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

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

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


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

Saltwater Leaks Can Spell Disaster for Properties and Farms

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

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


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

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


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

Mapping 180 Miles of Produced-Water Pipeline

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

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


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

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


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

Catching Leaks Early Through Efficient Inspection Saves the Environment

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


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

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

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

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

Taking a Proactive Approach

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

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

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


Meet the industry pros speaking at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

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

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

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


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

Commercial UAV Industry Speakers

Colin Snow

CEO and Founder of Skylogic Research, LLC

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

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

Brandon Montellato

Program Manager at DJI North America

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

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

Andrew Dennison

COO at Uplift Data Partners

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

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

Energy Speakers

Erik Baros

CIO at Bruin E&P

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

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

Brian Lawrence

Lead Systems Analyst at First Solar

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

Keynote: Energy Keynote

Real Estate Speakers

Neil Pearson

Principal at CoreLogic

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

Keynote: Real Estate Keynote

Conservation Speakers

Kirk Klausmeyer

Senior Spatial Data Scientist at The Nature Conservancy

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

Keynote: Conservation Keynote

Brian Taggert

Director at Oceans Unmanned

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

Read more about Oceans Unmanned in our case study here.

Keynote: Environmental Keynote

Where to Learn More

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


Meet the agriculture experts speaking at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

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

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

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


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

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

Wesley Mackie

Climate Business Manager at The Climate Corporation

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

Panel: Smarter Farming: Drones and Precision Agriculture

Chad Colby

Founder at Colby AgTech

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

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

Panel: Smarter Farming: Drones and Precision Agriculture

Kyle Miller

Agriculture Sales Engineer at DroneDeploy

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

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

Panel: Smarter Farming: Drones and Precision Agriculture

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


Meet the construction pros speaking at DroneDeploy Conference 2018.

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

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

First industry stop: construction. So, lets take some time getting to know DroneDeploy’s construction customers and partners set to take the stage next week.


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

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

Matt Abeles

Co-Founder and Managing Director at BuiltWorlds Media

Matt is the co-founder and managing director of BuiltWorlds Media, an online media and events company that is disrupting the built environment. As a thought leader on real estate, finance, and the fast-moving technologies transforming design, construction, and development, Abeles oversees BuiltWorlds’ outreach to established and emerging industry players committed to pushing our industry forward.

Fun Fact: Matt has completed 6 Chicago Marathon’s, and is a recent father as of August 22.

Panel: Digitizing the Job Site with Drone Data

Ryan Hittie

Innovation Specialist at Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors

Ryan is an innovation specialist at Brasfield & Gorrie — one of the largest privately held construction firms in the nation. An early adopter, Brasfield & Gorrie began using drones in 2016, and has since scaled out their UAS program on dozens of sites around the country. Ryan now manages UAS training and operations for the company. He is also a voting member of ASTM’s Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Fun Fact: Ryan is an animal lover and has four dogs.

Panel: Digitizing the Job Site with Drone Data

Michael Lambert

Virtual Design and Construction Manager at Chasco Constructors

Michael works for Chasco Constructors, a progressive General Contractor in Central Texas. There, he oversees operations in construction surveying, 3D modeling, GPS machine control and Drone Data Collection. You might have read about him in our recent case study. And if you frequent our support forum, there is a good chance he’s answered one of your questions.

Fun Fact: He’s been a radio-controlled operator for more than 20 years.

Panel: Digitizing the Job Site with Drone Data

Joshua Marriott

Virtual Design in Construction and VDC Field Solutions Engineer at McCarthy Building Companies

Josh is based in McCarthy’s SW regional office (Phoenix, AZ) and works on nearly all of the solar projects the company builds — assisting with early layout and design through construction design and production documentation. He is also leading the development and implementation of various field technologies including sUAV operations, laser scanning, and 360 photo-recording. He has 20 years of construction experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management and concrete industry management from Arizona State University, as well as an associate’s degree from Brigham Young University — Idaho.

