Southern Mapping Company and Southern Mapping GEOspatial

World leaders in Aerial Surveying and Airborne Remote Sensing.

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Brochures & Company Info

Find all our company info & brochures directly on this page. Our brochures are downloadable for your convenience.

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Latest News & Articles

Keep up to date with all the latest newsletters, articles and press releases at Southern Mapping.

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Our Upcoming Exhibitions

Southern Mapping exhibits at various expo’s. Click below to view our upcoming shows and exhibitions.

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Memberships & Accreditations

SM has an ISO 9001-2008 quality system certified through TUV Rheinland since 2008. Our air operations are approved by Hart Aviation and Litson & Associates.

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Our Services

Mineral Exploration

Mineral exploration is a multistage process starting from large area low detail mapping and progressing to targeted areas at very high resolution. Initial stage geological mapping is done using a combination of medium resolution multi spectral satellite imagery and elevation models. Once target areas are identified, hyperspectral mapping can be used in two ways. The system can be mounted in an aircraft and a mineral map can be generated based on spectral signatures taken from a library or collected via a ground tructhing campaign. Additionally, a table mounted unit can be used to scan the drill cores to help generate a 3D mineral model of the prospect. A LiDAR system coupled with a digital camera is used for the most accurate elevation model and orthoimage generation for bankable feasibility studies and detailed mine planning.

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Mine Design & Planning

Open cast pits, shafts, roads, plant, dams, dump sites and all of the infrastructure associated with mines has to be planned and designed. A high accuracy airborne LiDAR survey provides the elevation model and above ground feature information, as well as the high resolution orthoimagery necessary to achieve this. Mine plans need to be updated at least quarterly and this can be achieved very efficiently using such a LiDAR survey. When a new plant needs to be designed for integration into an existing site, there is no better technology than terrestrial LiDAR, captured from a static position or from a vehicle mounted system. The point cloud information captured provides a very rich and detailed 3D representation of the plant.

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Mine Rehabilitation Monitoring

Southern Mapping provides solutions for environmental and mine rehabilitation monitoring through its access to daily passing high resolution multispectral satellites and its airborne mounted hyperspectral and LiDAR camera systems.

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Subsidence Monitoring

Mines need to prevent damage to infrastructure, the environment and loss of life or injury due to unexpected surface movement. The mining industry has long been plagued by subsidence on actively mined areas as well as dormant and rehabilitated areas.

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Stockpile & Pit Volumes

“If you can’t measure, you can’t manage.” The sellable output of a mine end up on a stockpile and the size of this stockpile represents the potential income to the mine. Waste dumps represent a cost of sale and also need to be measured to understand the mine profitability. Pit volumes provide additional information about progress and profitability. Southern Mapping has programmes to survey these pits and stockpiles on a regular basis, from weekly to annually, providing rapid turnaround of highly accurate volumes for mine management.

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Infrastructure Design

An Airborne Lidar survey is the ideal way to capture the topographic information required by an engineer in order to design infrastructure, whether it be a new road, railway line, pipe or power line or dam. In addition any reticulation system can be designed using a broad area survey.

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Site & Corridor Selection

Initial corridor and site selections are best done using medium resolution data sets. These include elevation models, orthoimagery, geological, soil, vegetation, land cover, infrastructure, environmental, obstacle, building count and other types of information sets. Many of these information layers are available from Southern Mapping and can be supplied for input into your GIS or within a 3D interactive visualization tool that allows a virtual tour of an entire initial area or of a number of corridor options.

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Vegetation Monitoring & Mapping

Southern Mapping is able to provide detailed vegetation monitoring and mapping services through automated feature extraction techniques employed on fused Lidar ortho-images with above ground vegetation points,

multispectral satellite imagery and airborne hyperspectral imagery.

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Site Monitoring via Satellite

A lot has been written about the spatial and spectral resolution of satellites; however the temporal resolution of satellite observations is not to be ignored. With the advancement in capacity and capability of high resolution satellites, the commercial possibilities and applications of short revisit intervals of high resolution imagery are ever increasing.

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Final Line Alignment & Profiling

Once a corridor has been selected, the project enters the design phase, at which time engineering level data is required. This is achieved using an airborne LiDAR survey, with deliverables comprising a high accuracy (5cm to 20cm) elevation data set and high resolution (10cm to 20cm) orthoimagery across the corridor. The best route within that corridor can then be selected in a combination of a desktop study and field verification.

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Dam Site & River Surveys

Dam design requires accurate survey information of three areas, the inundation area, covering the entire area upstream of the wall where water will be impounded; the dam wall area itself; and a significant area downstream for disaster planning in the event of a failure of the wall or overflow. All of these areas typically are fairly densely vegetated making accurate survey quite difficult. Due to LiDAR’s ability to penetrate vegetation, it is ideal for surveys of river channels and therefore of dam sites. The imagery provides a time-stamped snapshot of the project area at a baseline date. This helps with socioeconomic issues such as resettlement eligibility and compensation.

