Support Website Contact Support Blog

Drone-based Coral Reef Mapping

I found this interesting article about coral reef mapping. However, if I understand correctly, it has been acquired with underwater imagery.

Is it possible to use drone-based images for mapping coral reefs in very shallow water?
If possible at all, it might be very tricky because of reflections and refraction issues, I guess.

Anyone out there who has experience in this matter?


Hi Reto,

They are not the first one to do so!
Recently I have heard about this project lead by an Israelian University.
Their results are impressive:

Apparently they have used Matlab, Meshlab and Pix4D in their workflow. So the underwater mapping should not be so straight forward.

None of this project had used Drone. The project from the article you mentioned is based on GoPro images.

Hope this will inspire you,

Hi Marco

Yes, I understand that this project hasn’t used drones.

But maybe other projects do so.
Do you know more?


Hi Reto,

I have not heard about any underwater photogrammetry projects using drones.
But there is some underwater drone that could be eventually used:


Hi Marco

This is a misunderstanding.
I want to map the reef with a drone, with close air photogrammetry, not underwayer imaging.


Of course I don’t expect millimeter resolution and perfect colors, the goal is to create a good overview.

Hi Reto,

Yes I have understood that you meant coral mapping using air drones.
However right now we have not heard about such project. If we do so, I will for sure share it with you.
But I thought that it would be interesting to share with you this underwater drone!