Surveyor Operated Unmanned Aerial Surveying System

Overview Surveying specialises in Topographic/3D Surveying and Survey Accurate Aerial Photography using UAS systems.

We are a fully qualified Surveyor run company that use a range of conventional and modern survey equipment, the most important being our German made MAVinci Sirius Pro Unmanned Aerial System with onboard RTK-GPS.

We can be sub-contracted to supply data to other Surveyors and Consultants for further analysis, or we can use the data to produce almost any deliverable you require. Our clients can be assured that the quality of data supplied is of the highest standard - what you would expect from a survey professional.

We can supply:

  • Aerial Photography (ortho-referenced - georeferenced, true to scale and measureable)

  • Point Cloud Data

  • 3D Surfaces in formats to suit all major software packages - with a reduced file size if required

Or we can use the data to supply solutions to meet your needs and to suit your existing software, producing the outputs you require, such as:

  • Stockpile Volumes

  • Topographic Survey Plans

  • Viewshed Analysis

  • Erosion Monitoring

  • Earthworks Volumes

  • Simplified Bare Earth Surfaces

Health and Safety - Zero Harm

There is an ever increasing focus on improving health and safety wherever possible.  As companies look to achieve zero harm, Overview Surveying can help to eliminate the risk to Surveyors by completing the survey remotely from the air.

Unstable, dangerous or inaccessible areas such as stockpiles, slips or flooded areas can be surveyed without the risks associated with having a person physically on site taking measurements and collecting data.  Aerial surveying is especially advantageous for mines, quarries and earthworks sites, improving safety by physically keeping Surveyors away from operating equipment and avoiding costly delays while work is disrupted to allow surveying work to be completed.

On roading construction sites, we can eliminate the need for time consuming traffic management.  Traffic managment plans can involve limiting the number of traffic lanes in use, enforcing speed restrictions, and the inherent danger of having Surveyors working on busy roads.

Our UAV is launched by hand and is not dependent on catapault launching systems which utilise stored potential energy.  This stored potential energy can be a concern in particular industries such as operational mines.  Additionally, with operator controlled, manually steered landings, we have flexibility when it comes to where we can operate from - and this also allows us to manually avoid unexpected hazards and adapt to changing conditions.

About UAV Surveying

UAV Surveying works via photogrammetry - the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is flown in a set pattern above the area to be surveyed.  As the UAV flies, the onboard camera takes a very large number of overlapping photographs.  Our MAVinci Sirius Pro UAV, with onboard surveying grade RTK-GPS, also precisely measures the position from which the photographs are taken from during the flight.  This data is then uploaded to our custom built, high performance computer using specialist software to be processed.  A single geo-referenced to-scale aerial image is generated as well as a carpet of 3D survey points over the surface of the area being surveyed.  Survey accurate measurements can be taken from the resulting image and point data.

We have invested in the software and a considerable amount of computing power to enable us to process our own data.  We are in full control of the output quality and there is a fast turnaround (depending on the size of the site).  Based on the required outputs, for a single flight job, we could have your data ready within 24 hours of flying the area of interest.

If we are surveying a very small area with no suitable landing point for our fixed wing UAV, or are surveying a vertical feature like a cliff, we would use a multi-rotor UAV to complete the job.  Unlike the Sirius Pro, this work requires control marks to painted throughout the site and the position of each control mark must be measured with surveying grade GPS or conventional surveying instruments.

The MAVinci Sirius Pro Unmanned Aerial System

This system differs from other unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems.  Our MAVinci fixed wing UAV has onboard RTK (surveying grade) GPS, eliminating the need for ground control points - improving overall accuracy and significantly reducing the time taken to complete a survey. 

Additionally, this allows for no loss of accuracy when ground control points cannot be measured, such as when surveying inaccessible or difficult to access areas such as slips, operational mines or earthworks sites.  The advantages of such technology are that our system is faster and more cost effective than traditional aerial photography, standard surveying and even other available UAV systems.

What are Ground Control Points (GCPs) and how can we get away with not using them?

GCPs are marks that are manually placed or painted on the ground and measured.  These marks are visible in the aerial photographs and are used to locate and orientate the final stitched photographic mosaic and surface model.  All UAVs without a precise positioning system onboard require the placement of these control points throughout the area to be surveyed, which determine the accuracy of the final product.  Generally, the more GCPs, the greater the accuracy.  This task can take up a significant amount of time as well as adding to the cost of your project.

