Bill Bryson described Durham as the best cathedral on planet earth but when this nine hundred year old UNESCO World Heritage Site needed a grant for repairs to its Cathedral Tower, they turned to the very latest technology to help them get it. Battling 25 mph winds, tricky light conditions and turbulence more usually found on a Hebridean island, Overdrones completed their aerial drone survey both quickly and efficiently - without requiring any public access restrictions to this high footfall site.
Commissioning architects, Purcell, were impressed, saying: Overdrones undertook a professional and comprehensive survey for us and coped especially well with the unpredictable weather systems of the Durham peninsula.
Dean Overton, Overdrones Director and Chief Pilot, however, was quick to lavish praise on the equipment they use at the company: Id like to say our success was solely down to our 35-years of flying and photography experience, he said, but without the drones high definition gyro-stabilised gimbal camera system producing cinema quality photography and video, we would find drone visual surveys far more difficult to capture. We are also trying to develop methods using photogrammetry to produce orthomosaics and 2D/3D data sets. However, without such a stable platform these new techniques would be impossible he added.
Commenting on news of the Cathedrals £568k grant award, Overton said: When such an august and venerable institution as Durham Cathedral takes to aerial drone photography so enthusiastically, you know that this technology has truly entered the mainstream. If we can get results like this for the ecclesiastical sector, just imagine the implications for the building sector as a whole.
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