Fun Fact: In his spare time, Josh likes to build lightsabers.

Panel: Digitizing the Job Site with Drone Data

Ray Pascua

UAV Specialist at KATERRA

With more than a decade in the film & music industry, Ray has continually pushed the envelope in aerial videography and technology for shows such as CSI Miami, Pearl Harbor, and Entourage — along with receiving Emmy & Grammy nominations. Ray has also consulted in the launch of 2 successful tech companies in the eCommerce and IPTV industries and now is taking a different approach in pushing the UAV sector’s potential with his vast knowledge in sensors and tech

Fun Fact: While working with Sony Records France, Ray helped produce and manage the digital album development for artists such as LMFAO, LIL JON, Jill Scott, Rick Ross, Stromae just to name a few.

Construction Customer Keynote: Katerra

Travis Stalnaker

Manager A+D Information Systems at Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Travis works at Marriott Vacations Worldwide, a leader in vacation ownership experiences that boasts more than 60 resorts around the globe. There, he works with the Architecture and Design teams to provide technical expertise and support. Travis also does research and development for new software and platforms, including the implementation of DroneDeploy.

Fun Fact: A self-described computer and digital media geek, Travis met his wife at “geek” convention. Today, they have 3 kids.

Panel: Digitizing the Job Site with Drone Data

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


DroneDeploy introduces a new counting tool, expands volume measurement capabilities, improves Live Map resolution, and more.

In the last month, we focused on advancing our customer experience with enhancements to speed, resolution, and accuracy via improvements to existing features and introducing new tools.

Read on to learn more and join us for the DroneDeploy Conference on October 11th and 12th in San Francisco. There, we’ll unveil the newest product capabilities and provide hands-on training for attendees. The conference agenda is loaded with industry speakers, expert panels, and networking opportunities so you will walk away with a clear vision for how to start and scale your drone operation. Register today.

Count Inventory, Equipment, Trees, Vehicles and More with New Count Annotation Tool

After a successful beta period, we’ve officially launched our new Count Annotation tool to make counting hundreds — or even thousands — of objects easy and auditable.

Whether you’re counting trees or vehicles to comply with regulation requirements, attempting to recognize revenue based on solar panel installations, measuring the progress of a project against the design plans, counting cattle within your field, or quantifying hail damage for a roof inspection, we have you covered.

Unlike traditional counting that is manual, estimated, and prone to error, our Count Annotation tool simplifies this workflow by allowing you to count objects within your map without risking the accuracy of your dataset, then generate, export, and share your annotation report directly with your team and stakeholders. Sign in to your account today to try it out.

Get Better Accuracy with New Volume Measurement Options

This month, DroneDeploy launched new base plane options for more accurate results regardless of whether you’re measuring large, complex volumes or experimenting with volume measurements on flat grounds.

Our NEW Triangulated Base Plane renders more accurate results when measuring volumes on mine sites, long thin stockpiles, or grain bags in a field. Lowest Point enables the volume calculation stockpiles on flat ground, in bins, or for piles that have other piles right up against it. Linear Fit (previously known as “Best Fit”) remains the default measurement option that all types of users leverage for stand-alone stockpiles on flat grounds. Below is an illustration of the differences:

  • Linear Fit: defines the base plane by fitting a perfectly flat plane, in 3D, through the chosen edge points.
  • Lowest Point: calculates a horizontal base plane from the lowest edge point.
  • Triangulated: combines all of the edge points to create a 3D surface under your stockpile.

Sign in to your account today to try out the latest updates to our volume measurement tools.

Live Map is More Powerful and Accurate Than Ever

Over the last month, our teams invested significant time and resources in improving the performance, graphics, and blending of real-time mapping feeds to render the highest resolution possible. With higher quality, decreased fence posting and drift, and increased accuracy, you will see a significant increase in performance for Live Map across all devices, including lower powered devices, like the iPhone 7.

