Using TraceAir for Land Acquisition

TraceAir provides valuable insights into the land acquisition process, empowering developers with fast, accurate data.
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The land acquisition phase can be one of the most critical stages that will determine the actual performance of any real estate investment. The larger and more complex the property, the more difficult it can be to evaluate what the land is actually worth. Are there stockpiles on the property that will need to be removed? Hills or valleys that will have to be leveled or filled? 

Typically a topographic or aerial survey is needed to determine these unknowns. Unfortunately, these surveys are expensive and can often take several weeks to schedule and even longer to receive topographical maps or imagery. Once received, they can often be difficult to understand and collaborate based on that data. 

TraceAir provides a quick, affordable, and comprehensive solution. Using our large network of professional drone pilots, we will be able to conduct your scans quickly. Most importantly, we give you data you can actually use to quickly and accurately evaluate the property. 

Timing is Everything

In today’s market, land is selling faster than ever. Being able to quickly evaluate the value of a piece of land is critical. Traditional surveying methods can take weeks to schedule and complete. Once the survey is complete, it can take an additional few days to process. TraceAir can often complete and process a drone scan within a few days of inquiry. One of our professional drone pilots will come out to the property and conduct the scan and the data will be sent to you the following day. 

In the time it takes you to schedule a topographic aerial survey and wait for the scans, another buyer could have conducted a drone scan with TraceAir, received their data, evaluated the property, and put in an offer. 


During the land acquisition phase spending thousands of dollars on a property you may not even purchase can be unfeasible. Creating a topographic map for a project can be costly. A hand-rendered topographic map is expensive (anywhere from $2,000 – $15,000 depending on the size of the site). An aerial topographic map is significantly more expensive and often more time-consuming given the need to schedule flyovers long in advance and process large amounts of data. Potential deviations can significantly affect volume calculations, which in turn may lead to construction delays and additional costs.

In contrast, conducting a drone scan with TraceAir is much less expensive and obtains better, more usable data. Mapping a project site using drones costs less than half the price of a hand-rendered map, and can be as low as a few hundred dollars per scan. In addition, if you do purchase the property and continue to use TraceAir on site, the initial visual representation of the property is already available. 

Accuracy is Key

Although timing and cost are very important, inaccurate or unusable data can make or break an entire project. Both traditional and drone survey methods are accurate within 1/10th of a foot. The difference with traditional surveying methods is that fewer data points are collected (and at a much slower rate). A TraceAir drone scan will provide hundreds of thousands more data points in the same area in much less time. Traditional surveying uses approximations to measure between data points, however drones provide more detailed accuracy. More data points provide more accurate measurements of things like stockpiles or changing terrains on the project. This increased accuracy is why drone surveys are favorable.

TraceAir provides highly detailed and accurate high-res aerial images and elevation models of the property. Our drone cameras take a series of high-definition photos at different angles, creating thousands of accurate data points, including geo-references, elevation points, and colors. TraceAir scans allow you to see much more than what a traditional survey provides.

The maps created from using data from a drone can be used to extract highly accurate distances and volumetric measurements. When a drone is integrated with surveying land, the data looks more realistic. 

Data Everyone Can Use

While topographic surveys can be difficult to understand if you are not a professional, TraceAir scans are designed for everyone to use. We provide unlimited licenses so that the data can be easily shared with anyone. The 3D topo and 360º panoramic images taken from the drone are a great resource for investors and the project team when a new project is in the works.

With a few clicks, users can quickly determine:

  • Stockpile volumes
  • Slope analysis: cross sections and elevation model visualization 
  • Distance and areas
  • Volumes to elevate or lower the areas (tools: Area and Perimeter — Estimate Volume, Removal by Polygon)
  • Collaborate using markups and drawings
  • Easily shareable 360 panoramic views

Get started!

Drone technology has become more widely used in land acquisitions, and savvy developers are using it to obtain valuable insights into the properties they evaluate. TraceAir can help developers make better-informed decisions. To see how it works, schedule a demo with our team!

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