About Maestro

An all-new way to explore job sites and generate aerial insights over time with DroneDeploy.

There is a lot that you can learn about your project by looking at a single drone map. But a single map doesn’t mean as much without context. And when it comes to a changing job site, mine, or field, the most crucial bit of context is time. You can understand so much more about what’s happening today if you know what happened yesterday — and what’s supposed to happen tomorrow to stay on track.

Meet Projects: an entirely new DroneDeploy interface designed to help you better manage drone data over time. From flight to insights, it’s now easier to capture, explore, and share drone data across your organization.

Extract More Valuable Insights Over Time

With the new Project UI, it’s easier than ever to organize your drone data and analyze changes over time. Projects automatically group drone data by location. This feature makes it easier to plan flights, process and explore maps, and most importantly, generate insights as time goes on. This reduces the complexity of comparing changes throughout the project lifecycle — such as stockpile volumes or building progress — saving teams time in the field and the office.

Unlock Greater Consistency on Every Site with Flight Templates

Our new flight templates make it simple to capture consistent data across each job site, at any stage of your project. Create custom flight templates that can be applied to any mission, eliminating the need to copy old flight plans each time you want to fly. These templates can be stored and used by any member across your job sites, bringing greater consistency and repeatability to your drone program as you scale operations.

Keep Your Entire Team Up to Speed with Improved Sharing

Data isn’t powerful unless you can share it easily. And you shouldn’t have to share a map or report at every stage of a project — it’s not efficient. This is why we’ve changed the way you can communicate progress with teams. Share an individual project with a collaborator once and each time you generate a new map or report, they will be notified. You can also set permissions, including editing or viewing capabilities. It’s that simple. With Projects, your team never misses a beat.

Get Unlimited Organizational Access with Site-Based Licenses

For many customers, it just doesn’t make sense to purchase dozens of DroneDeploy seat licenses. We’ve heard your feedback, and now we’re excited to announce a new site-based pricing option. Purchase a site-based license for your project to provide anyone at your organization with access to DroneDeploy for the entirety of the project. Think of it as an unlimited pass to aerial insights for an entire team. Interested in purchasing a site-based license? Contact a member of our team.

Try Projects Today

Excited about Projects? Us too. The good news is that this new interface is generally available to every DroneDeploy customer starting today. Sign in to your DroneDeploy account and give it a spin. We know you’ll be impressed. If you’re not a DroneDeploy customer, don’t worry. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and try Projects out for yourself.

Make sure you stay tuned for future updates to the new Projects interface. We’ve got some exciting new features right around the corner.

Where to Learn More



Introducing Projects was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


The story of a surprising ally in the fight to save lives during California’s most destructive wildfire: drones.

California’s devastating Camp Fire has finally been contained. The fire — California’s deadliest and most destructive on record — scorched more than 150,000 acres over the course of 17 days before firefighters got it under control. And while the work to contain the fire has come to an end, for emergency rescue crews, insurers, and investigators the work is only just beginning.

Before containment, the fire tore through urban areas across Paradise, Chico, Oroville, Magalia and other cities destroying almost 14,000 homes, 528 commercial structures, and close to 4,300 buildings in its path. Most of those initially marked as missing have emerged, hundreds of people still remain unaccounted for almost three weeks later. Our hearts go out to all those affected by these devastating events.

The Camp Fire is already a source for history books, but one record you may not know about is the largest UAV disaster response to date. Drones have increasingly become go-to tools for collecting aerial insights in the wake of the disaster, but the efforts that unfolded after the Camp Fire are unprecedented. Read on to learn how rescue teams used DroneDeploy to map the destruction to aid the recovery process in the days leading up to its containment.


Greg Crutsinger of Scholar Farms gathers drone imagery from the front lines. Photo credit: Casey Tholburn

Drones Come to the Aid of Rescue Workers

Over three days, 16 teams of public safety professionals from an interstate agency task force of police, fire, and rescue personnel worked day and night to complete 500+ drone flights capturing 70,000+ images of the areas surrounding Paradise and Magalia. The result: close to 500GB of drone data which DroneDeploy turned into 26.5 square miles (15,000 acres) of high-res aerial maps is now accessible to state agencies and the public to assist in the recovery efforts. This data will be used to aid search and rescue operations, assist with the planning and response to potential mudslides, issue FEMA relief funds, and help process insurance claims faster so that wildfire victims can get back on their feet.

Coordinating the Largest UAV Task Force in History

Individuals from Menlo Park Fire Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Butte County Sheriff’s Office and others joined forces with UAV experts at DJI and Scholar Farms to collect the data. The images have since been transformed into maps that are highly accurate, geo-referenced, and overlaid with street names. These maps are critical tools in the recovery process, as neighborhoods are no longer recognizable. Street after street of burned buildings and trees now blend together, making it difficult to discern one block from the next.


Fire teams plan drone flights with DroneDeploy. Credit: Romeo Durscher

Coordinating all 16 drone teams would have been challenging enough with the dense smoke, high winds, and low visibility — but planning hundreds of flights with dozens of pilots meant everyone needed to be on the same page. And teams on the ground turned to DroneDeploy to manage flight planning and data collection.