We’ve also upgraded Thermal Live Map flight and capture hardware support for the XT2 on the M200 and M210 drones. Thermal Live Map is available for customers who have purchased our Thermal Live Map product.

Join us for hands-on training and sneak-peeks into future innovations at DroneDeploy at our conference in San Francisco on October 11th and 12th. We’re hosting dozens of industry-specific sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities at DroneDeploy Conference so you can walk away with a clear path forward to integrate drone data into your existing workflows and scale your drone program. Register Now

Where to Learn More

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


The next time you hear a buzzing sound on your job site, it may not be a power tool. It could be a drone—here’s why.

Drones are quickly becoming a go-to tool on construction sites for data collection and analysis. They’re redefining workflows, saving time, and cutting costs in new ways. That’s why it’s no surprise that drone use on job sites has increased nearly 240% this year alone.

The construction industry is no stranger to inefficiencies. In fact, the average large construction project costs 80% more than budgeted and run 20 months behind schedule*. While that may seem surprising to some, those who work in construction know that it’s easy for a project to fall behind.

Often times, these delays are unavoidable. A client may be pushing for more control over a project, or crews are overbooked. But other challenges arise as a result of aging processes and technology: waiting for safety checks before starting construction or the painstaking job of collecting data on your project’s progress.

Drones help eliminate these inefficiencies, saving your team precious time and costs. Here are three ways drones could change the construction industry:

Automated Data Collection

Currently, pilots are required to monitor and operate a drone every time it flies. But what if all drone operators had to do is schedule flights and review data? And drones took care of the rest — navigating flights around structures and adjusting course automatically to create the most accurate map or 3D model possible? Drones will make site safety and monitoring smooth and accurate.

Watch our recent webinar to hear experts weigh in on the future of drones in the Age of Automation.

Seamless Integration with Industry Tools

Architecture, engineering, and construction professionals all rely on BIM software (Building Information Modeling) to design and manage the construction process. Integration with drone software makes the creation of 3D models even easier, leading to conclusive insights around progress tracking to design plans. From reducing project inefficiencies to recommendations for keeping a project on track, drones streamline every aspect of the process.

Explore DroneDeploy’s App Market to see more than 80 apps and integrations that you can leverage on your job site.

Highly Accurate Maps and 3D Models

Machine learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence) helps drones identify objects and ground control points on site. A drone with the right software can compile instant insights before it even lands (see: Live Map). Site managers can measure daily stockpile volumes or detect dangerous areas within minutes — all without human intervention.


For real-time decision making on the job site, use DroneDeploy’s suite of tools to make instant area, length, and volume measurements.

These maps and models can drive smarter decisions and better collaboration between on-site and back-office teams. Just ask Ryan Moret, a Field Solutions Manager with McCarthy Building Companies. Ryan uses DroneDeploy’s suite of built-in measurement tools to inform his day-to-day work.

“I can tell how many square feet of roof we’ve put down, how much square footage of concrete is left to pour. If we’re trying to figure out truck access, we can measure the width of a road or gate or how much room we need to clear out for material to make the site clean and organized.” — Ryan Moret, Field Solutions Manager, McCarthy Building Companies

Learn about DroneDeploy’s new Map Engine—the world’s first machine learning-powered photogrammetry engine for industry.

The latest drone hardware enables construction companies — historically slow to adopt new technologies — to experiment with new workflows with relatively low risk. This year and beyond, drones are on track to be adopted on job sites everywhere. Keep your eyes on the sky. If there aren’t drones buzzing around your job site today, they may be taking flight tomorrow.

Where to Learn More

Interested in learning more about how drones can improve safety and efficiency on construction sites? Tune into our ongoing construction webinar series:

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



Coming to a Construction Site Near You: Drones was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Learn why drones should be part of your technology roadmap in 2018 and beyond.

