Can we use small drones in making 3D models of cultural monuments?

In the following article we will present how we can realize 3D models of buildings with small drones.


In our days everything tends to become more and more digital and some things are easier to be digitalized, like painting/drawing, while other things are much harder to digitalize, like building for example. Lucky for us in our days we have the necessary technology drones in our case, which makes it possible to digitalize even the most complex structures. In our case, we managed to digitalize a church, both outside and inside by using one drone and a 3D camera. Therefore, we will show you what we did:

Table of contents


For this project, we used two types of equipment: a DJI Mini 2 Drone, a Mattrerport Pro2 3D camera, and a viDoc RTK Rover module for iPhone. The DJI Mini 2 Drone was used for the outside part of the church along with the viDoc RTK module for better accuracy and precision of the photos. The Matterport Pro2 3D was used for the interior part:


As for the result, we can divide them into the exterior part and the inside part. Therefore, in the end, we obtain four products: a 3D model of the church, an orthophoto mosaic DSM (Digital Surface Model), and a virtual tour of the inside.

The 3D model of the church was the result of the processed images captured with the drone all around the outside of the church and at different angles of the structure. A 3D model is a powerful tool, offering a general overview of all the aspects of the object. We recommend getting one for your point of interest, if you don’t have it already, especially for long-lasting projects as you can easily monitor the changes.

The 3D model of the church

The orthophoto mosaic that result has a very high resolution of about 7 mm per pixel and at the same spatial resolution is the DSM. Due to the viDoc RTK module, the ortho mosaic and the DSM have very high precision and accuracy. Based on the information given by the images and the data they contain, we can make accurate measurements not only on the horizontal plane but in the vertical space too, based on the elevation information. For example, we did a cross-section of the church and you can see them down below.

Orthophoto mosaic

Cross-section elevation

DSM(Digital Surface Model)

Cross-section elevation

As for the virtual inside tour, we imagined a walking tour inside the church and took a shoot in every spot along that imagined route in order to give a more natural walking feeling to the tour. Down below, you can see the 3D model of the church and also an overview image of the virtual tour. And if you would like to feel the tour you can access it down below.

The answer

The short answer to our question is YES, we can use drones for making 3D models of buildings and monuments. A drone can see much more than the naked eye, things that you didn’t even think they were there or were not so clear at first sight can be easily identified with a drone.

But another important aspect, if not more important, is the advantage of having all of that data at the tips of your fingers, accessible from anywhere to see and share.

Share This Article!


Don’t hesitate to contact us!

+40 724 339 757