One of our latest projects explores the effects of drought on native New Zealand vegetation. With the support of Auckland Council, we did a quick reconnaissance flight over Wenderholm Regional Park to see if there were any visual effects of the 2012-2013 drought on the native tree,Taraire (Beilschmiedia tarairi). Using a Sony HDR-AS15 mounted in a Blade 350QX, we circumnavigated the top of the hill and collected around 70 images in 15 minutes (see image below).

Flight Path of the Sony HDR-AS15 in the Blade 350QX

We then processed some of these images in Pix4D and despite the limited overlap we came up with a mosaic which clearly depicts the stressed Taraire trees (eg the ones with no leaves in the image below). The blurred edges are a result of our very small image set. We intend to fly again next week with our Swampfox, when we will gather a more comprehensive series of overlapping images.

rapid mosaic of a small subset of images