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Commercial drone use on the job site is skyrocketing. The latest drone trends and statistics from DroneDeploy explain why.

This past year, more than 30,000 users put DroneDeploy to work creating the largest drone data repository — now with over 400,000 maps of job sites, farms, and structures. Our growth is a testament to the growing community of commercial drone users.

While dozens of industries use drones, the fastest growing commercial adopter is the construction industry. Drone use on the job site has skyrocketed in the last year — surging 239% — and construction is now the leading sector using DroneDeploy.


The construction industry has seen the most growth in the last year, followed by mining and agriculture.

With growth like that, you probably have some questions. How are companies putting drones to work? Who exactly is benefiting from drone data? And what are the results?

In this post, we share some recent insights uncovered from analyzing the latest DroneDeploy user data. Read on to get the most recent trends and statistics from drone data captured on 400,000 job sites in 180 countries.

We recently published our 2018 Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report, which covers the spectacular rise of drones across industries. Read on to get some of the latest drone trends and statistics in construction, or download the full report here.

Who’s Using Drones on the Job Site?


Superintendents, technology managers, and project managers lead the pack, using drones in day-to-day workflows on the job site.

We talk a lot about what’s possible with drones on our blog, but who is actually taking advantage of the technology?Project managers, technology managers, and superintendents are the top roles benefiting from drone data to date.

It’s no surprise that project managers are leading the charge to bring drones to the job site. The typical project runs over budget, behind schedule. Drones help close the gap.

How are Drones Put to Work in Construction?

Builders use drones to collect real-time data about projects and understand what’s happening on site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early — before they become costly or add weeks to a project’s timeline.

But progress tracking is far from the only way construction companies use drones. By spending less than an hour each week mapping a job site, contractors gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of their project. With this data in hand, DroneDeploy’s software makes it easy to plan, communicate, and keep projects on schedule.

“Drones change the game in communication. A [drone] photo is worth a thousand words, and potentially millions of dollars.”
 — Ryan Moret, Field Solutions Manager at McCarthy Building Companies
Watch the Webinar

We surveyed our construction customers to see exactly how use drones on the job site. Here are the top results.

How are Construction Companies Benefitting from Drones and Aerial Data?

Drones do more than improve communication and help keep projects on track. They also increase safety, save time and resources, fast-track surveying, and deliver accurate measurements.

“We saw what was a 2–3 week and several tens of thousands of dollars process become a 1–4 day process with only a couple of thousands of dollars invested in equipment and software. When you’re looking at dramatic 75% or greater cost and time improvement, it’s really powerful,”— Hunter Cole, Brasfield and Gorrie General Contractors

We reached out to our construction customers earlier this year, and they reported a wide range of benefits from using drones. Explore the infographic below for the complete breakdown of the results.

What Software Tools are Construction Pros Using with Drone Data?

While thousands of construction customers use DroneDeploy on a weekly basis to collect, process, and analyze drone data, added value comes from incorporating maps and 3D models into existing planning, design, and management workflows.

So what other tools are construction pros using to amplify the power of their drone data? Here’s a breakdown of the leading software that our customers regularly use in conjunction with drone maps and models.


The leading software tools used by DroneDeploy’s construction customers.

How Accurate is Drone Data Captured on the Job Site?

As construction companies turn to drones for aerial data collection, we’ve seen a rise in the demand for higher data accuracy. Today, companies are using ground control points (GCPs) — ground markers measured with GPS to calculate absolute global positioning — more than ever before with DroneDeploy. The number of maps processed with GCPs grew 5X in 2017 and is currently increasing at a rate of 20% each month.

Measurements are also more common with construction customers. Construction companies use DroneDeploy’s built-in analysis and annotation tools to calculate area, volume, and distance accurately. Exactly how accurate are drone measurements? Using GCPs, customers achieve 99% accuracy. You can learn more in our recent white paper, Linear Measurement Accuracy of DJI Drone Platforms and Photogrammetry.


Phantom 4 Pro map measurement variance with and without the use of ground control points (GCPs).

What are companies measuring? Stockpiles are some of the most common things measured with drones on the job site. In 2017, DroneDeploy users measured more than 300,000 stockpiles to estimate value and track volume changes over time.


Using DroneDeploy construction customers can accurately measure stockpile volumes on the job site.

These are just a few of the highlights from our recent report. To learn more about the rise of drones in construction, download a free copy of the 2018 Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report.

Where to Learn More

  • New to using drones for construction project management? Download our free introductory eBook to learn more.
  • Watch our recent webinar to hear how Chasco Constructors uses drones to track progress on 17 job sites in Texas.
  • See how Choate Construction leveraged drones to keep a 550,000 square-foot project on track and save $7,700 in the process.
  • Drones helped Key Construction save money, stay ahead of emerging issues, and salvage a subcontractor relationship on a $10 million project. Read the case study.

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


Share your best map from the last year for a chance to win a DroneDeploy Swag package

If you haven’t heard, DroneDeploy’s community reached a new milestone. We’ve officially surpassed 30 million acres in maps and we owe it all to you. To celebrate, we want you to show us where you’ve made your mark on the map in the last year for a chance to win a swag package filled with DroneDeploy goodies.


What map will you be entering?

