News & Insights

Commanding New Zealand skies and seas with data acquisition technology

Ryan Groves began flying model aircraft as a child, and he has remained passionate about flying ever since!

Ryan's enthusiasm and devotion have continued for over 30 years, leading him to acquire his pilot license in 2011 and a career that enables him to do what he loves each day. Joining Cardno in February 2020 as the Safety and Technology Leader based in Wellington, New Zealand, Ryan is focussed on finding progressive, digital spatial solutions for clients in the transport, water infrastructure, geotechnical, ecology, environmental and government industries.

Doubling as a Health and Safety Advisor, and as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) pilot, Ryan captures aerial survey data across New Zealand. Passion, coupled with a fresh and innovative perspective make him an extremely valuable asset to our team, our clients, and our communities.

Ryan is part of a global Data Acquisition team who provide relevant actionable intelligence - merging data from multiple sources to create a complete picture of geographical sites and project assets. The resultant imagery is fully integrated with Geographic Information System (GIS) and survey capabilities, which provides our clients with comprehensive and precise engineering-grade aerial mapping and inspections. The team also use specialised equipment and workflows to provide leak detection services to quickly identify underground anomalies for water utilities through capture and analysis of thermal imagery.

Hydrographic Survey and Aquatic Mapping with the HyDrone

Not satisfied with commanding the skies, Ryan also rules the water. Specifically, he offers Hydrographic Survey services, which involves operating a HyDrone to quickly and accurately map aquatic environments. Small, agile and rapidly deployable, the hydrographic systems can provide new insights into what lies beneath.

Aesthetically understated, this technologically cutting-edge vessel uses an echosounder to undertake depth surveys and complex sedimentation mapping using dual frequency. The emanate data is then stitched together to develop a 2D or 3D model.

What does the future look like?

Ryan’s passion for his job is amplified by the innovative nature of the industry. Technology is continually encouraging positive change and streamlining the work, such as introducing remotely piloted aircraft and boats to traditional workflows. Ryan envisions that in the near future, the physical flying of drones will be more automated:

“It won’t be long until we work with drones fitted with innovative automation technology so that pilots themselves won’t need to be on the ground and within view of their drone.”

Ryan is excited to couple Virtual Reality (VR) with drone-captured imagery as it enables an immersive experience for our clients. These complementary technologies digitally demonstrate how a Cardno-designed road will present when laid over the top of the client’s project site; creating an efficient and realistic planning tool for clients and the community to envisage the final result.



More information on our data acquisition, surveying and spatial services can be found HERE.

For a quality conversation with our local specialists, contact:

Ryan Groves

Safety and Technology Leader
Wellington, New Zealand

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