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Vegetation Species Mapping & Management

A wide variety of vegetation types are found in servitudes and in many cases the servitude holder is responsible for their control, either for legal reasons or due to performance management requirements. Airborne hyperspectral technology is able to identify different vegetation types and provide a detailed vegetation cover map of a project area at a resolution of between 1m and 3m, as required. This can then be used for vegetation management in the right of way, including removal in the case of undesirable or alien species, and pruning or mowing, in the case of acceptable species. With an accurate spatial map derived from a hyperspectral survey, it is possible to identify these various species and control them. Whether done internally or by an external contractor, knowledge of the exact area covered by each species helps to define the task as well as the cost of remediation. A simultaneous LiDAR survey will enhance the available information and provide for better costing and for more refined pruning interventions.

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Precision Vector Mapping

Southern Mapping provides precision vector mapping from its highly accurate LiDAR and ortho-imagery (up to 5cm absolute x, y, z accuracy and 5cm colour resolution) as well as satellite imagery (up to 50cm resolution). From land cover classification through to mandatory second schedule mine plans, SMC is able to provide precision quality vector outputs with rapid turn —around times.

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Agriculture

Remote sensing has become a major input in decision making in agriculture, and the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is the standard in agricultural products.

NDVI uses the spectral information beyond what the eye can see, captured by satellites to determine the amount of chlorophyll present in vegetation at an exact point in time. Obtaining crop health information remotely via satellite at regular intervals of 16 days (weather permitting) is a convenient way of getting this information on crop performance.

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Alien Vegetation Mapping

By using the detailed spectral signatures that we have developed, we are able to map different vegetation species to a high degree of accuracy using airborne hyperspectral sensors. This allows us to provide maps showing the alien vegetation present on the property.

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Precision Vector Mapping

Southern Mapping provides precision vector mapping from its highly accurate LiDAR and ortho-imagery (up to 5cm absolute x, y, z accuracy and 5cm colour resolution) as well as satellite imagery (up to 50cm resolution). From land cover classification through to mandatory second schedule mine plans, SMC is able to provide precision quality vector outputs with rapid turn —around times.

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Soil Classification

By utilizing unsupervised classification techniques on multispectral satellite data, it is posible to interpret surface spectral response over specified areas. This response provides the ability to distinguish between areas (depending on surface cover) thus providing a “paint-by-numbers-map”. This ultimately allows for improved first pass interpretation of an area of interest.

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Elevation Mapping

A classical LiDAR survey for agricultural applications provides elevation information at accuracies in the order of 8-10cm in clear areas and approximately 20cm in areas with mature trees, without the need to clear vegetation in advance. This allows a full design of a new agricultural project, even for demanding applications such as irrigation planning.

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Health Monitoring

Both airborne hyperspectral and satellite multispectral sensors have the ability to monitor crop health during a growing season. Health is affected by pollution, drought, pests, and this can be detected in the infrared bands long before it is apparent to the naked eye. This gives the farmer/forester the ability to take remedial action before it is too late.

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Ampacity Surveys

Many existing power lines have been designed with excessive safety margins and have an unused carrying capacity. LIDAR is the only technology that is able to rapidly survey an existing line and capture ground, tower and line geometry.  This can then be entered into line design software to determine both under and over clearances on spans.

In the case of under-clearances, remedial measures such as re-tensioning, changes to the tower heights or fencing off areas can be implemented. In the case of over–clearances, increases in total power transmission may be possible, for less than a new line would cost.

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Soil Classification

By utilizing unsupervised classification techniques on multispectral satellite data, it is posible to interpret surface spectral response over specified areas. This response provides the ability to distinguish between areas (depending on surface cover) thus providing a “paint-by-numbers-map”. This ultimately allows for improved first pass interpretation of an area of interest.

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LiDAR for Power

Access to electricity is vital to sustain a quality of life. Companies are under pressure to deliver power to end users in greater quantities and at a greater speed than ever before, At the same time, it is becoming more difficult to  find sites for power generation and routes for transmission lines. LiDAR is the ideal technology to assist in relieving some of this pressure as it saves time and allows for easy access to a proposed site. Southern Mapping has surveyed power generation sites and power line routes worldwide. The results of these surveys are used for a variety of applications and include:

-Site selection, whether the source is hydro, coal, or nuclear.

-Infrastructure design on the final site, from supply of raw material to delivery of power.

-Life cycle Surveys for on-going and maintenance.

-Selection of the most appropriate transmission line corridor.

-Profile surveys of the final route.

-Impurity surveys of existing lines for power transmission optimization

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Precision Vector Mapping

Southern Mapping provides precision vector mapping from its highly accurate LiDAR and ortho-imagery (up to 5cm absolute x, y, z accuracy and 5cm colour resolution) as well as satellite imagery (up to 50cm resolution). From land cover classification through to mandatory second schedule mine plans, SMC is able to provide precision quality vector outputs with rapid turn —around times.