The Sirius Pro, with onboard L1/L2 GPS/GLONASS RTK does not require any GCPs to be placed.  The location of every photo taken is precisely measured in real time and these act as hundreds of uniformly placed control points in the air.

As part of our quality assurance process, we will further verify the accuracy of the data collected by measuring check shots with an independent GNSS system.


UAVs are a powerful new Surveying tool.  In the hands of a qualified Surveyor they can accurately survey and photograph large areas much faster and more comprehensively than ever before.

MaVinci UAV


  • Topographical surveys of sites for architectural planning
  • Earthworks sites
  • Mines and quarries
  • Landfills
  • Environmental monitoring (e.g. beaches, rivers, etc.)
  • Farm mapping
  • Irrigation planning and mapping
  • Subdivision planning data
  • Natural hazard monitoring (e.g. slips, floods, avalanches, etc.)

To complement and enhance the UAV data, Overview Surveying can also employ a range of other surveying instruments including Laser Scanners, RTK GPS and Total Stations to capture any spatial data you need as accurately as you require.

What do our clients say?

How does it work?


The survey is planned using dedicated MAVinci flight planning software...

A number of details can be manipulated at this stage, such as the altitude of the flight (which determines photo resolution and ultimately the accuracy of the final output) and the orientation of the flight plan (to take in to consideration prevailing wind direction or terrain features).  The flight plan is then tailored to the terrain.  If the job is very large it may be broken down into multiple flights to allow for battery changes and for the pilot to reposition to allow for line of sight flying.  Once on site, the flight plan is reviewed and after checking for hazards and assessing the actual wind conditions (the flight plan can be updated if necessary), it is then uploaded to the UAV.


The Sirius UAV is hand launched in autopilot mode, and after climbing to altitude, begins the pre-programmed flight plan...

Numerous overlapping images are captured and GPS positions are logged of where each image was taken from.  The flight is monitored by the UAV pilot and should the unexpected occur (such as a helicopter/plane entering the area) the UAV pilot can switch to assisted manual mode and steer the UAV away from danger and land if necessary.  If this occurs, the re-launched UAV automatically resumes it’s flight path from where it was interrupted.  Once the flight has been completed, the UAV is landed and the data is downloaded.


The overlapping images are then post-processed and are used to build a single ortho-referenced aerial image of the entire job...

Depending on the clients requirements a full 3D point cloud of the entire area can also be generated.  This point cloud can then be used to generate digital surfaces in almost any format.  The aerial image can also be draped over the surface.  If required the data can be refined further to include only ground points.  Contour models of the ground can be generated and topographical features can be extracted as required.  At this time, volume analysis of stockpiles or terrain features can be calculated.

Overview Surveying

About us

Jared and Siem Reeves


Overview Surveying Limited is based in Sunny Dunedin and is operated by Jared & Siem Reeves

Jared graduated with a Bachelor of Surveying from the University of Otago in 2001.  Since then, he has worked in both Wellington and Dunedin for Survey Consultancies involved in a wide range of Cadastral, Topographical and Engineering Surveying.  Most recently, he was employed by a major construction firm specialising in roading and civil engineering surveying.  He is also an Associate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (now Survey and Spatial).

Jared sees aerial UAV surveying and scanning becoming an important sub-discipline of Surveying and intends to be a specialist in the use of current and emerging spatial data acquisition technology. 

As part of his training to become UAV operator and pilot, Jared obtained his MFNZ Wings badge, FRTO licence and has completed a CAA endorsed RPAS course.

Siem graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Otago, a Diploma of Teaching from the Wellington College of Education and also studied at the Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure.  Her experience includes working on the Landonline project, teaching English in Japan and ski instructing in Canada.  She is now a UAV co-pilot and survey assistant.

Additional services

We also have access to a range of other tools enabling us to capture almost any spatial data or aerial imaging you could need.

We either own or can hire the following:

  • DJI Inspire Multirotor UAVs
  • Laser Scanner
  • Total Station

These will allow us to conduct:

  • Infrastructure Inspections
  • Precise Roading Surveys
  • Building / Infrastructure Modelling
  • Surveys of sites with insufficient landing areas for fixed wing UAVs
Get in touch with us


Jared Reeves

Bachelor of Surveying
Associate Member of the NZ Institute of Surveyors (Survey and Spatial NZ)

Phone: 03 456 2907
Mobile: 021 1745 685

© 2021 Overview Surveying