GeoDrone and the city of Jyväskylä

How GeoDrone became an everyday tool for city surveying?

The best drone expertise in Finland can probably be found in Central Finland. Behind all that expertise are the CEO of Nordic Drones, Juhani Mikkola, and the municipal geomatics manager of the city of Jyväskylä, Ari Heinonen.

The city of Jyväskylä is seen as a progressive user of UAS technology. And there’s a reason for it: the capital of Central Finland lives boldly ahead of its time and the technopositivity doesn’t come as a surprise for anyone who has seen Jyväskylä’s latest projects.

UAS technology has been in use for a long time when creating a 3D map of the city. The model is constantly updated to keep it up to date. This is done by using the GeoDrone made by Nordic Drones Oy. Jyväskylä has been actively using drones in recent years.

Ari Heinonen, the municipal geomatics manager of Jyväskylä, got to know drones for the first time at the Intergeo convention. He was impressed by the way drones were used in mapping and the quality of the end products. Soon after the convention Heinonen researched the drones available and what kind of end products were possible to capture with each solution. At the same time, the city of Jyväskylä started to gain interest in their first drone project.

Jyväskylä added a drone purchase in their budget in 2014.

Heinonen had heard of a Finnish drone manufacturer that could have a solution for their needs. As it happens the manufacturer was also from the same region. A demo shooting day was arranged.

The day of the demo shooting was windier than usual. The shooting was arranged regardless of the wind. The drone stayed in the air. The endurance of the drone and the quality of the captured material was enough to convince Heinonen. After that day, the city of Jyväskylä became the first customer of Nordic Drones that specializes in land surveying.

What is the GeoDrone used for in Jyväskylä?

At first, the GeoDrone was needed for topographic base maps. According to Heinonen, the base maps could have been maintained using traditional methods, but that would have required significantly more resources. Traditionally, a geomatics team is sent to the area or a mobile mapping is done in the area. However, the efficiency of the mapping done with a drone was on a whole another level when compared to the traditional methods. The investment in the GeoDrone recouped itself in less than a year. Working with the drone is so efficient that time is saved for multiple other tasks. When the whole process is mastered, imaging can be done effortlessly.

Ari Heinonen, the municipal geomatics manager of the city of Jyväskylä (left), and Juhani Mikkola, the founder of Nordic Drones Oy (right). GeoDrone 4 on the table.