Saadiyat Island Topography Survey

The Challenge

Saadiyat Island is one of the prime locations in Abu Dhabi. Many earth-moving activities spread across 700 hectares of land require a periodic report of quantities.

But the island is natural and untouched. The land contains tens and hundreds of ponds, lakes, muddy areas, mangrove trees, etc.

And the client requested the GIS Drones team to survey a large portion of the island to capture the current situation, identify the inaccessible areas, count trees, and quantify the amount of water to be dredged for the construction to start.

The Challenge

Our Approach was to map the island using the Phantom 4 RTK and the DJI M600, marvels of engineering by DJI.

This was the perfect drone for the job. Its Key Features include:

DJI Phantom 4 RTK Key Features

  • RTK module

  • 1” CMOS Sensor


  • Time Sync

  • OcuSync

  • D-RTK 2 GNSS Mobile Station

DJI Phantom 4 RTK Key Features

  • Works with Zenmuse Gimbals / Cameras

  • Works with Ronin-MX Gimbal

  • Up to 33.2 Pounds Total Take-Off Weight

  • Integrated Lightbridge 2 Support

The Execution

We had over 550 Hectares to cover, and we did those in only 15 Flights and a total flight time of 6+ hours.

With an industry-grade camera and sensor module on the Phantom 4 RTK and the DJI M600, we captured over 6000 images and 50GB of RAW Data.

In 2 days, data was gathered with an accuracy of 2.2 cm.

The Challenge

In over 2 Days, we were able to produce the following data for the clients:

  • 2D Orthomosaic

  • Digital Surface Model

  • Point Cloud

  • 3D Model

  • XYZ ASCII Grid

  • AutoCAD Drawings

  • Accurate Bathymetric depth survey of the lakes and ponds

The Benefits

The alternative was to conduct a manual survey, which would’ve taken weeks, and the data wouldn’t have been accurate.

Not to mention the manpower required for such a massive survey. The cost of operation, the post-processing time, and the data output limitations.
With Drones,
we avoided all of that.

We were able to provide the following benefits to our clients:

  • We completed the project in significantly less time.

  • The cost of operation was significantly low.

  • The manpower requirement was limited to only a team of 1-3 skilled teammates.

  • The output data formats were more than adequate.

  • And above all, the data was accurate and trustworthy.


It was a challenge for the GIS Drones team to cover over 550 hectares of land in 2 days and post-process the data to develop numerous forms of actionable data.

The GIS Drones team stood firm and completed all the project deliverables to the client’s satisfaction.

This means being at the forefront of technology rapidly being implemented in every business strategy worldwide.

And this project was another example of how we as a team face challenges here at GIS Drones. Do you have a challenge that’s too much for your plate?