Growers have always had high expectations for drones. But the early drone days left a lot to be desired from hardware and software alike. Now it’s 2018, and the era of high price tags and low usability are over. Today’s drones and software — powered by cloud computing and advanced analytics — bring real value to the farm.

Last month, we hosted a webinar featuring ag experts Chad Colby and Kyle Miller. During the session, they dug into the history of drones on the farm and shared their top reasons to consider adding drones to your precision ag program.

If you’ve been on the fence about investing in drones, this is the webinar for you. Read on for a quick recap, or watch the full webinar recording here.


DJI drones are reliable, affordable, and available at your local electronics store.

Drone Hardware is Accessible to the Average Grower

Long gone are the days of building a drone, experimenting with after-market cameras, or investing a small fortune into your bird. Today’s drone hardware is ready to go out of the box and more reliable than ever.

“In the past, I invested as much as $40,000 into camera systems,” says Chad. “But I don’t have any of that stuff today because it just wasn’t practical.”

And he should know, he’s was an early adopter starting back in 2011. Chad has seen his fair share of failed flights and Frankenstein drones return without a single image.

You can now get off the ground for less than $2,000 — which sure beats a $10–40K investment in something that might not even work. The best part? DJI drones are available at your local Best Buy.

Missed the live webinar? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with a complete recording here.

Drone Software is More Reliable Than Ever

Back in the day, getting drones to talk to computers was no easy task. And it wasn’t uncommon for drone imagery to take a day or more to process, if you were able to process at all. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. We’ve made huge strides in what’s possible with DroneDeploy’s cloud-based platform and image processing capabilities. Not to mention you no longer need ground stations or PCs to communicate with your drone. You can now head out into the field armed only with a drone and tablet to collect high-res imagery in minutes with our simple, easy-to-use mobile app at your fingertips.

Seamless Image Stitching is Now the Norm

If you flew your fields late in the season over the past few years, you more than likely experienced stitching issues similar to the images below. Why? Because image processing engines at the time weren’t designed to handle late-season homogenous imagery like that of a corn or soy bean field. These images often resulted in “holes” appearing in your processed map, which isn’t very helpful if you’re trying to crop scout. We’ve since put in a lot of work to fix this, and the results are exciting. “That’s the biggest thing that has changed with this software,” said Chad on the webinar.

“I can stitch field maps every single time now, and that’s a big deal.”—Chad Colby, Colby AgTech


Late-stage crops are no longer an issue. The latest improvements to DroneDeploy’s Map Engine stitch maps seamlessly, no matter what time of the season you fly.

Real-Time Insights are Now a Reality with Live Map

Changes happen fast during the growing season. Having access to timely, accurate information in the field is key to identifying and minimizing the impact of pests, disease, and other crop issues. Where growers might wait days for airplane or satellite imagery, or spend hours uploading and processing a typical drone map, Live Map can capture a field map in minutes as the drone flies. “You can get field data from the tailgate of your pickup truck,” said Chad. “This is what I am most excited about, because it opens up entirely new possibilities.”

https://medium.com/media/44b4ffbabc8323c416353be9c601499c/href

Missed the live webinar? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with a complete recording here.

An Entire Drone Ecosystem Has Emerged

If you’re like most precision growers, you use farm management software to keep track of your fields, generate prescriptions, and analyze historical data. So how do you integrate drone data into your software workflow without sacrificing time or extra resources?

That’s where the DroneDeploy App Market comes in. Since we launched it back in 2016, more than 80 app partners have invested in integrations with DroneDeploy. This means that you can quickly import field boundaries, export crop maps, share elevation data, and more with the help of our partner apps. From industry leaders like John Deere and Climate Corporation, to AI innovators like Agremo, you’ve got an entire ecosystem to lean on.

Where to Learn More

eBook: Drones in Agriculture

Be sure to read our latest eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Drones on the Farm.