Interested in entering the What’s Your Mark contest? All you’ll need to do is the following:

  1. Get the shareable link to the map you want to enter (Remember, the map must have been processed between May 30, 2017 and May 30, 2018).
  2. Hop on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
  3. Tag DroneDeploy and use the hashtag #DroneDeploy30M.
  4. There are no limits to what kind of maps you can enter — we want to see your favorite.

Here are the What’s Your Mark? contest full terms and conditions.

Where to Learn More

  • Learn more about these industry trends and get a better idea about where drone technology is headed in our upcoming webinar. Save your seat.
  • Curious what we think is in store for the commercial drone industry this year? Read our top 8 predictions for 2018.
  • Want to comb through last year’s report to compare the data? Download 2017’s industry trends report 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.



What’s Your Mark on the Map? was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


DroneDeploy talks to Skymatics about crop damage analysis, and how Live Map transforms agriculture workflows

Extreme weather caused more than $1.9 billion in damage to US crops last year according to recent data from the National Weather Service. As the agriculture industry braces itself for another season of severe weather events, solutions to help diagnose and understand crop damage have never been more needed. So how can the latest drone technology help?

With an accurate picture of the causes and extent of damage, you can better plan for the future, while insurance companies are able to help recoup losses faster and get you back on your feet.

Enter Skymatics. It uses the latest advances in computer vision to analyze drone data and give industries like agriculture, construction, and engineering the insights they need to act quickly. Its Crop Damage Analysis app, available on the DroneDeploy App Market, has become a trusted tool for growers and crop adjusters as they deal with increasingly frequent incidents of crop damage.

Skymatics App Takes a Deep Dive Into the Data of Damaged Crops

We recently spoke to Dr. Cassidy Rankine, Skymatics CTO and remote sensing expert about their solution.

The Skyclaim Crop Damage Analysis report takes all of the data available from your drone imagery and aggregates it into a digestible report. With this report in hand, you can work with your insurance company to fast track a crop damage claim. The damage map points the adjuster right to the most damaged areas, while the damage classification section helps him extrapolate the loss across the whole field.


A sample crop damage report from the SkyClaim App

It’s a simple but highly effective report. This simplicity is intentional. “We’re taking a highly complicated process and summarizing it,” Cassidy says. “We want that simplified information for people to be able to utilize the report right away.”

But how does Skymatics arrive at this simplified report? Here’s where we can all geek out about computer vision.


Example images from a wheat plot hail study where we predicted hail damage severity and timing with 89% percent accuracy using RGB and DSM data layers

Nearly Fifty Data Layers from a Single Drone Map

From a single drone map, Skymatics derives nearly fifty layers of data — everything from elevation and surface roughness, to shadow frequency, image texture, and a dozen different vegetation indices. Using hyperspatial data analysis, it then aggregates all of the information from a region of pixels and matches it up with what’s happening in the real world. The result, as Cassidy says, gets at the “why” behind crop damage, not just the “what.”

“We’re not just telling you, ‘this is damage.’ We’re getting closer to what that damage is. This field has cow damage from trampling, this part lost vegetation due to drought, this part due to a disease. That’s what we’re working towards — the causality of crop loss.” — Cassidy Rankine


The latest version of the SkyClaim gives users access to the information behind their damage reports

Latest Version of Skymatics Lets Users Access the Information Behind Their Damage Reports

For many growers and insurance adjusters, the SkyClaim Crop Damage report is all the information they need need to take quick, decisive action. But for those who want to dig deeper, the latest version of the app lets users access the data layers behind the report.

Although some growers may find this information useful on a practical level, for Skymatics, the move is more about providing a greater level of transparency.

“There are wide-reaching implications for the information in the report,” says Cassidy. “We wanted to give more information to the user about how we are getting those numbers.”

Testing the Accuracy of Live Map: Transforming the Crop Insurance Workflow

Even though DroneDeploy customers can now get same day data insights with traditional cloud-processed maps, when you are talking about thousands of dollars in lost crop revenue, time is of the essence on your farm.


DroneDeploy’s Live Map tool maps fields in real time, so users get instant field insights.

This is why Cassidy, along with so many in the ag industry, is excited about the release of Live Map. But he wanted to know how the accuracy of Live Map holds up compared to a full orthomosaic, so he put it to the test.


The results of Skymatic’s test of Live Map compares the accuracy of real-time data to a traditional cloud-processed orthomosaic map

The results of the accuracy test:

For Crop Damage

Cassidy’s test found Live Map to be accurate within 10% compared to a full orthomosaic.

For Land with Large Patches of Distinct Features

The accuracy is closer to 2–3% compared to a full orthomosaic.

It’s important to point out that these results are preliminary, and by no means a comprehensive accuracy study. Cassidy looked at a small sample, and his results describe the accuracy in feature space area, but not the accuracy of feature location. But he hopes this can be a good start to the conversation. He wants users to understand when Live Map is the right choice and when it’s best to wait for a full orthomosaic.

“If you want to get down to the severity of crop damage, or anything that needs fine spatial resolution, like plant count or wildlife tracks, you’ll want to wait,” Cassidy recommends.

But the immediacy of Live Map is very helpful for directing crop adjusters during an inspection of a damaged field. “It’s a great tool to increase their productivity onsite if they want a good idea of where to go and what to target,” he says.

