What Positioning Technology is Right for Your UAV – GCPs, GPS, GNSS, PPK, or RTK?

Author: Labrosse Consulting | | Categories: Aerial Photography , Data Logger Layout Software , DJI Drone Repair , DJI Repair Service , DJI RTK , Drone Mapping , Drone Modification , Drone Training , GNSS Drones , GNSS Survey Equipment , GNSS UAV , GPS Survey Equipment , Handheld Surveying Equipment , PPK Drone Surveying , PPK Training , PPK UAV , RTK UAV , Stockpile Management , Stockpile Surveying , Survey Software , Surveying Equipment , UAV Navigation Systems , UAV Training

Blog by Labrosse Consulting

In the fast-paced world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), choosing the right positioning technology is pivotal. The landscape offers a plethora of options, each with its own benefits and considerations. From Ground Control Points (GCPs) to Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Post-Processing Kinematics (PPK), and Real-Time Kinematics (RTK), the choices can be overwhelming. In this blog, we unravel the intricacies of each technology to help you make an informed decision.

1. Ground Control Points (GCPs) – A Traditional Approach

Ground Control Points (GCPs) have long been a staple in UAV surveying. These physical markers on the ground serve as reference points for accurate mapping. While GCPs provide reliable results, they can be time-consuming and require on-site setup, making them less suitable for rapid or remote surveys.

2. Global Positioning System (GPS) – A Foundational Tool

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has been integral to navigation and surveying. While offering real-time accuracy, GPS may have limitations in challenging environments. However, when integrated with other technologies, GPS can provide a strong foundation for precision positioning.

3. Embracing GNSS for Aerial Precision

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) expand the capabilities of GPS, utilizing a constellation of satellites for enhanced accuracy. GNSS-equipped UAVs can achieve centimeter-level precision, making them invaluable for applications that demand meticulous measurements.

4. PPK and RTK – Precision at Different Intervals

Post-Processing Kinematics (PPK) and Real-Time Kinematics (RTK) elevate accuracy by considering satellite signal delays. PPK involves data processing after the flight, while RTK offers real-time adjustments. Both technologies enhance precision, but the choice between them depends on factors such as workflow requirements and environmental conditions.


In the intricate world of UAV positioning, Labrosse Consulting stands as your guide in navigating the array of technologies available. Our expertise and commitment to precision ensure that your choice aligns seamlessly with your requirements. From comprehensive drone mapping to insightful consulting, Labrosse Consulting is your trusted partner. 

To learn more about the services we offer, please click here. If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to call us at (705) 618-6225 or jason@labrosseconsulting.ca.