Namibia – Vegetation classification & quantification

Video created by the field team: Cesar Serrano and Andrea Blindenbacher

A wildlife reserve surrounded by traditional farms, where nothing but sheep or cattle are welcome, has to apply some really good wildlife management skills to keep the animal population and vegetation within the reserve healthy and sustainable. To do this, good estimation of food availability is necessary.

This has been the purpose of Drone Adventures visit this spring, respectively fall in the southern hemisphere.  After some very much needed big rains in the summer, the grasses, trees, and bushes converted the previously deserted sandy lands into a green blooming landscape.

The entire reserve was mapped again and WIL (Wild Intelligence Lab) is now running AI algorithms to quantify the different types of plants, which are the food sources of all the animals in the reserve.  We look forward to seeing the results of their and our efforts in improving this food estimation program.

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Drone Adventures Weekend 2020 – Glacier d’Orny

Every year the Drone Adventures team heads out to complete a project altogether. Besides reviewing all aspects of a drone mapping mission, from planning and preparing to capturing the data and processing, it’s also about having a great time together!

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Drones for sharks!

With already over 15 missions under our belt, we have mapped just about any landscape with our drones. But the one thing we haven’t done yet is to give marine conservation a hand. Mapping St-Joseph atoll in the Seychelles and acquiring high-resolution aerial images to identify shark and ray pups seemed like the perfect challenge to introduce our drones to the salty and wet air of marine conservation.

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Namibia 2.0: Nature conservation revisited

Exactly one year after our first mission to Namibia for the SAVMAP project, a team made up of Drone Adventures, EPFL’s LASIG lab and Kuzikus Wildlife Reserve came together again in the Southern African savanna from May 16 to 23, 2015 to apply last year’s findings and push the limits of civilian drone use for nature conservation applications one step further.

Protecting endangered animals like the Black Rhino and plants like the endemic and fascinating Welwitschia mirabilis, proposing new ways of managing land sustainably in semi-arid savannas and finding new approaches to counting wildlife were all important topics on our agenda this year.

The mission in numbers:

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Classifying Namibia’s savanna: Turning drone imagery into vegetation base maps

Timothée Produit of EPFL’s LASIG lab was part of our Namibian mission in May 2014. During the mission, Tim gave lectures both at the Polytechnic of Namibia as well as at the Gobabeb Research & Training Center on how to use the acquired drone imagery to classify terrain. Once all the imagery of the mission had been processed back home in Switzerland, Tim went on to use our data for classification purposes.

In this blog, we explore how to use multi-spectral imagery acquired by the eBee, processed into orthomosaics using Pix4Dmapper, to create vegetation base maps.

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