dallas and the rest of the surveying team wasted no time in educating themselves and seeing where this latest technique could lead us.

“In 2010, I came across an article online where they were showing some of the 3D point models made from drone footage. I saw that and thought to myself — that is going to completely change how we work,” noted Dallas. “So, I went out as a proof of concept and mapped several things with a camera on a kite before drones were even a mainstream thing.”

We have come a long way from the kite method and are now utilizing advanced instrumentation, capable of capturing high-quality, color orthophotography, color point cloud models, planimetric data, and high-definition contour information.


In comparison to manned aircraft or satellite imaging, drones can fly at a significantly lower altitude, allowing forVolumes the collection of high-resolution images, high-accuracy data up to five times faster, for a fraction of the cost, and regardless of atmospheric conditions.

A mapping drone is also capable of taking off and flying virtually anywhere. Our engineers are no longer limited by inaccessible regions, perilous slopes, or terrain incompatible with conventional measurement equipment, and we can collect data in real time without incurring organizational costs.


The growth of increasingly crowded and complicated metropolitan regions necessitates detailed planning. Engineers can use the images collected from drones to assess the current social and environmental circumstances of the locations and consider the impact of various scenarios.

Spencer marketing point cloud photoDallas said, “Using drones to map an urban corridor is fantastic because we can go fly the site with our drone, take a series of still photos, and then, we can go through a process of stitching them together and making a 3D model. The good thing about it is at that point you have a virtual site. You can examine the entire area in great detail, while in the comfort of an office,” he explained.

“If we have the team out there on the ground, we could spend a fortune mapping an urban area, but with the drone, you get everything. We let the drone do the mapping and then our staff comes in with extensive knowledge of underground utilities and we can focus more of our time on those aspects of the project.”


McGill’s surveying team not only meticulously plans future projects, but they are also quick to respond in the event of natural disasters.

“Recent flooding in the Town of Canton washed out numerous culverts, pipes, and roads. We used our drone to survey the damage and began patching together a temporary solution to ensure the community’s safety in the interim, before moving on to designing a more permanent solution,” explained Dallas.


Click here to discover more about how McGill’s surveying team provides critical assistance and services to ensure the success of each project we undertake.






Let's Start a Conversation

Let's Start a Conversation

Let us know how we can assist you by sending a message in the text box below.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.