About Maestro

Generate thermal drone maps instantly in the field with DroneDeploy — no internet connection required

In February we released Live Map, the only real-time drone mapping solution in the world. Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded its capabilities and opened up a whole new frontier for DroneDeploy customers: Thermal Live Maps.

https://medium.com/media/fb09ebd10a632b6524f57c5e09da04b2/href

Redefining Inspection Workflows

High-resolution thermal cameras make it possible to see beyond the visible spectrum and detect heat signatures. Industries like construction, agriculture, solar, and roofing use thermal imagery to spot problems unseen to the naked eye. But until now, it’s taken hours or days to collect and analyze the data generated from thermal drone inspections. And traditionally, thermal inspections have been limited to accessible areas or required manned aircraft that typically yield low-resolution data at a high price. Today, that all changes.

See the Unseeable — Instantly. No Internet Required.

Thermal Live Map visualizes temperature variability to create thermal maps as the drone flies, so you can make real-time decisions on site. See the unseeable instantly, without a computer, SD card, or even an internet connection.


Thermal Live Map uses the latest advancements in edge computing to generate thermal drone maps locally on iOS devices as a DJI drone flies.

Unlike other solutions, Thermal Live Map uses the latest advancements in edge computing to process thermal drone maps locally on an iOS device. This eliminates the need to upload and process thermal imagery, and provides your team with the data to target problem areas fast.

“Thermal Live Map puts the latest advancements in edge computing and image processing to work for our customers in real-time. Now they can make immediate decisions from thermal maps and gain actionable insights to improve site safety.”—Nicholas Pilkington, CTO at DroneDeploy

A Real-Time Inspection Solution

Thermal Live Map can be used in any industry to gather immediate insights in the field. Here are just a few of the ways the energy, construction, agriculture, and public safety sectors can put this innovative technology to use.


With Thermal Live Map, a solar farm can be inspected from the sky. Photo courtesy of DJI

Solar Energy

Solar panels often overheat, go offline, or require maintenance due to excess dust, scratches or mechanical deficiencies. It’s time-consuming and unreliable to inspect them from the ground.


Quickly detect damaged solar panel cells from the sky with Thermal Live Map.

With Thermal Live Map, a solar farm can be inspected from the sky in minutes — not days — allowing the operator to isolate and measure potential problem areas while the drone is in flight.

Learn more about DroneDeploy’s solar solution by visiting our website.


Thermal Live Map helps contractors and roofers inspect structures from the safety of the ground. Photo courtesy of DJI.

Construction & Roofing

Building and roof inspections are extremely dangerous and can take hours to identify problem areas. Drones make them safer. Workers no longer have to scale a ladder or walk out on a ledge to investigate issues.


Spot cracks, leaks, and damaged areas in minutes with Thermal Live Map.

Thermal Live Map pinpoints problem areas — such as cracks, leaks, and structural damage — within minutes and minimizes safety risks. It also allows companies to retro and proactively address existing and potential risks, preventing disasters on site, and ultimately save lives.

“Rather than searching for a needle in a haystack, you have a map to tell you right where to look. The work input to value output with drone-based thermal imagery is game-changing. It’s unlike anything else in construction technology right now.”-Grant Hagen, Virtual Design and Construction Manager at The Beck Group
Read the Case Study

Incident Response & Public Safety

Thermal Live Map turns hundreds of acres into digestible maps within minutes — day or night. It visualizes hard-to-reach and hard-to-see terrain where missing or injured persons may be awaiting rescue.


Thermal Live Map gives firefighters the ability to see through smoke and keep track of their personnel in large fire scenes. Photo courtesy of DJI.

The new solution is also particularly valuable for firefighting. Thermal Live Map gives firefighters the ability to see through smoke and keep track of their personnel and victims in large fire scenes. It also helps locate precisely where the fire is hottest and provides definitive confirmation that the fire has gone out in specific areas.

Agriculture

Thermal Live Map helps growers spot field stress in real time. They can easily spot irrigation issues, detect ripeness, and analyze plant health early to stomp out problem areas and avoid lost harvests.