“We collectively decided to utilize DroneDeploy as the set-up of their flight grids is easy and can be done on a laptop and then shows up on the tablets used for flight.”

— Romeo Durscher, Dir. of Public Safety Integration at DJI

Read more here


Fire teams plan drone flights with DroneDeploy. Photo courtesy of Romeo Durscher

The next challenge came by way of processing close to 500 GB of data.

“When you have 500GB of data, you have to figure out a solution. Greg Crutsinger (Scholar Farms) came up to me and said ‘We need to get this data on a server to be processed. Any thoughts?’ And yes, I did have a thought and contacted Jono Millin, Co-Founder and CPO of DroneDeploy. He was at dinner when I pretty much threw it at him: ‘We need your help.’

These are things you can do when you establish good relationships — which is something I really enjoy about this emerging drone industry. In general, people and companies are very good at working together because there is not only so much to learn, but there is actually a lot to share. Not one company can do it all. What ended up happening is that hard drives were run to DroneDeploy in San Francisco twice and the DroneDeploy team put a tremendous amount of work into getting the data into a format that was useful.” — Romeo Durscher, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI

With no internet access in the region, the UAV teams had to transport hard drives of data to San Francisco, while Jono Millin (DroneDeploy’s co-founder) and members of our sales and engineering teams uploaded imagery throughout the night and the following morning. The next day the data was delivered in 75 maps after the engineering team spun up a massive processing cluster in our cloud to manage the influx of data.

In the end, 1.4 trillion pixels of captured drone images would become a 100 billion pixel map.


Click to view the full map.

Putting the Data to Work to Fast-Track Recovery Efforts

The maps are impressive, but we’re more impressed by how the teams on the ground have put them to use. With up-to-date visuals, fire teams are charting the damage, and planning next steps. Winter rains are now on the horizon, and the burnt foliage increases the risk of floods and impending mudslides, posing even more harm throughout the region. So the Butte County Sheriff’s Office is using the imagery to identify areas of concern and plan their response accordingly. The maps are even being used by search and rescue teams to spot any missing persons who may be in the area.

Wildfire victims are also putting the maps to good use. With entire neighborhoods mapped, homeowners have been able to submit the imagery to insurance providers to process claims immediately — a process that traditionally can take days or weeks. Many have used the imagery to gain access to FEMA relief funds for the families affected by the fires.

Providing a Helping Hand When it Matters Most

In times like these, it’s all about lending a helping hand. And we’re proud our team was able to help play a small role in response to the fires. We wish the remaining fire and rescue teams speed and safety in the recovery.

And to all the families, individuals, and businesses in this tragedy that have suffered loss, please know that our hearts are with you. We hope these efforts can help you speed up the rebuilding process.

If you’d like to help the communities suffering from the devastation left in the wake of the Camp Fire, please consider donating to the following nonprofit relief funds:

Where to Learn More

To learn more about the efforts on the ground, please check out the resources below:

  • See Butte County’s official website for Camp Fire response and recovery for structure status, evacuation maps, panoramas, and drone imagery.
  • Read Romeo Durscher’s (of DJI) write-up about the effort to manage teams on the ground and collect the data. His account provides a complete walkthrough of the operation and the challenges faced on the front lines.
  • Read Gregory Crutsinger’s write-up on Scholar Farms’ role on the ground in Paradise, CA, and how its team helped emergency response pros with drone data collection.



Supporting the Camp Fire Relief Efforts from Above was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Team Rubicon assists Indonesia’s Disaster Management Agency with real-time aerial insights

On September 28, 2018, a major earthquake struck Sulawesi, an Indonesian island. The powerful quake triggered a tsunami that reached an estimated height of 6 meters (18 feet) along the shores of Sulawesi’s Gulf of Palu. The damage was catastrophic. In need of outside assistance, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management asked Team Rubicon Australia to provide support. The nonprofit disaster-relief agency used drones to help Indonesian authorities assess damage and plan recovery operations.

Responding to a Double Disaster

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake that shook Sulawesi immediately flattened buildings and caused liquefaction, leading to mudflows in two neighborhoods in Palu (population 330,000) that ripped apart houses, swallowed roads and buried people alive. The earthquake also set off a tsunami that sped down the horseshoe-shaped Gulf of Palu. Tall waves battered fishing villages along the way, reaching the city of Palu in about 3 minutes.

Government officials and first-responders faced a large-scale, time-sensitive challenge. They needed to assess damage, plan evacuation and other emergency responses, conduct search-and-rescue missions, and provide medical care and other aid to survivors as quickly as possible. However, the devastation caused by the two natural disasters had left Palu and surrounding areas extremely difficult to access.

Roads were clogged with debris, bridges were destroyed and the airport’s runway was severely damaged. Using ground crews to survey the widespread damage would take a significant amount of time and expose them to a variety of hazards. The government needed to find a speedier, safer solution.

Providing a Helping Hand

The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure, or BNPB, turned to Team Rubicon Australia (TRA) for help. The nonprofit group is part of Team Rubicon Global, an international global disaster-response organization network powered by more than 80,000 well-trained volunteer military veterans who step in as first-responders to disasters worldwide. When they got the call, a TRA volunteer UAV Strike Team rushed to Palu.

