Company Name: GEO 4D

Summary: Drone mapping services. Geo-4D is an independent geo-consultancy based in Oxfordshire, specialising in advanced remote sensing, 3D data services. Using high-tech drones GEO-4D can gather important and relevant aerial data to support famers, land owners and agronomists in making production decisions.

The Product

Geo-4D specialise in advanced data services. The team of geoscientists have access to a suite of professional software packages that allow them to process, analyse and interpret surface and subsurface information – to help make informed decisions about land-use including flood mapping, weed count, crop production and rotation. Reporting and data delivery is completed as digital, hard copy and online, as required, with all CAD and GIS formats supported.

UK agriculture is quickly adopting drone technology and it is estimated that the agricultural robotics and drone market is expected to be worth $10bn (£7.54bn) by 2022. Agricultural drones offer a valuable return on investment. They provide a reliable and efficient method for data collection without causing damage to crops – they are also much more affordable than aerial mapping using aeroplanes. Drones offer a far better quality resolution of image than satellite and can be flown underneath cloud cover. Their aerial scope means there is no restriction to access, which is often the case with on-land mapping and the aerial view also offers a representation of the whole land.

Geo-4D has been working with MicaSense in order to develop its agricultural services and research new uses for their RedEdge multispectral sensor. Working closely with a local farmer, the team captured data over a 24-acre site with a fixed-wing UAV, before processing the results into an orthomosaic, DSM and several different vegetation indices. The aim of the project was to allow the farmer to visualise how much black grass was present within the winter wheat crop, where the largest patches were located and to provide them with the information to create a plan of action for the next growing season. The outcomes helped the farmer to make future decisions about fertiliser application and disease treatment to maximise output.

On working with Farm491 and the RAU:

GEO-4D are virtual members of Farm491. Establishing a relationship with Farm491 was based on a two-prong attack. Firstly, to enhance their knowledge and connection to the farming industry and secondly to be able to sell their drone package to the education sector. With close ties to the Royal Agricultural University and a large student alumni, Farm491 opens doors and is a valuable support to the business.

Main challenge of being an entrepreneur:

The biggest challenge has been on getting the pricing right for the agricultural industry. As a new sector for GEO-4D, they have had to learn, engage, trial, test and refine their solutions for this market.

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Meet the Team

Brian Critchley is the Director of GEO-4D and is the Principle GeoScientist. He has previously worked in ground modelling under sea. Brian is supported by John Lovell, Sales Director and a team of GeoScientists and UAV Pilots.

The team come from all backgrounds and share a multitude of passions. Bringing their experiences and knowledge together they are a forceful team specialising on 3D data services for a portfolio of sectors. They have supported projects from mining, construction, renewables, hazards and risk to environment and engineering. Agriculture is a new and emerging sector for them and after running the Black Grass multispectral mapping survey, it’s an area of the business that really excites the GEO-4D team.

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