Thermal imagery can help detect areas of plant stress in the field. Photo courtesy of Bowles Farming Company.

Where to Learn More

  • Visit our website to learn more about Thermal Live Map.
  • If you’re interested in trying Thermal Live Map out for yourself, contact us to speak to a team member.
  • Download our free eBook to learn how to drone-generated maps and 3D models can improve workflows across industries.
  • Read more about hardware requirements and best practices for creating thermal Live Maps in our support docs
  • Learn how The Beck Group uses drone-generate thermal imagery to improve safety and streamline roof inspections in our recent 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.



Introducing Thermal Live Map: Real-Time Thermal Drone Maps was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


DroneDeploy releases organizational apps, improves Progress Photo reports, and adds support for custom coordinate systems

Over the past month, we’ve enhanced our platform capabilities to make drone data more accessible to our customers.

Read on to learn more about our improvement to organizational app deployments and Progress Photo reports, as well as our latest beta support for custom coordinate systems and export overlays.

Introducing Organizational Apps

You’re probably familiar with our App Market, which launched in 2016. It’s since grown to be the world’s largest drone data hub, with more than 75 public apps available across 10 different industries.

Our new organizational app functionality allows you to select any public app to be pre-loaded onto your organization’s DroneDeploy user accounts. This makes it simple for everyone on your team to be successful, without having to hunt down the latest apps.

Want to build a private app to meet your custom workflow? No problem. Our open APIs allow our you to create custom, private apps for your team right on top of our intuitive user interface — and deploy them through the App Market.Why reinvent the wheel when you can leverage our platform to deploy custom apps for flight, analysis, and reporting within your organization? Organizational apps are available to our Enterprise customers.

Simplify Job Site Documentation with Improved Progress Photo Reports

Last month we released Progress Photos to simplify site documentation and reporting. It’s the first solution to automate visual site documentation throughout the life cycle of a project.


Create visual timelines and automated progress reports of your job site over time.

This month we improved the feature you can select your desired point of interest anywhere within the mission area and capture up to 16 photos of your site at once. Learn more.


Customize your desired point of view and add up to 16 locations to capture photos of your site.

Improved Accuracy and Annotation Reports

It’s essential to empirically validate the relative and absolute accuracy of your map data. With our accuracy report app, this data is now accessible to anyone in your organization. For even more transparency, download the PDF Annotation Report to create printable or sharable PDF documents of your drone maps + annotations.

Custom Coordinate Support Now in Beta

If you’re like many of our construction and surveying customers, you may need to export your DroneDeploy data into custom coordinate systems. Local coordinates make it easier to compare drone maps to design plans or operate in your custom coordinate system. We’re happy to announce that this feature is now available, and we’re accepting beta testers.

Exporting data into your custom coordinate system is simple. When you upload your images, provide a CSV file with the coordinates for your ground control points in two different systems — WGS84 (or another more familiar coordinate system for which there is an EPSG code), and your custom coordinate system. Then complete the GCP tagging process as normal, and we’ll process the map and use the two sets of coordinates to calculate the transformation between the two coordinate systems.

The transformation will then be applied when you export the map in the custom coordinate system. Check out our support documentation for more information and a step-by-step guide.

Interested in beta testing this new feature? Contact us.

In Beta: Export CAD Overlays on Top of Maps

Exporting a JPG of your map and carefully aligning CAD overlays in Bluebeam or other construction software can be tedious, time-consuming work. With our new overlay export capability, we make it easy. Now you can quickly export and print out a drone map with a CAD overlay of your site in minutes.

The new feature supports two-dimensional raster exports (PDF, Geotiff, & JPG) and will include any overlays displayed on your map. If you would like to hide overlays from your export, you will need to toggle them off on the data page.

Please note that overlay exports are not available for 3D or tiled exports.

Interested in participating in the beta program? Fill out this form.

Where to Learn More

New to DroneDeploy? Explore 10 tips for making your first map.

Read more about our recent product updates and releases including:

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.



Product Release Wrap-Up May 2018 was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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.