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Norman County Drone Survey of Materials

Norman County Drone Survey of Materials
Norman County Drone Survey of Materials

Location:  Norman County, MN
Client:  Norman County


Norman County needs to regularly survey its gravel and sand materials, but that often proves challenging and even dangerous.

Scaling a 60-foot mound—even without survey equipment—is a dangerous undertaking. The County would have to wait until the material froze and then arduously cut a makeshift stairway into the side.

In an effort to give the County access to accurate data at any time through the year as well as to avoid putting surveyors in a potentially dangerous position, the County retained Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) to support its data gathering efforts.

The Project

HEI used a drone to gather photos and data about the materials site and created a 3D surface and fill report. Thanks to the drone, the client has data without having to wait for the materials to freeze, and surveyors no longer need to scale the tall piles.

The County plans to use these flights to track how much fill is coming into or leaving the site over time, giving them an accurate record. 

Client Benefits

  • The County can now measure fill at any time of the year instead of waiting for winter.
  • Surveyors no longer have to climb a potentially dangerous mound.
  • Provided a 3D surface and fill report to the County.