Once on the ground, the The TRA team used drones to take aerial photos and videos given the destruction and inaccessible landscape. Led by Richard Adams, a highly skilled drone pilot with extensive military and civilian UAV experience, the drone crew concentrated on four key areas: two neighborhoods in Palu that had suffered the most earthquake damage and two settlements that the tsunami struck.

To carry out its mission, the TRA team used DroneDeploy’s software platform. It made all aspects of the project — flight planning, flying, image processing and map analysis — easier, faster and more reliable. The platform was particularly helpful because the earthquake had knocked out internet service. The team was able to fly entirely offline and then compress the imagery and upload it later using a mobile hotspot and DroneDeploy’s turbo uploader feature.

The images captured by the drone flights enabled the TRA crew to create aerial maps showing damage to buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The team then analyzed photographs and mapping data and cross-referenced them against existing satellite images and data. “Drone data provided higher resolution imagery than the satellite data, which was very useful when completing the analysis,” said Adams. With real-time maps in hand the team was able to provide insights when the local authorities needed them most.

The team’s work helped drive relief efforts. Using TRA’s information, officials assessed damage quickly and made data-informed decisions the recovery process. By providing data-based estimates of destroyed housing, TRA’s data also helped to provide a clearer picture of how many displaced people were affected. TRA’s drone team is no longer in Palu, but its contribution is still producing results. Scientists and seismologists continue to use the team’s data to better understand the extent of the damage and the impact of the earthquake on the landscape.

As an added benefit, the TRA team was able to collect data safely in the wake of the disaster. Neither TRA volunteers nor ground crews had to enter the damaged zones to make assessments. “We were able to access areas that were not accessible, from a safe distance,” said Adams.

Making the World Better with Drones

The Palu earthquake and tsunami resulted in more than 2,000 fatalities and thousands of injuries, and they destroyed homes, businesses, government buildings, houses of worship and schools. It created a humanitarian crisis that needed immediate and effective emergency response. Drones played a vital role in the government’s response to the disaster.

UAVs and software applications like DroneDeploy are increasingly viewed as useful tools for industrial and commercial tasks. But as Team Rubicon’s experience in responding to the Palu disaster shows, drones also have an indispensable role to play in making the world better. Team Rubicon crews have incorporated drones into their relief missions and will continue to use them to provide vital images and data in disaster zones.

For more information on Team Rubicon Australia, their story and current operations, visit www.teamrubiconaus.org

Where to Learn More

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



Drones Assess the Aftermath of Indonesia’s Destructive Earthquake was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Get access to expert services as you scale your drone operations.

DroneDeploy has worked with hundreds of companies to set up drone programs since the passage of the FAA’s Part 107 Rule. During that time, our customers have asked for help with key operational questions:

  • Which drones should we use?
  • How should we handle compliance?
  • What should our standard operating procedures be?
  • How do we train our team on the drones, software and processes?

The list goes on.

Along the way, we’ve accumulated answers to those questions by working directly with customers as they built out drone operations using DroneDeploy. And now we’re ready to provide your company with access.

Today, we’re announcing our Professional Services offerings. These new service are designed to help customers navigate the challenges of taking a drone program to scale.

Our Professional services include:

  1. Drone Operations Blueprints
  2. Bespoke Training
  3. Flight Operations
  4. Custom Integrations (launching in 2019)
  5. Custom Machine Learning (launching in 2019)

Drone Operations Blueprints

After seeing hundreds of organizations develop in-house drone programs, we’re kicking off our Blueprints service. Our expert team will take time to learn about the unique needs of your organization, and develop a bespoke set of documents, processes and protocols to ensure that your drone program takes off without turbulence.

These can include common patterns we’ve witnessed:

  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Safety Best Practices
  • Privacy Mitigation Strategies
  • Aircraft and Liability Insurance

As well as more custom process mapping and change management to better leverage drone data and decisions across your organization.

Bespoke Training

We will work with you to understand the unique workflow and needs of your team, and blend it with DroneDeploy best practices.This service includes in-person trainings and access to an online training center that houses custom content unique to your organization.

Using the oversight dashboard, you can track who in your organization has completed internal certification, making it easy to ensure your team is always up to date with the latest procedures.

Flight Operations

Some customers choose to outsource their drone operations instead of investing in an in-house program. We’re now opening this service to all our enterprise customers.

Through a single contract with DroneDeploy, we will ensure fulfillment of your data capture needs no matter the complexity, ranging from Ground Control Points to thermal imaging to operating in restricted airspace.

First, our team members will work with you to deeply understand your requirements. Then — leveraging our existing partnerships with Drone Service Provider Networks — we will identify the perfect partner to meet your needs. But it doesn’t stop at finding the partner. Our team will also work with them to ensure that data is captured according to your specifications.

Custom Integrations

We know that the data doesn’t end at DroneDeploy, that’s why we built the DroneDeploy Platform and SDK. We also understand that you may not have the resources available internally to connect the pipes from DroneDeploy to provide seamless and automated transfer of data to your backend system. That’s why in 2019, we’ll be launching a service to assist in customizing, extending and automating elements of the DroneDeploy platform to better suit your organization, from apps to APIs.