Download our free eBook to learn more about drones in agriculture.

Drones in agriculture webinar series

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5 Reasons It’s Time to Invest in Drones on the Farm was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


DroneDeploy unveils Map Engine, upgrades the GCP workflow, improves speed and quality of our 3D viewer, and announces new beta programs.

This month we rolled out a number of new and improved features to the DroneDeploy platform. Read on to get the full details behind all the new enhancements and sign up for our latest beta programs.

Process Data Faster with Map Engine

Last week we announced Map Engine, the world’s first machine learning-driven photogrammetry engine on the market. This release comes after a successful beta period where Map Engine processed 30K+ maps per month for more than 4,000 customers across 180 countries. Map Engine is 30–50% faster than previous releases, and gets smarter as customers make more maps. The best news? Map Engine is already available to all DroneDeploy customers. Create a map today to see the speed and quality improvements.

Identify GCP Targets Faster Than Ever

Over the past year we’ve invested significant efforts into streamlining our GCP workflow. In the latest release, DroneDeploy now detects GCP targets in oblique photos with greater speed and accuracy. We also support the most recent EPSG codes and a wider range of codes for every location, including ESRI FIPS codes. Get more details and and read our best practices in our GCP support docs.

New to GCPs? Get the breakdown and learn when to use them here.

See 3D Models in Higher Resolution

In July, we launched our faster, more responsive, and higher-resolution 3D viewer to support larger data sets. This month we made improvements so that 3D models render with greater detail and sharpness. We also added the ability to turn on HD mode so you can view and share higher resolution models. Explore these changes by signing in to your DroneDeploy account today.

Be a Part Of Our Latest Beta Programs

We believe direct user feedback is critical to making better products and helping guide our roadmap. And we’d like to invite you to be one of the first customers to share feedback on two new features in beta: Mobile Uploads and Large Maps. Read on to learn more.

Mobile Uploads

In our quest to streamline workflows and make your operations more efficient, we’re thrilled to announce our support for Mobile Uploads, which is officially in beta. Mobile Uploads makes transferring images from your DJI drone to the cloud a cinch. Learn more here, and sign up for the beta.

Large Maps

DroneDeploy’s Map Engine enables us to process massive areas without sacrificing quality. We are testing processing of maps up to 10,000 images. If you have large data sets, please contact us to join our beta program.

DroneDeploy Conference 2018 — Early Bird Registration Now Open

Join us in San Francisco October 11–12th to see the future of drones in industry. Plus we’ve got plenty of exciting product announcements in the pipeline that you don’t want to miss (you may recall some of last year’s announcements). You’ll get the opportunity to sit front and center as we unveil the future of DroneDeploy.

The 2-day event will be filled with training workshops and exciting speakers including Katerra, DJI, Nature Conservancy, Climate Corp and more! And of course the famous DroneDeploy parties. Read more here and register today.

Where to Learn More

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


Why the path to mass adoption of solar power — and the 3 cent KwH — is being forged with drones

Last year, the US Department of Energy announced that the SunShot Initiative successfully met its 2020 utility-scale solar cost target of $0.06 per kilowatt hour three years earlier than expected. This milestone marks a huge step forward for the industry as it moves toward a greener future that’s less reliant on fossil fuels.

While 6 cents may sound cheap, it’s far from the bottom. The SunShot Initiative is now working towards another lofty goal for 2030: $0.03 per KwH. This benchmark would make solar energy one of the least expensive options for new power generation, and help drive mass adoption on a national scale.

With this goal in mind, the focus will shift to finding new ways to cut all-in solar system costs and improve the performance of solar technologies. That’s where drones come in. Drones have already shown value for solar operators in the commercial and residential sectors, but we think there is still much to be gained from these flying robots. Without drones, companies will struggle to drive smarter workflows and future innovations. And we believe this is where the bigger opportunity lies. Here’s why:

Hardware Advancements Have Driven Down Costs. Until Now.

