Hi Piotr,
If your only purpose is to find holes in the forest, you can do it using 
satellite images with a high resolution. And then digitizing...
Buying a drone is easy - but flying a drone takes time, experience, time, try 
and error, learning about regulations ect ect...

You can get so much more information from aerial images captured by a drone: 
Ortophoto, Surfacemodel, PointCloud and if you use special camera - a 
vegetation index...
From the surface model taken over time, you can calculate growth and canopy 
cover. From a vegetation index (eg. NVDI you can find unhealthy vegetation). 
Ect ect..

In September 2016 there was a conference in Krakow http://sigforestry2016.eu 
just about these topics.

So before you start - you have to consider tree things: Accuracy, area and aim 
for the project.

As others have written - With a copter you don´t fly larger areas pr. Battery. 
With a Phantom 3, on a good day (temp/wind) we fly 15-20 min/battery. 
With a fixed wing you can fly 1-2 hours / battery.
Both can be bought within your budget.

Tips for data collection - read this easy page 
https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/data_collection
If you want absolute accuracy in 3D  - you need x, y, z Ground Control Points 
-. If you want relative accuracy you need 2D (x, y) GCP.
 
For handeling you images into ortophoto, surface model, point cloud, nvdi ect - 
you can try out a lot of programs. That´s easy - 2-4 weeks free try out. But 
they all cost a lot of money...
You can try out OpenDroneMap. It run on Linux (Try it on a Virtual Machine) - 
It´s OpenSource - And you can pay what you can afford. That´s the beauty of 
Open Source. So remember in your budget to spend some money for the Open Source 
projects too!

And in the end you can use  QGIS for your data: Point Cloud, Raster Calculator, 
HillShade, Raster Colorize, Profile tool, LASTool ect.
We use all these at our campus.

Regards


Lene Fischer
Associate Professor

University of Copenhagen
Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Forest and Landscape College
Nødebovej 77a
3480 Fredensborg
Denmark


DIR +45 35331579
MOB +45 40115084
l...@ign.ku.dk
www.ign.ku.dk



-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
Fra: Qgis-user [mailto:qgis-user-boun...@lists.osgeo.org] På vegne af Piotr 
Kania
Sendt: 1. december 2016 16:46
Til: qgis-user@lists.osgeo.org
Emne: [Qgis-user] Drones in forestry

Hi!

I'm sorry if my question is out of the main topics - my current employer would 
like to buy drone. They would like to use it for "registration" 
such things as (for example) - small areas without trees in dense forest, that 
were cut (it's not a national park, but normal typical forest -> so here we 
have timber harvest etc.); here is link to Google Maps, that shows what I mean -

https://goo.gl/maps/iEPchbrTYyQ2

Normally I (or someone else) must walk with gps receiver, then digitize that 
"holes" in qgis. The idea is to use drone for that - and here is my question - 
what would you recommend? - I know the max. acceptable price is about 2300 usd, 
but it's better to assume 1200 usd. I think my employer would be already happy 
if such "drone" just make aerial photos that can be used for mapping, I don't 
think that my company would like to have some 3d data (DEM, DSM).

Thanks for any hints


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