Topographical Site Survey – Homestead

A topographical survey produced by taking ground survey points, ground control points as well as drone photogrammetry survey for budding off grid homestead.

Project Details

Curtis Stone
950 m
534 mm
Brent Smith Georgi Pavlov
Lead, Post Processing, Survey
curtis, curtis stone, drone, gis, mapping, stone, survey


In the fall of 2020,  colleague and client Curtis Stone (The Urban Farmer, Fromthefield) reached out for some help. He had a new property he was working to transition into an off grid homestead to experiment with self sufficient living, and he knew he wanted an accurate topographical map.

After trying online contour map generator and the results not reflecting his property he wanted to have an accurate topography of his property without contracting a legal survey that could run from $8-10k.

We evaluated both a drone survey with photogrammetry as well as drone survey with photogrammetry plus a ground RTK total station with survey points and surveyed ground control points.

He opted for the later as it increase the accuracy and resolution of survey and helped to estimate the ground elevation under the tree canopy.

Over two days we hiked the property's 45ac/18.5ha and 94m of elevation gain setting ground control points, taking survey points under the tree canopy and flying a DJI Mavic 2 survey of the property.

Working with colleague Brent Smith of Paper Street Permaculture, Georgi Pavlov of Regrarians and the post processing applications DroneDeploy and Maps Made Easy, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and three contour maps were developed as well as multiple GIS overlays (Aspect, Water Catchment and Volume Flow, Microclimate, Solar Radiation, Slope and Soil).

The maps were provided in both PDF and KMZ formats for use on Google Earth Pro and other GIS based programs.

From his response to the survey maps, "these are amazing, thank you!" he was happy with the results and begin immediate to use the produced maps from the survey to begin transforming the site.


Urban Farmer, Youtuber, Author and Speaker Curtis Stone


  • Elevation
  • Inclement weather
  • Brush cover
  • Fire Risk
  • Singular Access
  • Thin mountain soil


During the survey there were multiple places on the property that Curtis hadn't been. Walking the property I was able to comment on the vegetation, potentially water harvesting opportunities (terraces and ponds), and speak to the major weak link and threat on site - Fire and Access.

Key Elements

  • Topographical Survey
  • Drone Survey with Photogrammetry
  • GIS Post Processing

Client Testimonial