Custom Machine Learning

During DroneDeploy Conference 2018, the crowd erupted when our CTO, Nick Pilkington, demonstrated real-time detection and labeling of hundreds of thousands of solar panels live on stage. Since then, we’ve received requests for Machine Learning to find cars, combiner boxes, and even cows (among other things).

To satisfy this demand, we will be launching a service in 2019 to develop custom Machine Learning models to help identify, count, and track the things you care about the most. We will work with you to ensure adequate data collection, data labeling, model training, and deployment to automate all stages from upload to report.

With these five new services, we’re aiming to reduce the barriers to entry so that you can get the most from your drone data. We want to help your team decrease risk, increase safety and productivity, and generate valuable data to drive smarter decisions.

For more information, please reach out to us at professionalservices@dronedeploy.com

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultationwith one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



Announcing DroneDeploy’s Suite of Professional Services was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Team Rubicon assists Indonesia’s Disaster Management Agency with real-time aerial insights

On September 28, 2018, a major earthquake struck Sulawesi, an Indonesian island. The powerful quake triggered a tsunami that reached an estimated height of 6 meters (18 feet) along the shores of Sulawesi’s Gulf of Palu. The damage was catastrophic. In need of outside assistance, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management asked Team Rubicon Australia to provide support. The nonprofit disaster-relief agency used drones to help Indonesian authorities assess damage and plan recovery operations.

Responding to a Double Disaster

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake that shook Sulawesi immediately flattened buildings and caused liquefaction, leading to mudflows in two neighborhoods in Palu (population 330,000) that ripped apart houses, swallowed roads and buried people alive. The earthquake also set off a tsunami that sped down the horseshoe-shaped Gulf of Palu. Tall waves battered fishing villages along the way, reaching the city of Palu in about 3 minutes.

Government officials and first-responders faced a large-scale, time-sensitive challenge. They needed to assess damage, plan evacuation and other emergency responses, conduct search-and-rescue missions, and provide medical care and other aid to survivors as quickly as possible. However, the devastation caused by the two natural disasters had left Palu and surrounding areas extremely difficult to access.

Roads were clogged with debris, bridges were destroyed and the airport’s runway was severely damaged. Using ground crews to survey the widespread damage would take a significant amount of time and expose them to a variety of hazards. The government needed to find a speedier, safer solution.

Providing a Helping Hand

The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure, or BNPB, turned to Team Rubicon Australia (TRA) for help. The nonprofit group is part of Team Rubicon Global, an international global disaster-response organization network powered by more than 80,000 well-trained volunteer military veterans who step in as first-responders to disasters worldwide. When they got the call, a TRA volunteer UAV Strike Team rushed to Palu.

Once on the ground, the The TRA team used drones to take aerial photos and videos given the destruction and inaccessible landscape. Led by Richard Adams, a highly skilled drone pilot with extensive military and civilian UAV experience, the drone crew concentrated on four key areas: two neighborhoods in Palu that had suffered the most earthquake damage and two settlements that the tsunami struck.

To carry out its mission, the TRA team used DroneDeploy’s software platform. It made all aspects of the project — flight planning, flying, image processing and map analysis — easier, faster and more reliable. The platform was particularly helpful because the earthquake had knocked out internet service. The team was able to fly entirely offline and then compress the imagery and upload it later using a mobile hotspot and DroneDeploy’s turbo uploader feature.

The images captured by the drone flights enabled the TRA crew to create aerial maps showing damage to buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The team then analyzed photographs and mapping data and cross-referenced them against existing satellite images and data. “Drone data provided higher resolution imagery than the satellite data, which was very useful when completing the analysis,” said Adams. With real-time maps in hand the team was able to provide insights when the local authorities needed them most.

The team’s work helped drive relief efforts. Using TRA’s information, officials assessed damage quickly and made data-informed decisions the recovery process. By providing data-based estimates of destroyed housing, TRA’s data also helped to provide a clearer picture of how many displaced people were affected. TRA’s drone team is no longer in Palu, but its contribution is still producing results. Scientists and seismologists continue to use the team’s data to better understand the extent of the damage and the impact of the earthquake on the landscape.

As an added benefit, the TRA team was able to collect data safely in the wake of the disaster. Neither TRA volunteers nor ground crews had to enter the damaged zones to make assessments. “We were able to access areas that were not accessible, from a safe distance,” said Adams.

Making the World Better with Drones

The Palu earthquake and tsunami resulted in more than 2,000 fatalities and thousands of injuries, and they destroyed homes, businesses, government buildings, houses of worship and schools. It created a humanitarian crisis that needed immediate and effective emergency response. Drones played a vital role in the government’s response to the disaster.

UAVs and software applications like DroneDeploy are increasingly viewed as useful tools for industrial and commercial tasks. But as Team Rubicon’s experience in responding to the Palu disaster shows, drones also have an indispensable role to play in making the world better. Team Rubicon crews have incorporated drones into their relief missions and will continue to use them to provide vital images and data in disaster zones.

For more information on Team Rubicon Australia, their story and current operations, visit www.teamrubiconaus.org

Where to Learn More

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



Drones Assess the Aftermath of a Indonesia’s Destructive Earthquake was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


The construction sector plays catch up as it races to implement the latest technology on the job site.