Solar energy has seen a good run over the last decade. Costs have come down almost 90%. Meanwhile, adoption has skyrocketed thanks to the lower prices.


The reduction of utility-scale solar energy costs have come down considerably since 2009. Source: Lazard.

To date, these cost reductions have mostly been driven by hardware advancements in solar modules, inverters, and other electrical components. While this has been a boon for the industry, it’s left little room for further efficiency to be gleaned in the near term from additional advancements to PV system hardware.


Installed PV System Prices over time. Source: SunShot Initiative.

Which brings us to software. We believe the next wave of innovation will come in the form of smarter, more efficient workflows powered by software and actionable data. Drone software to be precise. As the old adage goes, “work smarter, not harder,” which drone software enables through faster data collection, analysis, and reporting. Drones offer the same benefits to solar as other mainstream industry adopters, like construction, where drones have already been proven. And they are already shaking up solar design, installation, and inspection workflows in a big way.

The High Cost of Construction Can Be Offset with Reduced Labor Costs

The rising costs of construction, operations, and maintenance eat away at margins. And without significant hardware advancements to pad the bottom line, companies need to find ways to reduce costs at this stage in the industry’s growth.

Drones (paired with powerful software like DroneDeploy) can help. How exactly? By making workers more productive and lowering labor costs and safety risk along the way. For the solar surveyor measuring roofs before panel layouts get designed and installed, drones eliminate the need to scale rooftops and take manual measurements. The best part? It can take as little as 20 minutes to map a site, collect accurate data, and begin processing a drone map in the cloud. This results in a 3X boost in productivity and less time spent in the field.

And the buck doesn’t stop there. Designers, installers, and inspectors also save time by putting drones to work.


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

Peak Efficiency Will Be Unlocked with Drone Insights

As solar sites become more distributed, increasingly remote, and reach a larger scale, the cost-saving effect of drones will only be amplified. Consider the distributed nature of solar projects and the challenges operators face to keep them running at maximum capacity.

Drones can access difficult to reach places and spot broken solar cells in minutes — instead of hours or days — an increase the efficiency of maintenance crews. The latest software powered by edge computing, machine learning, and API tools eliminate the complexity of inspecting, repairing, and reporting issues on solar farms. Not to mention that drones improve worker safety by keeping boots on the ground and out of the sun for long periods of time.


Real-time thermal drone maps help spot broken cells in minutes, drastically reducing inspection and maintenance cycles for solar operators.

By shortening the inspection and maintenance cycles, solar operators can reduce downtime and ensure solar farms run at peak efficiency. Put simply, this means more energy is produced at a lower cost to both the operator and the consumer. Which is precisely the goal of the SunShot program.


SunShot’s Solar Power Goal: 50% of U.S. Electricity by 2030. Source: SunShot Initiative

Looking Ahead

We think the future of solar energy in the US is bright. And as drone use continues to increase in the solar industry, so too does the potential that solar power will become a primary source of all electricity in the United States. By reducing the total cost of solar power production and achieving the long sought after $0.03 KwH, we will see solar energy take over within our lifetime.

Where to Learn More

So where do solar operators go from here? Well, for starters, we’ve got the resources to help you get your drone program off the ground. And we’re also hosting a user conference this fall where you can learn, network, and explore what’s possible with drones on your job sites.

In the meantime, check out these resources or sign up to start using DroneDeploy today.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



Drones: The Solar Industry’s New Best Friend was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Wirelessly transfer drone images to the cloud as soon as your drone lands.

Drones are supposed to increase efficiency. But there is nothing efficient about having to travel back to the office or rely on SD cards to upload drone imagery. That’s why we’re excited to announce our support for Mobile Uploads, which is now officially in beta.

Want to join the Mobile Uploads beta program? Sign up here.

Read on to learn more about this new feature including step-by-step instructions, hardware requirements, and answers to frequently asked questions.

