Discussion of issues of using UAVs to create topographic plans

September 14, 2023
Обговорення питань використання БПЛА для створення топографічних планів
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Last week, the Faculty of Land Management held an All-Ukrainian scientific and practical online seminar on the topic “New order of topographic survey on a scale of 1: 5000-1: 500. Meeting the needs of the land management industry” with the participation of DroneUA.

The event was organized by the Faculty of Land Management of the National Agrarian University of Ukraine, the NGO “Association of Land Management Specialists of Ukraine” and the NGO “Land Union of Ukraine”. This event brought together about 60 representatives of higher educational institutions, government agencies and organizations and private companies in the field of geodesy and land management in Ukraine. The DroneUA company was represented by co-founder Fevzi Ametov.

The topic proposed for discussion is extremely relevant. First of all, the creation of topographic plans in Ukraine on a scale of 1: 5000-1: 500 is carried out in accordance with the Instructions for topographic surveying on a scale of 1: 5000, 1: 2000, 1: 1000 and 1: 500, approved by the Order of the Main Department of Geodesy, Cartography and the cadastre under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 04/08/1998 No. 56, has not been updated for more than 20 years. It is obvious that this Instruction does not correspond to the current level of development of information technology, technical and technological equipment, the strategy for the development of the national infrastructure of geospatial data, and the level of development of economic sectors.

Dean of the Faculty of Land Management Taras Evsyukov addressed the audience with a welcoming speech and introduced the seminar participants. Afterwards, the head of the faculty gave the floor to the co-organizers. Its chairman, Anatoly Poltavets, spoke on behalf of the NGO “Association of Land Management Specialists of Ukraine”. He noted that the topic is extremely relevant for land managers and surveyors, because now there is a discrepancy between the current Instructions for topographic surveying at scales of 1: 5000, 1: 2000, 1: 1000 and 1: 500 with the current level of development of geoinformation technologies. He also proposed sending an appeal to the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre on the importance of improving the legal regulation of the topographic survey procedure and holding a series of public discussions of individual sections of the above-mentioned procedure to take into account the proposals and comments of the professional community.

The first of the experts to speak was Igor Trevoy, the president of the Public Union “Ukrainian Society of Geodesy and Cartography.” Igor Sevirovich, a respected expert in the circle of surveyors, has devoted more than 60 years to the development of geodetic science in Ukraine and is one of the developers of the new Order. In his speech, he noted that the Instructions for topographic surveying at scales of 1: 5000, 1: 2000, 1: 1000 and 1: 500 are outdated for creating high-quality topographic plans. Since its approval, views on topographic surveying have fundamentally changed: new equipment, new technologies for geodetic work have appeared, and the accuracy of surveying has increased. Without up-to-date spatial information about the territory, without accurate topographic plans, high-quality planning, design and construction are impossible. The expert supported the proposal for a public discussion of the topographic survey agenda on a scale of 1: 5000-1: 500.

The next person invited to the microphone was a member of the Council of the Association “Land Union of Ukraine”, former head of the largest enterprise in Ukraine that was engaged in aerial photogeodetic work, Petro Zholkiewski. Pyotr Frantsevich began his speech with the fact that all regulatory legal acts regulating the implementation of land management and cadastral work provide for the performance of topographic and geodetic work in compliance with the requirements of the Instructions for Topographic Survey. At the same time, the new Procedure requires technical and editorial improvements, since it contains ambiguous interpretations of technological processes and unrelated requirements for the accuracy of creating a rank for cartographic products. Afterwards the expert commented on each point of the document. In particular, it is necessary to supplement the regulatory document under discussion with a number of terms used in the text and give them an unambiguous interpretation. There are about two dozen of them. A remark was also made about the impossibility of developing estimates for topographic and geodetic work, since there is no collection of prices. It is necessary to clarify in relation to what the value of the mean square measurement error is established, as well as to eliminate contradictions regarding definitions and calculations. A remark was made about placing responsibility for monitoring filming work on local governments. At the same time, Pyotr Frantsevich noted that in the new order there are revolutionary approaches to the construction of geodetic condensation networks, and noted the need for adoption and generally supported the work carried out by the development team.

The head of the department of land management design of NUBLIP of Ukraine, Andrey Martyn, noted in his report that topographic survey is important for land management surveys, since it helps to establish the location and characteristics of buildings and structures as real estate objects, determine the location of individual sensitive objects that cause restrictions on the use of land, determine actual boundaries of land management objects (land plots, land plots) in cases of establishing (restoring) the boundaries of land plots in kind (on the ground). Also, an updated cartographic basis is essential for the development of comprehensive plans for the spatial development of communities (starting from 2021).

