Review: DJI Phantom 4 RTK

What drone is going to be the future of mapping?  Looks like it’s going to be the latest offering from DJI, the Phantom 4 RTK (Real Time Kinetic).  Although it’s now a whopping $10,000 drone with the additional RTK platform, this is an all-in-one bird that precludes the need to buy a lot of other expensive GPS equipment such as a trimble.  Prior to this, any serious mapping pilot would need to lay out GCP’s (Ground Control Points), which are physical targets that would need to by placed around the mapped area, and these targets would appear in the orthomosaic.  Once the photos are stitched into a single maps, the GCP’s are used to ensure accuracy of the map.  The problem with GCP’s is that they must be physically placed throughout the project area before flying the mission, and then they must be collected again afterwards.  With the new RTK version of the Phantom, the need for GCP’s is eliminated due to the incredible accuracy of RTK technology.