As Charles Darwin famously observed, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Evolutionary pressure has helped fuel the implementation of new technology solutions on the job site. While the construction industry has been slow to change, contractors are now under pressure to address chronic problems, such as finishing jobs late and over-budget.

“The pressure to act is rising,” according to McKinsey. “Demand is soaring. The scale of players and projects is increasing, making a more productive system more viable.” Meanwhile, the price of technology continues to fall, making solutions that can dramatically improve productivity much more accessible. This is leading to a spike in tech adoption as builders race to implement solutions that can help them compete, and catch up with other, more digitized industries.

Read about the top tech leading the job site into the future in our eBook

Digitization is Now Underway

The economic imperative to change has finally reached the tipping point. What’s more, the benefits of embracing new technology are clear. They include increased safety, lower costs, and greater efficiency.


Construction currently ranks among the least digitized industries according to the Harvard Business Review.

The rise of mobile devices, cloud computing, and big data has opened up a new frontier for construction. And today the digitization of the job site is well underway. McKinsey cites three main clusters where digitalization is happening: onsite execution, back office integration, and digital collaboration. But the transformation won’t happen without its challenges. For larger companies, identifying and implementing new technology can’t be done overnight. It takes time to make technology purchases, train workers, and integrate new field solutions with the back office.

The good news? If construction productivity—lead by technology adoption—can match the total economy, the sector could be looking at $1.6 Trillion in added value worldwide. So there’s a pretty good case for companies to make the investment.


Drones are one of the must-have tech tools for monitoring projects of all sizes.

A New Era for Construction

As the race to digitize the built world continues, contractors have begun integrating everything from smartphones and tablets to AI-powered software into their daily workflows.

If you’re on the job site every day, you know how software and devices can help builders connect, collaborate, and make smarter decisions — faster, more efficiently and, yes, more cost-effectively. One of the most promising technologies to hit the construction site may even be flying over your head right now. You guessed it: drones. With the costs of drone hardware bottoming in the last few years, and the advent of easy-to-implement software, many companies see ROI the moment the digital bird completes its first flight.

But it’s not just drones that site managers, surveyors, superintendents, and BIM coordinators now use to jumpstart workflows and eliminate friction. Smartphones and cloud-based apps are also helping transform workforce silos by facilitating better collaboration and efficiency between contractors. These tools also enable teams to move faster, work smarter, and keep clients in the loop every step of the way. And while we’re just beginning to see the results of these technology investments, we expect big things on the horizon for the industry as it sheds its past and emerges in a more productive, digitized form.

Top Technologies Reshaping the Future of Construction

There are a whole host of integrated tech solutions used on construction sites today. But there is still a long way to go. For example, your mobile device can be used to communicate with key stakeholders, access drawings in the cloud, measure the impact of your decisions, and even fly your drone.

As you no doubt have figured out, we think drone technology is mandatory in the modern construction company’s equipment arsenal. But, drones are just one of five important technologies that we think you can’t live without. Read our new eBook, The Connected Job Site, to get a better idea of how technology is reshaping the industry in 2018 and beyond.


Read our eBook to learn the top five technologies reshaping the future of construction.

Staying Competitive in a Changing Environment

Construction companies that want to be competitive in today’s marketplace need to be using technology for everything from real-time site monitoring to mission-critical decision-making. That means you need to be thinking about how technology factors into your business ecosystem.

Remember, it’s all about survival of the fittest. Now is the time to make sure your company is among the fittest in the industry.

Where to Learn More

Interested in learning more about how drones and technology can improve safety and efficiency on construction sites?

Read our recent eBook to get a better idea of the leading technologies and how to implement them.

Or tune into our ongoing construction webinar series:

Ready to bring drones to your job site? Read our guide to starting a drone program.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



The Evolution of Construction Technology was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


DroneDeploy announces map processing support for the all-new DJI Phantom 4 RTK.

Last week, DJI announced its latest quadcopter for industry: the Phantom 4 RTK. This product marks a major investment by DJI in the future of aerial mapping, and we couldn’t be more excited about the impact it will have on our community of drone operators.

While DJI frequently releases new drone models each year, the Phantom 4 RTK isn’t your average drone. It’s a huge leap forward and will undoubtedly have a significant impact on aerial mapping for years to come. Why? The advent of a quadcopter with built-in RTK capabilities means highly accurate drone data is now accessible to anyone. And we’re happy to announce that Phantom 4 RTK data can be processed with DroneDeploy.


The DJI Phantom 4 RTK marks a major investment by DJI in the future of aerial mapping

Let’s break down why this is a big boon for the commercial drone industry and your company.

Survey-Grade Accuracy Off the Shelf

Until now, gathering highly accurate RTK drone data required a large hardware investment on your part. You either had to shell out upwards of $25,000 for a fixed-wing drone with built-in RTK, add an additional PPK kit to an existing drone in your fleet, or create a custom RTK quadcopter.

You can now buy a drone that comes ready to produce survey-grade maps off the shelf at a 3X discount to previous RTK systems. And it is compatible with the batteries and other accessories you already own with your Phantom 4 or Phantom 4 Pro.


Use existing batteries and accessories you already own with the Phantom 4 or Phantom 4 Pro.

