Like some of our previous posts on digital landscapes, some time ago we came across interesting research by a group called TerraLuma. The team is made up of members with backgrounds mostly in GIS and have been using UAV's they have customised specifically to map and monitor characteristics of an environment.
"One of the key scientific questions this system will allow us to explore is: “How does the information content in imagery and LiDAR data change over a range of spatial scale levels and what measures (texture, spectral, structural) can be used to characterise, map, and monitor the environment at these different scale levels?"
More recently (since we first saw some of their work) they have updated the UAV and scanning equipment which now enables multispectral, and thermal imagery to be collected using their OktoKopter.
Also, the projects have become more established with the return of a successful trip to Antarctic where they used the UAV to gather data maps on moss beds in relation to climatic shifts. More here.