And, with future advances in accuracy, as well as greater integration between Live Map and Skymatics, Cassidy foresees the entire crop insurance workflow transforming.

“In the future, with Live Map the insurance adjuster could fly the field while he’s out inspecting. By the time the drone lands, he can start to target his assessment and maybe even assign the values for losses. Live Map is a game changer just for what it can do currently, and it’s only going to get better.” — Cassidy Rankine, CTO of Skymatics

Where to Learn More

Get Your First SkyClaim Report for Free

New Skymatics users get their first report free. Install the app to get started.

A Skymatics Case Study

Learn how DroneDeploy and Skymatics helped a grower and a seed rep assess damage to a cornfield. Read the case study.

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.



Skymatics Puts Computer Vision to Work, Providing Insights into the Causes of Crop Damage was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


New report details the state of the commercial drone industry and analyzes 30 million acres of drone data from 180 countries

The last year has been an exciting time to be in the commercial drone industry. We’ve seen drone adoption skyrocket across sectors, game-changing technology hit the market, and new partnerships form along the way.

It’s also been a significant year for DroneDeploy. Our platform recently hit an important benchmark: 30 million acres mapped. In one year’s time, our global presence has tripled.

This past year, more than 3,000 companies and 30,000 users put DroneDeploy to work creating the largest drone data repository — now with over 400,000 maps of job sites, farms, and structures. Our growth is a testament to the growing community of commercial drone users.


DroneDeploy users put our software to work creating the largest drone data repository, consisting of almost 100 million aerial images from the agriculture, construction, surveying, mining and real estate sectors.

With 30 million acres of aerial data under our belts, we are excited to release our fourth Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report. The latest report comes packed with data and insights into the state of the drone industry. It covers drone hardware and software trends, and highlights how professionals in sectors like agriculture, construction, and real estate use drone data around the world on a daily basis.

Read on to explore several highlights from the report, or download your copy here.

The Construction Industry is the Fastest Growing Adopter of Commercial Drones

Construction is currently the fastest growing sector — surging 239% in the last year — and is now the top industry using DroneDeploy. Builders deploy drones on job sites around the world to increase safety, document and understand site progress, and identify potential issues before they become costly.

UAVs are Now an Everyday Tool on More Than 400,000 Job Sites

Customers use DroneDeploy on more than 400,000 job sites around the world. Leading the charge are the construction, agriculture, and real estate sectors. We continue to build industry-leading tools such as Live Map, Progress Photos, and Drone on Demand to help these segments grow even further.


DroneDeploy’s software has been used on more than 400,000 job sites worldwide.

DroneDeploy Customers Create Hundreds of Real-Time Live Maps Each Day

Recent advancements in cameras, edge computing, and mobile hardware processing unlocked new possibilities for drone technology this year. The ability to produce real-time time drone maps is now a reality with Live Map. Live Map stitches aerial imagery as a DJI drone flies, and 60% of real-time maps made are hard to differentiate from cloud-processed data sets. Despite being released just three months ago, 10% of all maps made with DroneDeploy are real-time Live Maps.


Live Map stitches aerial imagery in real time on your iOS device as a DJI drone flies.

AI and Machine Learning Pave the Way for Faster Workflows and Automation

AI and machine learning algorithms help tame large datasets and make it possible to digest massive amounts of information quickly. This is paramount as drone technology adapts to manage the influx of millions of drones and the data they create.


Using machine learning algorithms, our latest tools help customers quickly identify ground control points.

DroneDeploy has the world’s largest drone data repository with almost 100 million aerial images. This data helps us create tools to automate workflows. Tools like automatic ground control points and Roof Report deliver accuracy within the 1% range. Our new ground control point processing tool automatically detects GCP targets so that accurate maps can be made in minutes, not hours. To build this tool, over 150,000 images of GCP targets were analyzed.

World’s First Drone App Market Grows 150%

DroneDeploy’s App Market has more than doubled in size in the last year. Over 2,000 developers have signed up with DroneDeploy, and so far 50 new tools have been introduced across ten industries. There has also been more than 120,000 app installs — representing a 445% increase in 2017.


DroneDeploy’s App Market has now grown to 80 apps serving 10 industries.

Enterprises Embrace Drones at Scale

We’ve seen a 5X increase in enterprise customer growth since 2016. Drone adoption at large companies is currently growing at a pace of 20% every month. As a result, the average size of an enterprise drone team grew to 5 pilots. The growth of drone teams has translated into larger drone deployments across companies as UAVs become the go-to tool for aerial data collection. There are currently more than 110,000 drones registered with the FAA — representing 2.5X growth from 2016. More than 600,000 drones are expected to be registered by 2022.


DroneDeploy’s base of enterprise customers and large deployments has increased 5X since 2016. This growth has translated into larger team deployments across companies, contributing to more FAA registered UAVs.

Companies Join Forces to Create a Global Partnership Network

Industry leaders partnered to remain competitive in a crowded market and provide integrated hardware and software products. DroneDeploy alone has announced partnerships with pilot networks like DroneBase and Uplift Data Partners, distribution and consulting services like SoftBank, Accenture, and CNH Global, and hardware leaders like DJI.