The Phantom 4 RTK produces high-resolution drone maps (hello, 20MP sensor!) and 3D measurements that are accurate within a few centimeters — all without using ground control points (GCPs). We were able to test the Phantom 4 RTK in advance of its release, and our preliminary testing produced accurate measurements within 1–3 centimeters in X&Y, and 5 centimeters in Z.

Not only will you gather more precise data, but your map exports from DroneDeploy will align perfectly to BIM models and other software. And when you compare maps over time, or side-by-side, each map will line up for more efficient comparisons. Why? Because each photo location taken with the Phantom 4 RTK is effectively an aerial GCP. That’s a huge win for pros comparing job site progress, crops, or even measuring aggregate stockpile volumes.

An RTK Drone Designed to Navigate Urban and Residential Areas

Before the Phantom 4 RTK, if you wanted to use a complete RTK mapping system out of the box, it required a fixed-wing aircraft. While these are great for some industrial uses, they are difficult to maneuver and fly in urban and residential areas. If you want to inspect a building or take a quick survey of your site, you’d have been hard-pressed to do so safely with fixed-wing craft. With the Phantom 4 RTK you can take off, hover, and land on a busy construction site with ease, or inspect a roof in a residential neighborhood while avoiding trees and structures.

Simplified Workflows and Greater Efficiency in the Field


The Phantom 4 RTK simplifies previous workflows with flight control built into the controller.

The Phantom 4 RTK also simplifies previous workflows with flight control built right into the controller. And you no longer have to spend time setting GCPs every single flight. Though, we do recommend you continue to use some GCPs as checkpoints to ensure your data is accurate. While the Phantom 4 RTK doesn’t always eliminate the need for GCPs, it does reduce the number required — especially when flying smaller sites.

On the processing side, photographs can be uploaded as normal to DroneDeploy. Images captured with the Phantom 4 RTK carry highly accurate location data and can be processed by DroneDeploy as is. This means faster workflows for your team without sacrificing precision.


Each photo captured with the Phantom 4 RTK can be uploaded and processed with DroneDeploy’s Map Engine.

We hope you’re excited for this announcement. And while DroneDeploy does not yet support automated flight for the Phantom 4 RTK, we’ll be working closely with DJI in the coming months to make this a reality.

This drone will accelerate drone adoption in industries like construction, surveying, and mining and we’re excited to be along for the ride.

Where to Learn More

The latest drone technology from DroneDeploy and DJI— like aerial mapping, thermal imaging, and digital terrain modeling — gives you a rich set of data to streamline your workflows and generate real-time, accurate insights.

  • Accuracy is critical in drone mapping. Review linear measurement accuracy of DJI drone platforms and cloud-based photogrammetry in our free accuracy white paper.
  • Read our free eBook on aerial inspection in the energy and construction industries.
  • Watch our recent webinar with ENR, DJI, and McCarthy Building Companies to see how you can use drones on your next construction project.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



The Future of Drone Mapping with the DJI Phantom 4 RTK was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Aerial imagery enables environmental services firm TSC to lower client’s potential clean-up costs by 90%.

Thousands of miles of pipelines stretch out across the U.S., carrying oil and gas from wells to refineries. With any pipeline, corrosion can cause leaks and constitute a significant risk. Not only is a leak potentially catastrophic to the environment, but it can also cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate and take years to clean up. Inspecting pipelines is a necessity that’s challenging, time-consuming, and expensive for O&G companies.

Environmental, engineering, and construction services company Trinity Services and Consulting, LLC (TSC) frequently works with O&G companies to monitor pipelines, conduct soil testing, and, in the case of a spill, provide clean-up services. Instead of relying on ground crews and manned flights to monitor and detect leaks, it uses drones to map extensive pipeline networks to protect the environment and to keep client inspection and remediation costs down.


Instead of relying on ground crews to detect leaks TSC uses drones to map extensive pipeline networks.

Saltwater Leaks Can Spell Disaster for Properties and Farms

Not all pipelines transport oil or gas. Saltwater is a common byproduct of oil extraction. Also known as produced water, wells pump it up along with oil. Producers must separate the saltwater from the oil and then dispose of it properly. Nationwide, thousands of miles of pipeline transport saltwater to disposal points.

For one of its clients, a large O&G company, TSC used drones to perform vegetation indexing to identify possible saltwater leaks along two separate sections of the client’s pipeline in northern Oklahoma. In this region, produced water has a particularly high level of salinity. A leak from an underground pipe can spell disaster for nearby farms and properties. Saltwater kills vegetation, including row crops. Produced water leaks usually aren’t detected until there is plant kill-off.


A leak from an underground pipe can spell disaster for nearby farms and properties.

Saltwater contamination is much more difficult to remediate than oil. Clean-up costs from a single spill can soar into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and eliminate an entire harvest for local farmers. Over the past two years, TSC’s client had experienced three saltwater leaks that resulted in more than $1.5 million in total clean-up costs.


For the project, TSC used DJI Phantom 4 Pro drones to fly over 180 miles of pipeline.

Mapping 180 Miles of Produced-Water Pipeline

For the project, TSC used Phantom 4 Pro drones to fly over 180 miles of pipeline to make a map and use a vegetation index to identify areas where potential leaks may be occurring. The project offered many challenges. The team used DroneDeploy’s Linear Flight Plan app to plan the flights in advance. TSC’s UAS pilots, aided by visual observers for Part 107 compliance, made hundreds of flights to cover the many twists and turns of the client’s two pipeline networks.