What are Mobile Uploads?

With Mobile Uploads, you can now wirelessly transfer images to the cloud for immediate processing.

The mobile upload process occurs in two steps:

  1. Transmit images from the drone to your mobile device.
  2. Upload images from your mobile device to the DroneDeploy cloud to begin processing.

Read on for a complete walkthrough below.

What are the Hardware and Flight Requirements?

To use the new Mobile Uploads feature you’ll need to use the latest iOS devices and DJI drone systems. See a list of compatible drones and devices below:

Recommended iOS Devices

Mobile Uploads is only available on iOS devices. For a complete list of our supported iOS devices, please review our support documents.

Recommended Drones

Mobile Uploads use DJI Lightbridge and OcuSync technology, and are only compatible with the following DJI drone systems:

  • DJI Phantom Series: Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced, and Phantom 4 V2
  • Mavic Series: Mavic Pro
  • M Series: M200 and M210

Flight Requirements*

Before using the Mobile Uploads feature, make sure your plan meets the following requirements:

1) Estimated image count is less than 240

2) Live Map is disabled

3) You drone has sufficient charge to complete the entire flight with a single battery and you have enough available storage on your mobile device (>2GB)

*Please note that Mobile Uploads is not compatible with flights that capture more than 250 images, multi-battery flights, or fights using Live Map.

How Do I Upload Images on My Mobile Device?

Step 1: Transfer Images to Your Mobile Device

Once a flight is complete, you can choose to ‘Upload Now’ feature, which will begin the mobile upload process. If you don’t want to use Mobile Uploads, choose to ‘Upload Later’, which prepares the map for SD card upload.

DJI requires your drone to have at least 30% charge remaining to initiate a mobile transfer so you may need to swap your drone’s battery before selecting ‘Upload Now’.


To begin the mobile uploading process, select ‘Upload Now’.

After selecting ‘Upload Now’, images will begin transferring from the drone to your mobile device. Make sure to leave the drone/controller on, keep the DroneDeploy app open, and do not disconnect your USB cable.

You can cancel the transfer at any time by pressing ‘Cancel Transfer’. If you select ‘Cancel Transfer’ by mistake, return to the mobile uploads page by selecting the plan on your dashboard — so long as you have not closed the DroneDeploy app or disconnected. This will open the mobile upload page and resume the transfer process.


Image transfer begins after you select ‘Upload Now’.

Step 2: Upload Images to DroneDeploy

Once the images have successfully transferred to your mobile device, they will automatically begin uploading to DroneDeploy. The drone and controller can be turned off for this upload.

No internet connection? No problem. Select ‘Pause and Resume Later’ if you do not have an internet connection, and complete the process later.


Image upload begins once the data is transferred from the drone to your iOS device.

Step 3: Process Your Map

Your map will begin processing as soon as the images have completed uploading to the cloud.


Processing begins as soon as image transfer to the mobile device is completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to be a paid customer to try mobile uploads?

A: All DroneDeploy users have access to mobile uploads. This includes free customers.

Q: How long does a mobile upload typically take?

A: The initial transfer from the drone to your mobile device takes an average of 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the total number of images and your current DJI Lightbridge or OcuSync signal strength. The upload from your mobile device to the cloud depends on the speed of your wifi or cellular connectivity.

Q: Do I need an internet connection to transfer images from the drone to my mobile device?

A: Step 1, transferring images to your mobile device, does not require an internet connection. You may complete Step 1 while offline and then start Step 2 later when wifi or a stronger cellular connection is available

Q: When will Android support mobile uploads?

A: There are no plans to support Android at this time.

Where to Learn More

  • Read more about our Mobile Uploads feature on our website.
  • Want to join the Mobile Upload beta program? Sign up here.
  • Still have questions? See our Mobile Uploads support document.

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.



DroneDeploy Releases Mobile Uploads Beta for Instant Processing of Drone Data was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.