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Using Drone Imagery to Record Your Building

By March 4, 2020No Comments

We have been approached by Jim Sallis, Principal Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University regarding an exciting community opportunity for all HTN members interested in using drones to record their sites.

The project is looking specifically at the way in which community groups who have specific responsibilities for the care of historic buildings/archaeological sites can play a greater part in contributing to local authority Historic Environment Records (HER) through the use of drone imagery.

The workshops will be very much ‘hands-on’, with volunteers having the opportunity to use a variety of surveying instruments as well as learn how to undertake an aerial survey with a drone. The content will be focused on ‘capacity building’ and ensuring that groups have lots of skills to take away with them for use in the future.

The information collected will be used to create 3D visualizations and digital models that could serve as an official record of a building’s condition, or simply aid the public’s understanding of a site more generally. Buildings/monuments that are considered ‘at risk’, would obviously benefit from such a record, but recently completed projects would also offer a range of alternative ‘awareness raising’ opportunities.

Jim is currently speaking with a number of local authorities and HE who are also interested in incorporating community generated content into national databases and tells us that this could be an excellent opportunity for trusts to improve their knowledge of recording techniques and deepen their engagement with cultural heritage more generally.

This is where you come in, as Jim has asked if we have any members who are currently grappling with suitable sites and who feel this work would be of benefit to their volunteers. He is based in the East Midlands but is happy to travel anywhere. He is mindful that the CAA does restrict the use of drones in built up areas, so it is anticipated that sites will have a slightly more rural context to them. However, do check with Jim first as this is not as restrictive as you might think.

All equipment will be supplied by the university, so groups have no need to worry in this respect. This is an ongoing project which will certainly last for 2-3 years, so new projects may be able to be added as they come online during this period. He is also looking at bringing communities together as there is much to be gained by networking across the sector.

If you would like to take part in the scheme then please contact Jim Sallis on

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