The Drone Industry Attracts Top Talent from Today’s Biggest Companies

2017’s explosive drone industry growth parallels DroneDeploy’s rise. And top technology talent is starting to take notice as the industry matures. As well as joining forces with industry leaders, we recently hired executives from Salesforce, App Annie, Tableau, DemandBase, and Coremetrics.

These are just a few of the highlights from the report. To learn more about the skyrocketing growth of the commercial industry, and get insights into the applications of drone data in the world’s largest industries, download a free copy of our 2018 Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report.

Where to Learn More

  • Learn more about these industry trends and get a better idea about where drone technology is headed in our upcoming webinar. Save your seat.
  • Curious what we think is in store for the commercial drone industry this year? Read our top 8 predictions for 2018.
  • Want to comb through last year’s report to compare the data? Download 2017’s industry trends report 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.



2018 Commercial Drone Industry Trends was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Create an accurate visual timeline of your job site using DroneDeploy’s Progress Photos feature

Job site documentation is essential for every general contractor. Whether you need to share the state of a project with clients and stakeholders, monitor site changes over time, or dispute claims down the road—you’ll need to capture progress photos over the course of a project.

Drones are quickly becoming the go-to tool for job site documentation. And for a good reason: drones provide aerial perspectives, along with accurate visual data, to help your team make better decisions on the job site. They also save time and money, improve communication, and increase safety.

If you aren’t using drones to document site progress, it might be time to reconsider. Read on to learn how DroneDeploy’s newest tool, Progress Photos, can simplify progress tracking and reporting for your team.

Streamline Job Site Documentation

More than half of our construction customers use drones to take photos of their job site. But manually flying a drone to take individual corner shots of your project can be difficult — especially when you need to repeat this process week after week to document the latest changes.


Introducing Progress Photos from DroneDeploy

That’s where Progress Photos come in. It’s the first solution to automate visual site documentation throughout the life cycle of a project. Now you can plan automated drone photo flights from your desktop or mobile device, capture multiple points of interest on your site, and generate professional progress reports to share with customers and stakeholders in minutes.


With DroneDeploy, it’s easy to plan a photo flight, choose your points of interest, capture photos, and generate automatic photo reports to share with stakeholders and clients every week.

With photo missions, you can select your desired point of interest anywhere within the mission area and capture up to 16 photos of your site at once.


Choose a point of interest anywhere in your photo mission plan.

Progress Photos simplifies the photo capture and reporting process, so you can spend less time planning and flying and more time communicating with stakeholders and clients.

“Photo Flights from Drone Deploy opens a whole new environment to efficiently and effortlessly capture deliverables our clients have been asking for.” — Grant Hagen, VDC Manager at The Beck Group

Create Consistent Weekly Progress Photo Reports

It’s challenging to ensure progress photos shot manually are consistent week after week. Are the images taken from the same location? The same altitude? The same angle? That is where our automated photo missions come in. We have made it easy to repeat flights each week so that your progress photos and reports always look consistent.


Generate consistent photo reports each week of your job site.

Once you make your original flight plan, re-fly it each week to capture change over time. Once the drone lands, you can generate progress reports with the push of a button.

“In the past, other tools have proven difficult when onboarding new pilots and supporting my team. Progress Photos makes adoption and reporting site progress easy across McCarthy’s entire team.” — Ryan Moret, McCarthy Building Companies

Bring the Job Site Back to the Office

Keeping HQ updated on the happenings in the field has always been a challenge for project managers and superintendents. But we’ve made it easy to quickly generate progress reports that can be shared with stakeholders back at the office. Once you finish a photo flight, your progress report is ready to share in minutes—making it easy to communicate changes and keep colleagues informed.

Store All Your Drone Data in a Single Place

With DroneDeploy, you don’t have to worry about using multiple apps to fly, capture, process, and store your data. The entire workflow is possible within the DroneDeploy platform. Drone photos, maps, and 3D models are all stored in a single place and accessible anywhere — on any device — via the DroneDeploy cloud. This makes collaboration simple and keeps your team organized.

With our new feature, we’ve simplified site documentation. If you haven’t tried using drones to capture progress photos, give DroneDeploy a try. We know you’ll be impressed with the quality of data and how easy it is to document changes on your job site.

Where to Learn More


Get the full rundown on our Progress Photos solution by watching our latest webinar.
  • See how Choate Construction leveraged drone maps and photos to keep a 550,000 square-foot project on track and save $7,700 in the process.
  • DroneDeploy’s new construction solution has everything you need to get started with drones on the job site. Learn more by visiting our website.

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.



Using Drones to Capture Construction Progress Photos was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


HHNT Engineering improves on-site productivity up to 50% and provides clients with accurate aerial insights using DroneDeploy

Let’s talk a little trash. The literal kind. Drones and garbage might seem like an unlikely combo, but HHNT Consulting Engineers discovered that drones transform the process of creating stormwater pollution prevention plans for solid waste transfer stations and hauling companies.

Drone maps create a highly detailed visual tool that helps sites stay in compliance with state & federal regulations. The new deliverables help manage stormwater runoff with the least environmental impact — and drones increased their team’s productivity by up to 50% over the course of the project.

