Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert

Ben Sangster has joined Heliguy to provide comprehensive workflow support to our commercial clients, with a focus on spatial mapping, photogrammetry, surveying, and LiDAR.

Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert
Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert
Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert
Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert
Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert
Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert

Heliguy hires GIS and drone mapping expert

Heliguy has bolstered its enterprise team by employing a GIS expert to help surveyors maximise their drone programmes, utilise collected data and increase return on investment. Ben Sangster has joined Heliguy to provide comprehensive workflow support to commercial clients, with a focus on spatial mapping, photogrammetry, surveying, and LiDAR. He will be offering specialist and dedicated advice on the best industry-specific hardware, including DJI’s next-gen mapping drone the Phantom 4 RTK, plus the M210 RTK Series V2 aircraft.

Ben will guide clients through software and drone data platforms built for architecture, engineering, and construction professionals, such as 3DR Site Scan, DroneDeploy, and Pix4D. He will also be on hand to assist any aspect of their drone missions. The Heliguy team has decades of experience in this sector. Adding Ben to the ranks strengthens this area of expertise and he joins a company which is already the go-to drone supplier for the likes of Balfour Beatty, Network Rail, Terra Drone Europe, and Sellafield Sites.

Prior to joining Heliguy, Ben graduated with a BSc in Geographical Information Science at Newcastle University and was employed as a land surveyor. He is now relishing the chance to work with our enterprise clients to offer direct customer service and consultancy and to help start, support or scale their drone programmes. Drones have become vital tools for surveying and construction, helping to collect fast and accurate data, accessing hard-to-reach areas and improving on-site safety. Heliguy Insider speaks to Ben about his previous GIS work and how he will utilise this to benefit our clients.

He is a Newcastle University graduate with a BSc degree in Geographical Information Science which gave him essential experience in all aspects of photogrammetry, spatial mapping and surveying. He then moved onto employment as a land surveyor where he developed an understanding of the many problems which arise when dealing with geospatial data. He was a part of a team project commissioned by the Environment Agency which traditionally surveyed the coastline from Scarborough to Alnwick and some large projects similar to this could be completed much quicker using drones at a higher level of accuracy.

Using this experience to benefit Heliguy clients

His role at Heliguy is to support clients using drones for mapping and surveying by using the experience he has gained in the field. He will specialise in RTK (real-time kinematic) drones which obtain survey-grade accuracy, but can also advise on non-RTK drones for mapping. He will also provide information, advice and customer support to clients interested in LiDAR solutions, the fastest growing area in the geospatial market. The support I will offer to clients will include drone flight software and hardware, as well as flight and processing advice. In a nutshell, it will be complete workflow support.

He want to make drone data accessible and useful across all industries, helping clients to improve their site communications, planning, and operations and intend to utilise Heliguy’s ecosystem of hardware and software to offer advice and guidance on a range of drone-surveying problems and to build tailored solutions specific to individual needs.

What are the main benefits of using drones for surveying?

There are numerous benefits of using drones for surveying and mapping. First of all, they are far more efficient than traditional, manual methods. Something which would take a couple of people two days in the field to complete can now be done in a few hours with a drone. Drone mapping missions benefit from software platforms, which help businesses manage complex job sites. These software platforms automate everything from flight to analysis, allowing teams to survey large areas and make informed decisions quickly and accurately.

Using drones also allow for safer operations, especially when working on construction sites. They reach difficult-to-access areas and reduce hazardous man-hours. Drone surveying can also produce a variety of deliverables with use cases in many industries. For example, surveying software can stitch together hundreds or thousands of digital photos captured by your drone to produce high-quality 2D orthomosaic maps, or large numbers of digital photos of your surveying site can be compiled into a 3D orthomosaic map to provide actionable topographic data.

How are major companies using drones to enhance their operations?

Heliguy supplies and supports the drone programmes of major companies like Balfour Beatty, Terra Drone Europe, and Network Rail who are using unmanned aircraft to benefit their operations in numerous ways. For example, Balfour Beatty has utilised drones, including the DJI Phantom 4 RTK, on a major smart motorway development in The Midlands.

The drones are saving the company huge amounts of time. For example, measuring stockpiles and earthworks at the scheme’s recycling depot at Junction 2. It would take a surveyor, using traditional handheld equipment, about a day to measure these stockpiles and process the data. But Balfour Beatty has found that they can fly the drone over the compound in 15 minutes and process the model in about two hours. Digitising a site is a huge time saver and it also increases health and safety, making it safer to gain these quantities by taking people out of dangerous situations.

Other Heliguy clients, such as Terra Drone Europe, have used the DJI Phantom 4 RTK for a variety of jobs, including an important international survey of breakwaters and have carried out an in-depth accuracy test, while Network Rail is utilising drone technology for railway inspections and post-incident analysis – all while keeping the railway open and their people safe.