BYU’s main campus covers 560 acres and includes roughly 100 large academic buildings. There are some 6,000 trees (900 species), miles of sidewalks, and according to most students, far too many stairs.
When he was a grad student at BYU, Bryce Berrett and his faculty mentors virtually mapped every inch of campus. Using more than 80,000 drone-captured and ground images and applying GPS systems for accuracy, the civil engineering student stitched together a comprehensive 3D model of the entire BYU campus.
“Our research group [had] been creating 3D models from aerial photos for a while now, but to do so we [needed] to fly drones. We [couldn’t] safely do that with people underfoot,” Berrett said. “When the COVID pandemic hit and most classes went remote in 2020, we realized we had a unique opportunity to photograph campus.”
Funds donated by alumni and friends of the university make experiences like these possible for thousands of students each year.