Download Brochure

Site & Corridor Selection

Initial corridor and site selections are best done using medium resolution data sets. These include elevation models, orthoimagery, geological, soil, vegetation, land cover, infrastructure, environmental, obstacle, building count and other types of information sets. Many of these information layers are available from Southern Mapping and can be supplied for input into your GIS or within a 3D interactive visualization tool that allows a virtual tour of an entire initial area or of a number of corridor options.

Download Brochure

Final Line Alignment & Profiling

Once a corridor has been selected, the project enters the design phase, at which time engineering level data is required. This is achieved using an airborne LiDAR survey, with deliverables comprising a high accuracy (5cm to 20cm) elevation data set and high resolution (10cm to 20cm) orthoimagery across the corridor. The best route within that corridor can then be selected in a combination of a desktop study and field verification.

Download Brochure

Aircraft Maintenance

In 2012 Southern Mapping was awarded an Air Service Licence

and Air Operating Certificate under SACAA part 135. Soon after

that, in order to have control over the maintenance of our own

three aircraft, we bought an AMO (Approved Maintenance

Organization).

This division of Southern Mapping is run under the watchful eye of

Andre Wehmeyer and Stuart Guy as Responsible Persons Flight

Operations and Aircraft respectivel

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Our Technologies

Hyperspectral

Everything on the surface of the earth, whether it is a type of plant, soil rock or mineral, absorbs and reflects light differently, In essence hyperspectral imagery is equivalent to taking hundreds of pictures over and area at ten nanometre intervals, Thus enables us to effectively search for specific signatures within the resultant imagery and detect different minerals, rocks, soil types, plants etc, automatically.

Application would include environmental baseline audits for the mining sector, acid mine drainage (AMD), hydrocarbon spill assessment; species level vegetation mapping and mineral exploration.

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Lidar & Ortho Surveys

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is a fairly young technology designed to provide topographic mapping. When combined with a digital camera, a complete high speed mapping system is created.

Southern Mapping uses Optech LiDAR units and Rollei Phase 1 medium format cameras. A LiDAR system measures distances directly from the aircraft to the ground during flight. The accuracy, point density and the image resolution are a direct function of flying height.

The laser is able to penetrate through the gaps in vegetation and measure accurate ground level heights. LiDAR points have a very high inherent accuracy and coupled with a high point density, produce an extremely high accuracy ground and above ground data set. Advances in measuring equipment (GPS and IMU units) used on modern survey aircraft, means little to no ground control is required. LiDAR is also an active sensor and can be flown in Sub-Optimal weather conditions and can even be flown at night.

An entire project can be processed and delivered far faster than any other survey technology.

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Thermal Mapping

Airborne Thermal Mapping uses high resolution thermal imaging cameras that measure infrared radiation in 3-5 micrometer and 8-14 micrometer bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Typical thermal imaging applications include:

  • Leak detection mapping
  • Landfill sire surveys for detection of Methane gas
  • Underground fire / hotspot detection and mapping
  • Sub-surface heating pipe / wiring detection and mapping
  • Heat loss and damp mapping in buildings
  • Mapping of water paths
  • Insulation integrity surveys
Satellite

Optical satellite imagery

Southern Mapping provides imagery and products for many major commercial satellite sensors. With our remote sensing product suite, we are able to offer a full solution for projects requiring imagery and DEM from broad to detailed satellite derived imagery and DEM through to our very high resolution, high accuracy LiDAR and associated airborne imagery.

Our ability to merge imagery from different sensors into accurate colour balanced mosaics furthermore allows us to tap into available imagery archives in order to benefit from high discounted process for this data.

Radar Satellite

Southern Mapping is a distributor of RadarSAT and TerraSAR Satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) products, providing SAR derived Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) with a grid posting of 10m and vertical accuracies in the order of 15-20m.

By capturing successive SAR images over a target site and measuring the difference between successive images (interferometry), Southern Mapping is able to measure discrete surface movements down to sub-centimetre level. This is an extremely valuable tool for monitoring heave, subsidence or slipping of urban areas, infrastructure projects, mine walls or undetermined areas.

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Satellite Information Table

Download the table by clicking on the button below.

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Site Monitoring via Satellite

A lot has been written about the spatial and spectral resolution of satellites; however the temporal resolution of satellite observations is not to be ignored. With the advancement in capacity and capability of high resolution satellites, the commercial possibilities and applications of short revisit intervals of high resolution imagery are ever increasing.

Download Brochure

GIS Services

Southern Mapping provides a wide range of information, derived from a variety of sources, including our own airborne sensors, satellite sensors, our won historical records and shelf data sets. We use GIS technology to combine this information into an easily usable whole. We are able to supply this for our client’s in house GIS use or we are able to offer an outsourced GIS service where we provide the data hosting and manipulation. In addition we offer GIS software and training, customized for your particular needs and using your own datasets.

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Our Imaging Portfolio

Visit Our Imaging Portfolio

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