Technical Guidelines for Small Island Mapping with UAVs

© 2019 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / International Development Association or The World Bank

1818 H Street NW, Washington DC, 20433

This work is a product of independent consultants working in collaboration with The World Bank and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. Part of the funding that supported this work was provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Pacific Humanitarian Challenge. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this work do not necessarily reflect the views of The World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the governments they represent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries, colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any judgment on the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.

Rights & Permissions

The World Bank and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team support the free online communication and exchange of knowledge as the most effective way of ensuring that the fruits of research, economic and sector work, and development practice are made widely available, read, and built upon. It is therefore committed to open access, which, for authors, enables the widest possible dissemination of their findings and, for researchers, readers, and users, increases their ability to discover pertinent information. The material in this work is made available under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 License. You are encouraged to share and adapt this content for any purpose, including commercial use, as long as full attribution to this work is given.

Any queries on rights and licenses, including subsidiary rights, should be addressed to the Office of the Publisher, The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA; fax: 202- 522-2422; e-mail: [email protected].


Please cite the work as follows: World Bank and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (2019). Technical Guidelines for Small Island Mapping with UAVs. Washington, DC. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0.Table of Contents


2D two-dimensional

ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast

AGL above ground level

AOI area of interest

AT automatic triangulation

ATC air traffic control

CAA Civil Aviation Authority

CV computer vision

DSLR digital single-lens reflex

DSM digital surface model

DTM digital terrain model

EXIF exchangeable image file format

GCP ground control point

GeoTIFF Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format

GIS geographic information system

GPS Global Positioning System

GPU graphics processing unit

HOT Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

IMU inertial measurement unit

LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging

LiPo lithium polymer

NIR near infrared

NOTAM Notice to Airmen

OAM OpenAerialMap

OSM OpenStreetMap

PacDID Pacific Drone Imagery Dashboard

PIC Pacific Island Country

PPK Post-Processed Kinematic

RGB red-green-blue

RTK Real-Time Kinematic

SfM Structure from Motion

SIDS Small Island Developing States

SSD solid-state drive

UAV unmanned aerial vehicle

UAViators Humanitarian UAV Network


This document was prepared by Cristiano Giovando, Patrick Meier, Joseph Mulhausen, and Denise Soesilo, with oversight from Keiko Saito and Michael Bonte-Grapentin. V-TOL Aerospace provided substantial inputs based on field work carried out in Tonga and Fiji.