Mike Crossin and Daniel Windham head the in-house drone program at HHNT. Last summer they mapped 50 transfer stations and hauling companies across Georgia and Alabama. Their team and clients no longer have to rely on basic, black-and-white drawings as visual aids for complex stormwater plans. With DroneDeploy’s cloud-based mapping platform, they have an efficient, collaborative tool that brings EPA-mandated Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans to life.

“With DroneDeploy, we went from zero to 100. We were able to go from something somebody could have created, honestly, a hundred years ago, to something you couldn’t have created two years ago.” — Daniel Windham, HHNT Engineers


Mike Crossin, Chief Pilot (left), and Daniel Windham (right), Environmental Scientist, head up the in-house drone program at HHNT Consulting Engineers.

Drones Help Create High-Resolution, Location-Specific Visual Aids

Every landfill and transfer station must have an up-to-date Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan in place to meet regulatory requirements. The plans, designed by environmental engineers, address everything from the path stormwater travels on a landfill site to the cleanup process if an incident occurs.

Each plan includes visual aids to help clients understand its requirements, such as where to take stormwater samples. Before drones, engineers created these visual aids as diagrams using the information gathered on foot and through conventional surveying during a site visit.


An example of the previous basic, black-and-white visual aids used before adopting drone maps. This could be time consuming.

There were two major limitations to this system. For the engineers making the designs, it was a very time-consuming process to put these diagrams together. The designs also lacked aerial imagery. This meant that it was challenging for HHNT and their clients to quickly orient themselves on the site.

“Before drones, we were working with black and white, not-to-scale field maps in AutoCAD. These lacked the aerial imagery and details provide by drones, which made it difficult for multiple operators to quickly determine their locations and seek out areas of importance.” — Daniel Windham, HHNT Engineering


Now, with drone maps, the HHNT team can add annotations onto accurate, up-to-date aerial imagery. Explore the full orthomosaic map.

Now, with drone maps, the HHNT team can add annotations onto accurate, up-to-date aerial imagery. They point employees to geo-referenced points, examine site features in detail, visualize the path of water flow on a site, and even use drone maps to check elevations for drainage. The improved level of detail provided by aerial maps has led to an increase in team efficiency.


With DroneDeploy it’s simple for HHNT Engineers to overlay CAD drawings (left) onto drone maps (right) and deliver accurate, high-quality visual aids to their clients with real-time aerial imagery.

DroneDeploy Increases Efficiencies and Improves the Accuracy of Stormwater Plans

As the HHNT team discovered, the benefits of drone maps go far beyond the pretty pictures. They leveraged DroneDeploy’s cloud-based platform and app market to increase efficiency, collaboration, and accuracy at every step of the process.

Increased Efficiency

Daniel and Mike mapped 50 transfer stations and hauling companies across two states with drones. Their record was eighteen sites in three days. That is 50% faster than with the previous workflow. Daniel credits their efficiency to DroneDeploy’s built-in flight planning and cloud-based platform. He set up the flight plans ahead of time, so when Mike arrived on site, he was ready to fly. From back at the office, Daniel could access the map and share it with engineers in less than 48 hours.

This increased efficiency extended to the engineering team also. With drawings in hand, they went to each site visit more prepared, able to focus on problem areas that they identified and annotated ahead of time in DroneDeploy.


Mike Crossin gets ready to launch his DJI Inspire 1. For smaller sites, he uses a DJI Phantom 4 Pro for its portability and maneuverability.

Real-time Collaboration

Because they worked within DroneDeploy’s cloud-based platform, the team could collaborate in real time. If Mike arrived at a site and noticed unexpected construction or site changes, he could easily share these changes with the team back at the office. Likewise, Daniel was able to share and collaborate with the engineering team in real time through the DroneDeploy platform.

Improved Accuracy

But the most significant return on investment for HHNT was the increased accuracy of the final Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans.

“When the engineers create the plans, they don’t have to depend on just the site visit and field sketches,” says Daniel. “Or, did they remember to take a picture of everything important on the site? With the drone, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s all right there in front of you.”

Now, instead of black and white plans and diagrams, HHNT imports their drone maps into ArcGIS and overlays accurate, location-specific diagrams and annotations that their clients use to maintain compliance and the highest standard of environmental management.

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 Help Civil Engineers Enhance Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


New to Drones? Get some practical UAV advice from a seasoned ag expert before mapping your fields

The weather is warming up and planting season in finally underway — which means many growers will turn to drones for the first time to collect aerial crop data.

To help you get started on the right foot, we reached out to ag expert Jim Love. Jim is the Light Robotics Manager and Herbicide Specialist at Beck’s Hybrids. He’s helped growers implement drones on their farm — and learned a lot in the process.

Here are five tips Jim thinks every ag pro should know before they go into the field with their drone for the first time.

Buy the Right Drone for the Job — And One You Can Afford to Lose

Choosing the right drone can be tricky, but we’ve put together resources to make it easier. Jim recommends using the drone that works best for you. Don’t feel like you have to purchase an expensive system. If a DJI Phantom 4 Pro can capture the data you need, buy that. Save yourself the money and increase ROI in the process.

Unfortunately, accidents can happen. Jim has worked with growers all over the midwest, and he’s seen his fair share of drone accidents in the process. “Buy a drone you can afford to lose,” says Jim. Don’t go overboard. “Don’t get in a position where you get indigestion every time you take off. A tool you’re afraid to use isn’t a very valuable tool.” Risking expensive equipment when an affordable model and camera can do the job is unnecessary.

