Drones have a wide variety of uses in the commercial sector, depending on their size and payload. The camera on the DJI Inspire 1 is capable of capturing HD imagery that can then be incorporated into surveying and mapping. I am a CAA approved drone (UAV) pilot, I am fully insured, and have the indemnity insurance to £1million (this can be increased if required).


The process of aerial mapping is called photogrammetry, and the images below are from a test survey at Gullane Beach in East Lothian, Scotland. In order to collect accurate imagery, the drone must fly a pre-determined grid, with the camera pointing vertically down and at a set height that allows for sufficient overlap of the images. Data is processed online using DroneDeploy (

The resolution of the survey is determined by the height of survey grid, with a lower altitude creating a higher resolution and more accurate map. The absolute accuracy of this example is 1-3m, as positioning was calculated solely from the GPS of the UAV, however, if surveyed ground control points (e.g.using RTK (Real Time Kinematic GPS)) were introduced, the error could be reduce to 1-3cm if required.


This aerial survey took approximately 15 minutes to fly, and around 3 hours to process. 

Clients that have used the services of Creative Sides Photography include:

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UAV: DJI Inspire 1 v2.
Weight:                                      3060g (inc. camera and battery)
Max Speed:                                49mph
Max height:                                4500m asl (restricted to 120m in UK airspace)
Max range:                                 500m or within visual sight (CAA regulations)
Satellight positioning system:      GPS/GLONAS
Camera:                                     X3 1/2.3" CMOS sensor (12.4megapixels)
FOV (field of view)                   94° (360° pan on gimbal)
Video capability:                         up to 4k.
Editing software:                         Photography - Adobe Photoshop CS6
                                                 Video - Adobe Final Cut PRO
Advantages of drone use

​- Cost saving. Versatile and flexible operating platform capable of working in remote and inaccessible environments. Real time visual data feed to assist operations.

- Safety. Risk assessments and pre-operation site checks conducted prior to work commencing.

- Legal. CAA approved pilot, fully insured up to £1million (this can be increased if necessary).

- Quality. High definition data instantly accessible, if required. Edited HD video and stills are also available.

- Flexibility. UAV is easily transportable and can be deployed at very short notice.

- Weather dependent. Cannot be used in strong winds or precipitation, and at night.
- Protected airspace. Drone operations in certain areas of the UK are prohibited, unless special dispensation is sought from the CAA.

- Battery life limited to 18minutes. However, operations can be prolonged by using multiple batteries.


I treat every job on an individual basis, so if you have any questions about the work I do, or would like a quote, please contact me using the form below and we can discuss your requirements further.

Edinburgh based commercial photographer and videographer specialising in LVIA photography and travel photography.

​All images © Creative Sides Photography

25/6 Edina Place, Edinburgh, EH7 5RN

CAA Approved drone operator