The key problems of topographic and geodetic support for land management, according to Andrei Martin, include: the need for precision in establishing boundaries, changes in coordinate systems, the use of GNSS networks, operational mapping, symbols for topographic plans. Then he presented the results of a survey of land owners and users, the accuracy of determining the location of turning points of land boundaries. The results are as follows: every fourth shareholder would prefer to establish the boundaries of shared land plots located in fields with an accuracy of 0.02-0.20 m, every fifth - with an accuracy of up to 0.50 m, and for another 40% an accuracy of up to 1.00 m. Among UTG residents, the distribution of answers is similar: 25% would prefer accuracy from 2 cm to 20 cm, 30% - up to half a meter, and almost every fourth would agree to accuracy up to 1 m. Representatives of enterprises assess the acceptable accuracy of the boundaries of shared land plots in fields are almost the same as representatives of other audiences: almost two thirds (62%) agree that accuracy of up to half a meter is quite sufficient, and most of them consider accuracy of up to 1 meter sufficient.

Regarding the boundaries of personal plots of land located in populated areas, for every third (31%) among shareholders an accuracy of 2-20 cm will be acceptable, for every fourth - up to 50 cm, and for another third - up to 1 m. Among residents of OTG there are expectations of greater accuracy for household plots in a populated area than for a plot in the field: more than a third (39%) prefer accuracy from 2 cm to 20 cm, a quarter of respondents in the OTG would agree to an accuracy of up to 50 cm (26%) or 1 m (23%). Representatives of enterprises are even more picky: almost half are inclined to believe that the accuracy should be up to 20 cm, and every fifth believes that the accuracy should be up to 2 cm. Only 20% are satisfied with the accuracy of up to half a meter.
The transition to the new State Geodetic Reference Coordinate System USK-2000 in some cases during land management causes problems for land owners, calling into question the rights they have received to land plots, and provokes border disputes and misunderstandings.
The land management industry needs extreme simplification of regulations for the use of GNSS / RTK networks in determining location. Currently, operational mapping technologies using UAVs are actively used, which require official recognition. The cadastral plan for the most part reflects objects that are not topographical, and symbols for them are not provided for by the requirements for topographical plans. Domestic symbols for topographic plans and maps are quite complex; they have many non-scale symbols that are difficult or even impossible to use during land management design. Drawing up comprehensive plans for the spatial development of communities in practice requires a specific electronic cartographic framework in which individual elements must be reflected with accuracy corresponding to different scales of topographic maps.
Summing up his report, the expert emphasized that scientific and technological progress cannot be stopped by regulations, therefore, if a certain technology for obtaining geospatial information is beneficial and effective for the designer, it will be used in practice, and reporting documents will be drawn up “as required according to the instructions” .

Senior lecturer at the Department of Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics at the Institute of Geodesy of the National University "Lviv Polytechnic", Boris Chetverikov, noted that the new Procedure has shortcomings in the sections relating to aerial photography using UAVs, since these advanced methods are also used when performing land management work.

One of the founders of the company Drone.ua, Fevzi Ametov, continued his opinion. He emphasized that an important point in the new document is the principle of not limiting the technical side of the use of new means of obtaining data. Because new technologies and devices appear every year. After the draft of the new Procedure is published, specific proposals for its improvement will be presented.

Director of the Public Organization “All-Ukrainian Aero-Geodetic Association” Andrey Galayda noted in his speech that the lack of an up-to-date regulatory document is a common problem. Now it is necessary to develop a document that would guarantee the quality of topographic surveys and provide for liability for violations. Moreover, it is necessary to legalize the use of UAVs to create topographic plans. This will revitalize the market and provide an opportunity to better develop the industry. The expert proposed, after the publication of the draft Order, to hold a series of round tables or separate platforms for discussion and the most effective processing.

Tatiana Kryshtop, deputy director of the UkrNDPIcivilbud institute, Alexander Podlesny, director of GEONICS COMPANY LLC, Ivan Kovalchuk, professor, head of the department of geodesy and cartography of NUBiP of Ukraine and associate professor of the same department, Alexey Zhuk, took an active part in the discussion.

Based on the results of the issues discussed at the seminar, a letter with relevant proposals was sent to the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre.

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