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Surveying & Geoinformatics

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Uav) Mapping Of Imo State University Campus Owerri, Imo State Nigeria




The study “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone Surveying) Mapping of Imo State University” aimed to address the challenges faced by Imo State University (IMSU) in efficiently managing and planning its sprawling campus. Traditional manual methods of data collection and mapping hindered the institution’s ability to obtain accurate and up-to-date information about its infrastructure, facilities, and land usage, impeding effective decision-making and future development. To overcome these limitations, the study utilized Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or Drones) for mapping and geospatial data collection. The objectives of the study encompassed conducting a reconnaissance survey, establishing suitable ground control points, and employing advanced geospatial software for data processing. Through UAV mapping, the study successfully created an Orthomosaic map, Digitized map, and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the campus. Key findings emphasized the paramount importance of geospatial accuracy and precision in UAV mapping projects, highlighting the significance of utilizing state-of-the-art GPS receivers and photogrammetric software. The study demonstrated the diverse applications of geospatial tools, benefiting campus planning, environmental assessment, and disaster response. The findings led to the conclusion that the adoption of UAV technology significantly enhances campus management and decision-making processes at Imo State University. Moreover, the research contributes to the growing body of knowledge on UAV mapping applications in the Nigerian educational context. Based on the study’s outcomes, several recommendations are proposed. Imo State University should incorporate UAV mapping as a regular practice for campus planning and management, invest in advanced UAV equipment and geospatial software, and promote continuous training for staff and researchers involved in UAV mapping projects. Collaborative efforts with geospatial experts should be encouraged to maximize the potential applications of the collected geospatial data and to share successful implementations with other Nigerian institutions to foster the adoption of drone technology for mapping and management purposes in academia.




A map is referred to as a spatially referenced picture or representation of the Earth’s surface, showing how physical features are related and positioned to each other by distance, direction, and size; this is carried out by cartographic abstraction of known positions of physical features (Krygier, 2008).

Drone mapping (sometimes called drone surveying) is a fairly straightforward way to collect data with drones. As its name suggests, it involves mapping an area of your choice with a drone to produce all kinds of useful outputs like an orthomosaic, digital elevation models and 3D models.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are a class of aircrafts that can fly without the onboard presence of pilots. Unmanned aircraft systems consist of the aircraft component, sensor payloads and a ground control station.

Drone mapping is an aerial survey conducted by a drone and specialist cameras, which can include RGB (for photogrammetry), multispectral, thermal or LiDAR sensors.

This method enables the collection of highly-accurate data, extremely quickly. In fact, one piece of analysis showed that drone mapping collects data in excess of 90% faster than manual methods.

It is also a safer way of gathering data: No longer do you need to have staff walking over dangerous terrain or working at height – the drone can do it for you (Huang Yoa, 2019).


This data can be processed through drone mapping software to create a range of assets, such as 3D models, 2D maps, and digital elevation models, which can be used to extract valuable information like highly-accurate measurements and volumetric calculations.

This information helps with informed decision-making, provides valuable insights – including identifying mistakes or problems and, keeping up to date with the progress of a project – and streamlines effective communication with colleagues, stakeholders and the community.

See also  Iupdate of administrative map of owerri north local government area of imo state using gis techniques

Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAVs) have rapidly progressed and generated increasing interest for a wide range of applications due, in large part, to the miniaturization and affordability of many technologies, such as inertial navigation, GNSS positioning, batteries, remote sensing payloads, and computer processing.

One of the many benefits for the application of UAVs is their ability to collect high- resolution remotely sensed data, typically acquired at a significantly lower altitude when compared to manned aircrafts (Fonstad, Dietrich., 2012; Harwin and Lucieer, 2012; Mancini F. Dubbini., 2013; Micheletti, Chandler and Lane, 2015; Marteau, B. Durrieu, 2017).

Imo State University (IMSU) is a prestigious higher education institution located in Imo State, Nigeria. As the university continues to grow in size and complexity, efficient management and planning of its sprawling campus becomes increasingly challenging. Traditional manual methods of data collection and mapping have proven to be insufficient in providing accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information about the university’s infrastructure, facilities, and land usage.