Offset additional risk by getting a drone insurance policy. Learn more here.

Start Simple

You have to crawl before you can walk. Jim recommends flying your drone manually and getting comfortable with the controls before making a field map with DroneDeploy. Jumping straight into drone mapping can be challenging for your first day. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by getting the hang of manual flight before you fire up the DroneDeploy app and make your first field map.

We’ve put together 10 tips for making your first map with DroneDeploy here.


DroneDeploy helps you uncover problems when they occur , so you can make more informed crop management decisions throughout the growing season.

Not Every Map Will Be Valuable

This tip may come as a surprise to some, but Jim wants to set expectations correctly. “Not every map you make with DroneDeploy is going to be solid gold,” says Jim. In fact, many drone maps are going to tell you what you already know about your fields, such as water holes or places where you towed a grain cart with your tractor. But don’t get discouraged. When you fly frequently, you’re going to uncover things you didn’t know — such as areas of poor crop health, disease, or irrigation issues that emerge throughout the season.

The More You Fly, the More You Know

While every map won’t provide “solid gold” insights, you have to fly often to catch issues when they do emerge. “The more you fly your fields, the more you will get maps with valuable information,” says Jim. And unlike other methods of aerial data collection, drone data is available on demand at little per map.

“The nice thing about the costs built into this model is that you’re not spending $2-$3 per image. So if you get a map without valuable data, that’s ok. See what happens next week when you go out and fly again.” — Jim Love


Always pack additional batteries and SD Cards before you go out in the field.

Be Prepared

Whenever Jim goes out into the field, he makes sure to pack the right gear. He charges his devices, brings multiple drone batteries and packs several SD cards every time.

Having multiple SD cards is good for a couple of reasons:

  • By changing out the SD card each time you fly a new field, it’s easier to organize your data efficiently — which saves time when you get back to the office or your house to upload and process your map.
  • If your SD card fails — which can happen — you want to be prepared. This way you can avoid downtime and wasted efforts in the field.

“That’s what it’s all really about,” says Jim. “Helping customers save time and make good decisions so that we’re all successful.”

Where to Learn More

Free eBook: The Ulitmate Guide to Using Drones on the Farm

Whether you already use drones on your farm, or simply thinking about it, we’ve filled this e-book with everything you need to know.

Agriculture Webinar Series

Want to learn more from Jim? Watch our most recent webinar.

Our ongoing webinar series brings the agriculture experts to you. We’ve teamed up with some of the most knowledgeable ag pros to help you put drones to work on the farm. Explore our live and on-demand webinars here.


Learn from ag experts in our ongoing agriculture webinar series.

DroneDeploy’s Guide to Crop Scouting with Drones

Learn how to evaluate plant health and detect crop stress with drone data by reading our guide. It covers everything from assessing plant health to the types of sensors you need to generate crop 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.

Available now, the DroneDeploy Precision Ag Package includes unlimited drone mapping and storage, as well as a curated toolset for generating actionable insights on the farm and in the field.



5 Tips for UAV Success on the Farm This Season was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


What types of results should you expect from drones? Here’s a look at the numbers behind the drone data.

At this point, you’ve probably heard about drones, and how aerial photos, maps, and models are delivering a return on investment (ROI) for companies of all sizes. But you might have some questions. Exactly how much time and money do drones save? What kind of ROI should you expect if you start a drone program at your company?

In this post, we’re going to dig into the numbers behind the drone imagery. From the farm to the construction site, drones are continually driving worker productivity, cutting costs, and improving safety.

Read on to get a first-hand look at the results DroneDeploy customers across industries such as agriculture, construction, and surveying see from implementing drones on their job sites.

Saving Time and Boosting Productivity with Faster Data Collection

Drones are quickly replacing traditional forms of data collection ranging from satellite and manned aircraft imagery to manual inspection and measurement. Drones speed up the process and cut anywhere from hours to weeks off a project timeline.

Inspection

ReconnTech recently used drones to map underground utility locations across more than 400 sites in California. Without drones, a technician typically completed between five and seven sites per day. Depending on the driving time between locations, drone mapping allowed a single tech to complete at least ten, and sometimes up to twenty, sites in a single day.

“By using drones…we have increased our field productivity by 50–75%.” –Chris Bartlett, Director of Technology at ReconnTECH
Read the case study


Nelson Aggregates replaced ground-based survey teams with aerial surveys, resulting in a 95% reduction in staff hours . Read the case study.

Surveying

In some cases, drones eliminate the need to send teams out into the field to gather data altogether. This was the case with Nelson Aggregates. The company replaced ground-based survey teams with aerial surveys completed by a single operator, resulting in a 95% reduction in staff hours — a total of 228 hours each year — and saved $28,500 across six quarry sites. Read the case study.

Reducing Costs and the Boosting Bottom Line with Drone Insights

Team productivity is just part of the equation. At the simplest level, less time collecting and analyzing data reduces the resources required to complete a job. Digging deeper drone data can uncover issues before they become even more costly, saving companies much more than just time.

From making faster in-field decisions to identifying trends unavailable in the past, drones provide unparalleled insights that deliver up to 5X cost savings for our customers. In a recent survey, 40% of customers reported cost savings from the use of DroneDeploy.


