Ground control points are marked points on the ground that have had their location accurately measured with highly accurate GPS coordinates, typically through Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) positioning. These points are placed strategically throughout your area of interest and area marked such that they are visible in aerial mapping. The ground control points and their coordinates are then used to aid drone mapping software in accurately positioning your map in relation to the real world around it.
When used correctly, ground control points greatly improve the global accuracy of your drone map. GCPs help ensure that the latitude and longitude of any point on your map corresponds accurately with actual GPS coordinates. This is important in situations where precision mapping and true global accuracy are needed. Surveying companies generally use GCPs, because a high level of global accuracy is important in most of the work that they do. Virtual design and construction is another sector that often requires this level of precision drone mapping.
Each drone mapping project is unique, and not all projects require a high level of global accuracy. Because of this, it is important to assess each project individually before you decide to take the extra step of using GCPs. Projects like geo-referenced overlays, design documents, and land title surveys benefit from the use of ground control points.
Note: Multivista will not set or establish Ground Control Points. It is recommended that all GCPs are recorded and established by a 3rd party survey or project layout crew. Best practices are for the 3rd party to provide Multivista UAV pilots with the GCP locations and coordinates before flight so they can mark and ensure capture during flight.