In recent years, drone (UAV) technology has emerged as a powerful tool for data acquisition and mapping in various fields. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors have the ability to capture aerial imagery and collect precise spatial data, enabling detailed mapping and analysis of large areas in a relatively short amount of time. The use of drones for campus mapping presents a tremendous opportunity for Imo State University to overcome its mapping challenges and improve its overall management and planning processes.

However, despite the growing popularity of drone technology and its potential benefits, the adoption of drones for mapping purposes in Nigerian universities, including Imo State University, is still relatively limited. The lack of awareness, knowledge, and infrastructure necessary to leverage drone mapping hinders the realization of its potential advantages.

Moreover, the absence of a centralized database system for storing and managing the collected mapping data further compounds the problem. Without a centralized system, data fragmentation and duplication occur, making it difficult to access and analyze the collected information effectively (Arisukwu O., Igbolekwu C.,2020).

Therefore, this study aims to bridge these gaps and contribute to the improvement of campus mapping and management at Imo State University through the utilization of drone (UAV) technology. By implementing a comprehensive and systematic drone mapping approach and establishing a centralized database system, the study seeks to provide the university administration with an accurate, real-time, and comprehensive mapping solution.

The benefits of such a system are numerous. Firstly, it will facilitate the identification of areas requiring maintenance or renovation, enabling timely and targeted interventions. Secondly, it will enhance security assessments by providing a detailed aerial view of the campus, aiding in the identification of vulnerable areas and potential security threats. Additionally, the drone mapping system will optimize land usage, enabling the university to plan for future expansion and development effectively.

Through conducting this study, Imo State University can establish itself as a pioneering institution in Nigeria by leveraging drone technology for mapping and management purposes. The research findings and recommendations will significantly contribute to the existing body of knowledge on drone mapping applications in the Nigerian educational context. Moreover, this study will offer valuable insights and best practices for other universities and educational institutions in Nigeria that seek to enhance their campus planning and management processes using drone technology. While some Nigerian institutions have already utilized drones, this study’s comprehensive analysis will further advance the understanding and adoption of drone mapping in the context of higher education institutions, providing a solid foundation for evidence-based decision-making and fostering technological advancements in the academic sector.

The implementation of drone (UAV) mapping in Imo State University has the potential to revolutionize the way the campus is managed and planned. This study aims at addressing the existing mapping limitations, empower the university administration with accurate and comprehensive data, and pave the way for efficient decision-making, infrastructure maintenance, and future development of Imo State University.

See also  Iupdate of administrative map of owerri north local government area of imo state using gis techniques


Imo State University (IMSU) faces various challenges in efficiently managing and planning its sprawling campus. Traditional  methods of data collection and mapping limits the institution’s ability to obtain accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information about its infrastructure, facilities, and land usage. These limitations hinder effective decision-making, maintenance, and future development of the campus.

The lack of a comprehensive aerial view and spatial data on buildings, roads, green spaces, utilities, and other crucial features impedes the identification of areas that require maintenance or renovation, compromises security assessments, and limits the institution’s ability to optimize land usage for future expansion.

Moreover, the absence of a centralized and easily accessible database for storing and managing the collected mapping data, further complicates matters. This lack of a centralized system leads to data fragmentation, duplication, and difficulties in data retrieval and analysis, impeding the efficient utilization of the gathered information.

By employing drone (UAV) technology and implementing a robust and centralized database system, this project seeks to overcome the existing limitations, providing IMSU with an accurate, real-time, and comprehensive mapping solution. The improved mapping system will empower the university administration with the necessary tools to make informed decisions, enhance infrastructure maintenance, optimize land usage, strengthen security measures, and foster efficient future planning for the growth and development of Imo State University.

1.3       AIM OF THE STUDY

The aim of the project is to utilize UAV (Drone) for mapping of Imo State University, to enhance management of space and planning.


  • (i) to carryout reconnaissance survey of the project area and to download satellite imagery of the site.
  • (ii) to establish suitable ground control points for georeferencing satellite imagery and effective data capturing.
  • (iii) to produce an orthomosaic map of Imo State University.
  • (iv) to produce a Digital Terrain Model (DTM).
  • (v) to produce a Digital map of Imo State University.


This study focuses on the specific application of drone (UAV) mapping within the context of campus planning and management at Imo State University. It aims at providing practical insights and recommendations that will contribute to the improvement of mapping practices, decision-making processes, and future development initiatives within the university.


