We understand the urgency of our clients’ projects and provide a quick turnaround for estimates. We respond to inquiries as fast as possible to obtain the necessary information, and our geologists provide detailed presentations as part of the assessment process. Estimates are provided in consultation with clients to determine your needs and the specifications of your property or region. Please contact us to begin the process.

The standard PhotoSat surveying package contains a precision satellite ortho photo, bare earth elevation grid, contours, elevation image and direction of slope image. Additional deliverables may include mine site toes and crests, water body polygons and volume measurements.

Standard Deliverables

  • Ortho Photo: PhotoSat’s natural colour orthophotos are colour balanced, mosaicked and atmospherically compensated.
  • 1 m Bare Earth Survey Grid: Images of survey grids provide elevation values every meter. 50 cm elevation grids are also available upon request.
  • Contours: 1 m contours are derived from the survey, using a custom algorithm to smooth noise while preserving topographic detail.
  • Colour Elevation Image: The image is coloured, shaded and highlighted to clearly show the survey details. Blue is low elevation and red is high elevation.
  • Slope Direction Image: Slope direction is used to enhance the surface expressions of geological structures. North facing slopes are bright, south facing are dark, east facing are blue and west facing are gold.

Additional Deliverables

  •  Toes & Crests: Produced in conjunction with our engineering quality topographic survey data, PhotoSat’s unique technology automatically maps toes and crests from our satellite survey grid to an approximate accuracy of 50 cm horizontal and 20 cm in elevation. Satellite surveying of mine site toes and crests improves mine safety and reduces risk for the ground survey team.
  • Volume Reconciliations: PhotoSat surveys are used for monthly, quarterly and annual mine site volume reconciliations. Mine site volumes are precisely measured for the exact date and time of the satellite photos. The volumes can then be balanced between mine pits, ore stockpiles, leach pads, waste dumps and tailings beaches. Volume expansion between consolidated rock and blast muck can usually be calculated within 1% from PhotoSat’s volume measurements. PhotoSat’s volumes can also be compared to mine shovel and haul truck weight measurements for more accurate mine volume tracking.
  • Water bodies: PhotoSat surveys all of the waterbodies on mine sites with each mine survey update. These may occur as a result of accumulations of surface or ground water in topographic lows. Surveying of the waterbodies enables us to replace the waterbody elevations with the bare ground elevations from the most recent surveying prior to the water accumulation. PhotoSat can also continuously monitor large tailings ponds and provide water level information corresponding to the date and time of each satellite photo.

Surveying Packages

The table below illustrates the deliverables included in most standard PhotoSat surveying packages. Please note that file formats can also be provided in additional formats if required. Additionally, as PhotoSat surveys can cover large areas and result in large file sizes, we can deliver thinned files, which makes opening and working with these files much easier.

Standard PhotoSat Surveying package Common Formats

*Additional formats available

50 cm colour or grayscale precision satellite orthophoto GeoTIFF
15 cm or 30 cm accuracy 1m bare earth elevation grid (DEM/DTM) Floating Point GeoTIFF or MapInfo Grid or ASCII XYZ
50 cm or 1 m contours (plus 5 m, 10 m and 50 m contours) 3D ArcGIS Shapefile or 2D MapInfo or 3D DWG
Colour elevation image (in areas of sparse vegetation) GeoTIFF
Direction of slope image (in areas of sparse vegetation) GeoTIFF

Accuracy and Ground Control

PhotoSat’s elevation grids have been demonstrated to have a relative vertical accuracy of 15 cm to 30 cm RMSE, and a relative horizontal accuracy of 50 cm RMSE over horizontal distances of 10 km.

For more details on PhotoSat’s ground control requirements and guidelines, please see here

For more details on PhotoSat’s surveying accuracy, please visit accuracy studies for surveying and accuracy studies for mapping pages.