One industry seeing a big payoff from drone data is Agriculture.

Agriculture

One industry seeing a big payoff from drone data is Agriculture. By identifying pests, disease, and fertilizer issues, growers can stomp out problems before they get out of hand. Learn how catching an aphid infestation before it spread helped one farmer prevent nearly $60,000 in lost revenue. Read the case study.

Construction

But agriculture isn’t the only industry saving money with drone insights. Construction companies are seeing results by leveraging drones throughout a project’s lifecycle. Generating drone imagery to assist project management, planning, and even design. By having an in-house drone program, Choate Construction saved $1,100 per month managing a project with UAVs, or $7,700 over the entire project. Read the case study.

Improving Site Safety and Managing Risk with Drone Imagery

Safety is always top of mind for our customers. In industries such as construction, roofing, and mining, it is not uncommon for workers to face serious injury — or even death — daily. Seeking better ways to gather data and inspect job sites, companies are increasingly turning to drones and mapping to improve overall safety for their workers.

Drones minimize the time spent inspecting dangerous areas such as roofs or construction sites, eliminating the need to put people at risk. Aerial maps also identify potential safety concerns and enable managers to contain environmental hazards before they become costly and dangerous.


Drones minimize the time spent inspecting dangerous areas such as roofs or construction sites, eliminating the need to put people at risk.

In a recent survey, 55% of DroneDeploy customers reported increased safety as a result of implementing drones. This continues to be a leading reason for introducing drone programs at companies of all sizes. Learn how drones are improving on-site safety here.

“For roofing inspections now, we can go out and fly the drones and get the quality imagery that we need. We’re really minimizing the time we’ve spent inspecting these roofs and putting personnel at risk.” — Blake Potts, Senior Virtual Design and Construction Specialist at Rogers-O’Brien Construction
Read the article

These are just a few of the ways that drones are helping companies operate more efficiently. Drone insights are changing the way business decisions are made every day.

— —

Have an ROI story you’d like to share? Contact our team to tell us more. We’d love to know how drones are helping you run a leaner operation.

Where to Learn More

Want to read more customer stories? Check out some of our other customer case studies:

  • Drone maps helped a major insurer identify the cause of a fire on a vacation resort, saving the company €99,985,000. Read the case study.
  • By using drone imagery, Bowles Farming Company was able to save $11-$15 an acre with targeted respraying — increasing the overall net profit of their cotton harvest. Read the case study.
  • Silicon Falcon Micro Aviation used DroneDeploy to help a farmer recoup an additional $110k in crop losses. Read the case study.
  • Drone mapping saved Green Belt €150,000 during the purchase of a private forestry. Read the case study.

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


Drone data helps construction project managers track progress, save time, and make better decisions on the job site

Recent data suggests that more than half of typical construction projects finish late and over budget*. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that project managers on job sites of all sizes are adding drones to their toolkit.

Drone imagery is a game changer when it comes to managing day-to-day operations on a job site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early — before they become costly or add weeks to your timeline. By spending less than an hour each week mapping your job site, you gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of your project.

Here are five ways to keep your next project running on time and under budget using drones.


Create visual timelines of a project for easy reporting and progress tracking.

1. Track Weekly Progress and Generate Photo Reports

Weekly drone maps reduce the amount of time spent walking a site to monitor, track progress, and inspect for safety issues. It’s also easy to repeat flights each week for consistency and create a comprehensive visual record of a project. DroneDeploy’s newest feature — Progress Photos — saves time and creates a visual timeline of your job site in minutes. It’s the first tool that allows you to intuitively plan photo flights, automatically capture corner images, and generate a replicable progress report every week.


Overlay diagrams or CAD drawings onto drone maps to compare site conditions to plans.

2. Compare Site Conditions to Plans with Map Overlays

For more informed planning, overlay drone maps with site plans such as utility, wastewater, and equipment clearances. Compare real-time site conditions against plans. This helps catch deviations early and redirect them at minimal cost. For more advanced oversight and planning, export drone maps into BIM, GIS, and CAD software.

3. Communicate More Effectively and Share Information with your Team

Drones simplify communication and information sharing, both internally and externally. Aerial imagery keeps entire teams aligned and informed with up-to-date, easily digestible visual data. DroneDeploy is cloud-based, so it’s easy to share annotated maps between team members in real time from the field, or keep external stakeholders up-to-speed on the progress of a project through share links and interactive 3D models of a job site.


DroneDeploy makes it easy to annotate maps and share across teams in the cloud for easy access on site from a phone or tablet.

4. Bring the Job Site to the Office for Better Collaboration

Streamline collaboration and enhance the decision-making process by referencing changes on a real-time drone map. With Live Map, you can generate a map of your site in real time, so you’re working with up-to-date information. Now you can bring the job site to the office and easily reference current site issues during contractor meetings. This makes it easy to convey changes and distribute information, even across large teams.

“If I need a contractor to be aware of a design change before he lays pipe, I simply walk over to him with my tablet, blow up a particular section of overlaid plans and show him exactly what he needs to know. I have it all in a PDF, so I can pencil in the new route of the pipe right there in front of him and then send the information over to the engineers. This cuts out weeks of back and forth and boils it all down to less than an hour.” — Jesse Creech, VDC Coordinator at Brasfield & Gorrie


Create real-time Live Maps to track subcontractor progress each day.