The significance of this study lies in its potential to revolutionize the way Imo State University manages and plans its campus. By leveraging drone (UAV) mapping, the university can enhance decision-making, optimize resource utilization, improve infrastructure maintenance, strengthen security measures, foster research opportunities, and contribute to knowledge transfer.

Ultimately, this study aims at empowering Imo State University with a state-of-the-art mapping system that will lay the foundation for efficient and sustainable campus development and management.


The personnel involved in the execution of the project are as follows:

  • (i) OGBUJI BENJAMIN C. 18/DE/55696
  • (ii) NWOKE CHIAMAKA ANN 17/40134
  • (iv) CHUKWUAKU JUSTICE 17/40130
  • (v) OHAERI JOEL 17/40135

1.8       STUDY AREA

The project site lies within boundary longitudes 7°02’25.35”E – 7°46.27”E and latitudes 5°30’23.72”N – 5°30’25.29”N of  Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State.

Imo State University (IMSU), located in Imo State, Nigeria, serves as the primary focus and study area for this project. IMSU is a renowned higher education institution known for its academic excellence and vibrant campus environment. The university encompasses a vast expanse of land, consisting of academic buildings, administrative offices, student hostels, sports facilities, green spaces, and various other infrastructures.

Imo State University is characterized by its diverse and dynamic nature, housing a significant number of students, faculty, staff, and visitors on a daily basis. The study area encompasses the entirety of the IMSU campus, including its various constituent parts, facilities, and infrastructures.

See also  Iupdate of administrative map of owerri north local government area of imo state using gis techniques

Climate of the Study Area : Owerri, the city where Imo State University is located, experiences a tropical climate characterized by warm temperatures throughout the year. The average yearly temperature of 28.24ºC (82.83ºF) indicates a consistently warm environment. Precipitation is significant, with about 229.07 millimeters (9.02 inches) annually and 262.95 rainy days, constituting approximately 72.04% of the time. This climate, typical of tropical regions, contributes to lush vegetation and agricultural potential.

Socio-Economic Status of the Study Area: Imo State University was established in 1981 to address the educational needs of Imo and Abia States. The decision to establish the university was motivated by the recognition of the importance of higher education for socio-economic development. The university’s commitment to educational development aligns with the broader socio-economic goals of the region.

The socio-economic status of the study area, represented by Owerri, reflects the impact of educational initiatives on the local population. The establishment of a university in the region has  contributed to the development of human capital, with a focus on producing manpower for national development. The university plays a crucial role in offering educational opportunities to the citizens.

The study area provides a compelling focus for the project on drone (UAV) mapping. By concentrating efforts on this specific campus, the project aims to develop a customized mapping solution that addresses the unique challenges and requirements of IMSU, while also providing valuable insights and guidance for similar institutions seeking to enhance their mapping, planning, and management processes. 


Figure 1. Locational map of the study area.

SOURCE: Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF, 2023).


  • (i) MAP

A map is a symbolic depiction emphasizing relationships between elements of some space, such as objects, regions, or themes. Many maps are static, fixed to paper or some other durable medium, while others are dynamic or interactive.

  • (ii) DATA

Data refer to a set of facts, figures, or details that are organized and used to gain knowledge or make informed decisions. It can be in the form of numbers, text, images, or any other type of information.

  • (iii) SPATIAL

Spatial refers to space; spatial data is information about where observations are in relation to each other. Usually, this means that one of the dimensions associated with each observation describes that record’s position in space.


UAV is a military aircraft that is guided autonomously, by remote control, or both and that carries sensors, target designators, offensive ordnance, or electronic transmitters designed to interfere with or destroy enemy targets.

Recent Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drones are extensively used for high resolution mapping. UAV mapping is an accurate and cost-effective method compared with aerial mapping or satellite imagery. The benefits include low cost, high temporal resolutions, fast mobilization and mission time. Using advance photogrammetric techniques the photos captured from UAV can be used to high resolution map outputs.


An aerial image corrected for topographic relief, camera tilt, and distortions in camera optic so that the scale of the image is uniform throughout.


A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a representation of the bare ground (bare earth) topographic surface of the Earth excluding trees, buildings, and any other surface objects.

This data is used as input to quantify the characteristics of the land surface. A DEM is a raster representation of a continuous surface, usually referencing the surface of the earth.

Pages:  70

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo                            

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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