“DroneDeploy’s flight app is my favorite, and the linear mapping was great,” said TSC aerial services manager Shane McKinzie. “The ability to do all the processing online without tying up computers here at the office is another huge plus.”


The team used DroneDeploy’s Linear Flight Plan app to plan the flights in advance.

The app made a big difference: Shane was able to fly the drone until the battery was depleted, resulting in fewer flights and a 30% time savings. The drones captured more than 50,000 photos, which were processed in DroneDeploy. Using the ArcGIS integration, TSC technicians exported maps from DroneDeploy to create a single map in ArcGIS with indices and mark-ups.


TSC technicians exported maps from DroneDeploy to create a single map in ArcGIS with indices and mark-ups.

Catching Leaks Early Through Efficient Inspection Saves the Environment

Examining the vegetation index, TSC identified specific areas of concern. TSC tagged about 90 regions of interest along the pipeline and delivered high resolution, up-to-date imagery to the client, so it could analyze the photos and follow up with ground crew inspections, if necessary. If the client detects a single leak, it will see a significant ROI.


Examining the vegetation index, TSC identified specific areas of concern with DroneDeploy.

By using drones, TSC will be able to help its client monitor pipeline more often, at a much lower cost. Without TSC’s drone services, the client would have to deploy foot patrols or manned aircraft to search for potential leaks. By using drones and aerial imagery to monitor pipelines, leaks can be caught early, saving up to 90% on clean-up costs and preventing farmland from being damaged.

“DroneDeploy was the right tool for this particular project because it was easy to use, cloud-based, fast, and had no hardware requirement,” said Shane.

Even better, this initial map will serve as the foundation for continued surveillance of the pipeline. Comparing future maps to it will allow the client to detect vegetation changes over time and identify patches that are getting worse.

Taking a Proactive Approach

TSC is working to transform the pipeline inspection process from reactive to proactive. This approach is crucial with produced water pipelines because no regulation mandates inspections, so they’re inspected less often than oil and gas pipelines.

Using drone imagery and plant health analysis with DroneDeploy, TSC offers more efficient and frequent monitoring of produced water pipelines, so the client no longer has to wait until a landowner or farmer complains about plant kill-off to take action. This approach will limit environmental damage, preserve American farmland, protect crops, and save its client millions of dollars in remediation costs over time.

Where to Learn More

The latest drone technology — like aerial mapping, thermal imaging, and digital terrain modeling— gives you a rich set of data to streamline your workflows and generate real-time insights.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



Drones Simplify Early Detection of Pipeline Leaks was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Meet the industry pros speaking at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

Our annual user conference kicks off on Thursday. And this year, we’ve got a stellar lineup of industry experts and fellow pros ready to share their experience and insights with attendees. This is the final post highlighting the keynote speakers and panelists who will be at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

Today, we’re talking about a host of industries using drones to innovate workflows. So, lets take some time getting to know DroneDeploy’s customers and partners in commercial drones, energy, and conservation that are set to take the stage later this week.

See the full conference agenda and register today if you haven’t already.


Register today for two days of expert speakers, training workshops and professional networking.

Commercial UAV Industry Speakers

Colin Snow

CEO and Founder of Skylogic Research, LLC

Colin is the founder of Skylogic Research — also known as Drone Analyst® — a research, content, and advisory services firm for the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry. Colin is a 25 year technology industry veteran with a background in market research, enterprise software, electronics, digital imaging, and mobility. Colin holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, is a member of all major UAS industry groups including: AUVSI and AMA, and holds an FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot certification.

Panel: The Industry Takes Flight: Commercial Drones in 2018 and Beyond

Brandon Montellato

Program Manager at DJI North America

Brandon works with DJI’s ecosystem of partners and customers to create and integrate drone technology solutions into their business environments. Brandon has four years of experience in the commercial drone industry with expertise leading advanced UAS integration projects in the construction, agriculture and mining industries. He began his career at DJI working with leading universities including Stanford, Harvard and Kansas State, facilitating UAS research projects in the AEC and agricultural industries. Brandon holds a degree from San Francisco State University and is a licensed commercial drone pilot.

Panel: The Industry Takes Flight: Commercial Drones in 2018 and Beyond

Andrew Dennison

COO at Uplift Data Partners

Andrew is the Chief Operations Officer at Uplift Data Partners — the leading drone service provider in construction. Uplift delivers aerial insights to the AEC industry through end-to-end, seamless implementation of drone technology into businesses. Andrew is an expert at installing enterprise-scale drone operations. He’s intimately familiar with a broad spectrum of drone data use cases and their implementation.

Panel: The Industry Takes Flight: Commercial Drones in 2018 and Beyond

Energy Speakers

Erik Baros

CIO at Bruin E&P

Erik is the Chief Information Officer of Bruin E&P Operating company, an exploration and production company backed by a private equity commitment from ArcLight Capital. He was previously the Vice President of Technical Systems at Ursa Resources Group II. Prior to joining Ursa, Erik owned and operated a consulting firm that assisted E&P companies with data conversion, integration, and systems operations through acquisitions and other special projects. Before that, He worked in consulting engineering supporting O&G operations. Erik began his career at the United States Geological Survey during the completion of his degrees at the University of Colorado.