5. Manage Subcontractors More Effectively

Reference Live Maps for daily quality assurance checks, before subcontractors even leave the site. Maintain accountability, preserve subcontractor relationships, and negotiate timely solutions that minimize project downtime.

“Live Map helps me end each day with confidence knowing where a project stands and what our subcontractors have completed so that we can provide the best product for our clients.” — Ryan Moret, Field Solutions Manager at McCarthy Building Companies

Where to Learn More

  • New to using drones for construction project management? Download our free introductory eBook to learn more.
  • Watch our recent webinar to hear how Chasco Constructors uses drones to track progress on 17 job sites in Texas.
  • See how Choate Construction leveraged drones to keep a 550,000 square-foot project on track and save $7,700 in the process.
  • Drones helped Key Construction save money, stay ahead of emerging issues, and salvage a subcontractor relationship on a $10 million project. Read the case study.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

With the Construction Accuracy package from DroneDeploy, you get powerful insights and industry integrations to manage your project’s workflow from a single, easy-to-use drone data platform. Contact us to learn more.

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.

*Data provided by Dodge Data & Analytics and McKinsey & Company



5 Ways to Keep Your Next Project on Time and Under Budget Using Drones was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Drone data helps construction project managers track progress, save time, and make better decisions on the job site

Recent data suggests that more than more than half of typical construction projects finish late and over budget*. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that project managers on job sites of all sizes are adding drones to their toolkit.

Drone imagery is a game changer when it comes to managing day-to-day operations on a job site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early — before they become costly or add weeks to your timeline. By spending less than an hour each week mapping your job site, you gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of your project.

Here are five ways to keep your next project running on time and under budget using drones.


Create visual timelines of a project for easy reporting and progress tracking.

1. Track Weekly Progress and Generate Photo Reports

Weekly drone maps reduce the amount of time spent walking a site to monitor, track progress, and inspect for safety issues. It’s also easy to repeat flights each week for consistency and create a comprehensive visual record of a project. DroneDeploy’s newest feature — Progress Photos — saves time and creates a visual timeline of your job site in minutes. It’s the first tool that allows you to intuitively plan photo flights, automatically capture corner images, and generate a replicable progress reports every week.


Overlay diagrams or CAD drawings onto drone maps to compare site conditions to plans.

2. Compare Site Conditions to Plans with Map Overlays

For more informed planning, overlay drone maps with site plans such as utility, wastewater, and equipment clearances. Compare real-time site conditions against plans. This helps catch deviations early and redirect them at minimal cost. For more advanced oversight and planning, export drone maps into BIM, GIS, and CAD software.

3. Communicate More Effectively and Share Information with your Team

Drones simplify communication and information sharing, both internally and externally. Aerial imagery keeps entire teams aligned and informed with up-to-date, easily digestible visual data. DroneDeploy is cloud-based, so it’s easy to share annotated maps between team members in real time from the field, or keep external stakeholders up-to-speed on the progress of a project through share links and interactive 3D models of a job site.


DroneDeploy makes it easy to annotate maps and share across teams in the cloud for easy access on site from a phone or tablet.

4. Bring the Job Site to the Office for Better Collaboration

Streamline collaboration and enhance the decision-making process by referencing changes on a real-time drone map. With Live Map, you can generate a map of your site in real time, so you’re working with up-to-date information. Now you can bring the job site to the office and easily reference current site issues during contractor meetings. This makes it easy to share changes and distribute information efficiently, even across large teams.

“If I need a contractor to be aware of a design change before he lays pipe, I simply walk over to him with my tablet, blow up a particular section of overlaid plans and show him exactly what he needs to know. I have it all in a PDF, so I can pencil in the new route of the pipe right there in front of him and then send the information over to the engineers. This cuts out weeks of back and forth and boils it all down to less than an hour.” — Jesse Creech, VDC Coordinator at Brasfield & Gorrie


Create real-time Live Maps to track subcontractor progress each day.

5. Manage Subcontractors More Effectively

Reference Live Maps for daily quality assurance checks, before subcontractors even leave the site. Maintain accountability, preserve subcontractor relationships, and negotiate timely solutions that minimize project downtime.

“Live Map helps me end each day with confidence knowing where a project stands and what our subcontractors have completed so that we can provide the best product for our clients.” — Ryan Moret, Field Solutions Manager at McCarthy Building Companies

Where to Learn More

  • New to using drones for construction project management? Download our free introductory eBook to learn more.
  • Watch our recent webinar to hear how Chasco Constructors uses drones to track progress on 17 job sites in Texas.
  • See how Choate Construction leveraged drones to keep a 550,000 square-foot project on track and save $7,700 in the process.
  • Drones helped Key Construction save money, stay ahead of emerging issues, and salvage a subcontractor relationship on a $10 million project. Read the case study.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

With the Construction Accuracy package from DroneDeploy, you get powerful insights and industry integrations to manage your project’s workflow from a single, easy-to-use drone data platform. Contact us to learn more.

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.

*Data provided by Dodge Data & Analytics and McKinsey & Company



5 Ways to Keep Your Next Project on Time and Under Budget with Drones was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.