Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for GEO 252 Effective Spring 2021

Course Number:
GEO 252
Course Title:
Geospatial Modeling with Drones
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Focuses on data capture with drones for geospatial technology applications. Covers basic and intermediate workflows for using drones with high accuracy and precision GPS to create digitally derived Point Clouds, Digital Terrain Models, Digital Surface Models, 3D objects, and Orthomosaics, with the intent of integrating this data into multiple platforms. Required: Current Part 107 UAS Certificate of Authorization from the FAA or meet course prerequisites. Prerequisites: (GEO 265 and GEO 248) or instructor permission. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Use effective planning to execute autonomous flights with industry standard desktop and mobile software.

  • Create detailed visualizations using an understanding of drone image capture techniques.

  • Conduct drone surveys to capture multispectral imagery.

  • Use high accuracy GPS technologies to collect ground control data.

  • Perform post-flight data processing to create high accuracy imagery.

  • Manage large scale drone projects using Crew Resource Management (CRM) to accomplish more complex drone operations.

Aspirational Goals

Be efficient and resourceful to problem solve both technical and process-oriented issues. Analyze the capabilities, limitations, and features of technology and equipment to create digital imaging products that meet a client’s needs.

Course Activities and Design

The materials in this course will be presented in a computer lab and field setting through classroom lecture, discussion, software demonstrations, drone flying in: urban, exurban and rural settings, and computer-based assignments.  Other methods may be implemented such as small group work, guest speakers, and in-class activities. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, competencies and skills by any combination of the following:

  • Written results of class labs and exercises

  • Completion of exams and quizzes

  • Completion of a final project

  • In-class discussions

  • Drone data capture &  modelling

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Content, Themes, Concepts

  • Drone ethics, regulations, and licensing

  • Drone Crew Resource Management (CRM)

  • Drone operation planning and execution for geospatial data acquisition

  • Intelligent/autonomous mission planning

  • Photogrammetry: visual image interpretation, digital image processing for GIS

  • Processing imagery for 3D export

  • Processing multispectral images for NDVI measurement

  • Applications of remotely sensed data and imagery

Issues & Skills

  • Types, uses, and analyses of small and medium drone systems and data

  • Troubleshoot technical issues

  • Ethical flight operation and camera operation

  • Limitations of small and medium drone systems: flight times, transmission ranges

  • Limitations of small and medium drone pilots: visual line of sight, pilot physiology

  • Capture, compile, analyze, and display drone derived products.