Panel: Eyes in the Sky: Drone Operations in Energy and Construction

Brian Lawrence

Lead Systems Analyst at First Solar

Brian is the Lead Systems Analyst at First Solar, a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. Brian has worked in information technology at First Solar for more than 10 years. In addition to his other technology responsibilities, he has been involved with First Solar’s UAV program for the last two years.

Keynote: Energy Keynote

Real Estate Speakers

Neil Pearson

Principal at CoreLogic

Neil serves as Principal, Enterprise Data Strategy for CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property data, analytics and services to business and government. Since joining CoreLogic in early 2015 in the company’s Insurance and Spatial Division he has earned the reputation of utilizing disruptive technologies to ensure that CoreLogic can further advance market position and enterprise content against industry competitors. He is currently developing CoreLogic’s ongoing strategic relationship with Google in the areas of spatial, cloud platform and machine learning. In parallel, he is introducing disruptive and innovation technologies around drones and VR that will position CoreLogic in the digital property marketplace.

Keynote: Real Estate Keynote

Conservation Speakers

Kirk Klausmeyer

Senior Spatial Data Scientist at The Nature Conservancy

Kirk is the Senior Spatial Data Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, a international non-profit organization that works to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. He has worked at The Nature Conservancy for the last 13 years applying technology to help address pressing environmental challenges in California, including drones, big data, satellites, and virtual reality. You can learn more by reading our case study here.

Keynote: Conservation Keynote

Brian Taggert

Director at Oceans Unmanned

Captain Brian Taggart, NOAA (Ret) is the Director of Oceans Unmanned, an organization working to protect our oceans and coastal marine environment by facilitating the use of unmanned technologies. Before starting Oceans Unmanned, Brian spent twenty-six years in operational and leadership positions within the federal government. As Commanding Officer of NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) in, Tampa, FL, he was responsible for the overall management of NOAA’s aircraft support services. He administered the NOAA flight program and established the procedures and standards which govern the program. He has experience in all NOAA operations — ship, aircraft, dive, and unmanned aerial vehicles with over 6000 accident/incident free hours flying a DeHavilland Twin Otter, a Cessna Citation II and a P3 Orion. He has extensive experience leading large organizations with effective strategic planning linking missions, goals, schedule and performance.

Read more about Oceans Unmanned in our case study here.

Keynote: Environmental Keynote

Where to Learn More

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



DDC 2018 Industry Focus: Commercial UAV, Energy, Real Estate and Conservation was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Meet the agriculture experts speaking at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

Our annual user conference is just around the corner. And this year, we’ve got a stellar lineup of industry experts ready to share their experience and insights with attendees. As if you needed any more reasons to attend our biggest event of the year.

Over the next week, we’ll be highlighting the keynote speakers and panelists who will be at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

Today, we’re talking Agriculture. So, lets take some time getting to know DroneDeploy’s agriculture customers and partners set to take the stage later this week.


Register today for two days of expert speakers, training workshops and professional networking.

See the full conference agenda and register today if you haven’t already.

Wesley Mackie

Climate Business Manager at The Climate Corporation

Wesley is a business manager at Climate FieldView, a software platform that helps growers collect, store, and visualize critical field data to monitor and measure the impact of agronomic decisions on crop performance. He works with growers and agronomists in Northern Illinois to bring climate software to their farming operations. Wesley has worked in farm and retail ag operations, data management, and business development as it relates to precision agriculture for 15 years.

Panel: Smarter Farming: Drones and Precision Agriculture

Chad Colby

Founder at Colby AgTech

Chad is a leading industry advocate for the use of unmanned aerial systems in Agriculture. He is the General Manager for Central Illinois Ag, a 5th generation Case IH dealership with locations in Central IL. Chad also developed AgTechTalk.com in 2013 and founded Colby AgTech in 2015, where he works with progressive farmers, leading companies and government agencies to provide deeper understanding of new technologies and their practical applications.

Fun Fact: Chad is a licensed pilot and frequently appears on This Week in Agribusiness, a weekly agriculture talk show that is syndicated nationwide.

Panel: Smarter Farming: Drones and Precision Agriculture

Kyle Miller

Agriculture Sales Engineer at DroneDeploy

Kyle grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Iowa, and has degrees in computer science and agribusiness. He has been researching remote sensing technology for more than 8 years, and creating agriculture drone maps since 2013. Since building his first UAV 5 years ago, Kyle has used historical yield and drone data to understand crop health and create prescription maps to manage his farm. He joined the DroneDeploy team in 2016, and has since worked on our agricultural business development and sales teams.

Fun Fact: Kyle competitively raced motorcycles growing up, and currently lives in a county where pigs outnumber people 7 to 1.

Panel: Smarter Farming: Drones and Precision Agriculture

Where to Learn More

  • If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can register today.
  • Read our top five reasons to attend DroneDeploy Conference 2018.
  • Explore this year’s agenda here.
  • Have more questions about the event? Learn more about the venue and read our FAQ’s here.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



DDC 2018 Industry Focus: Agriculture was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.