Get the most out of your first mapping mission with these best practices

So, you’ve purchased your DJI drone, downloaded the DroneDeploy mobile app, and now you’re ready to make your very first drone map. Before you get out there and fly a field or site, we want to make sure you’re set up for success.

Whether you’re a specialist who wants to use drones to increase the efficiency on the job, or a drone service provider looking to expand the range of your business, this post will help you improve the quality of your drone map with some best practices to follow during your first flight.

Here are our top 10 tips for success on your first flight with DroneDeploy:

Fly High

During your first flight, consider flying at an altitude between 300–400 feet above ground level (AGL). Flying at a higher altitude gives the camera more land area to cover in a single image. This translates to greater chances of capturing any unique features that are present in multiple photos. This is important during the processing stage (learn more about why here) and also helps when mapping any areas with homogeneous imagery, such as tree canopies or agricultural areas.

Flying higher is the single most powerful way to improve the quality of a processed map. Remember: Altitude is your friend.

Fly on an Overcast Day (or When the Sun is Directly Overhead)

It’s always important to check the weather before you fly. But don’t get dismayed if you see an overcast day in the forecast. Flying when the sky is overcast allows you use the clouds as a light diffuser by filtering the natural sunlight. Light diffusers are common in professional photography because they provide soft, even lighting on your subject. And you can mimic this technique with drone mapping on an overcast day. Filtered light can greatly reduce shadows, blurriness, and glare from reflective surfaces — all of which will improve your map or 3D model after it’s been processed.

We also recommend trying to fly between the hours of 10 AM-2 PM, when the sun is overhead. This results in less shadows in photographs, which— as we mentioned—helps during processing. You also want to avoid partly cloudy days and high winds, both of which can make it difficult to capture quality images for your maps.


Avoid cloudy and windy conditions, and fly from 10–2 for best results

Increase Overlap

Increasing the overlap for a flight is another way to create more matched points across individual images during the stitching process. Overlap refers to the percentage of both sidelap and frontlap. Sidelap is the percentage of overlap between each leg of a flight, while frontlap refers to the percentage of overlap between one image and the next. DroneDeploy’s default overlap is set at 60/70 in order to find a balance between accuracy and large image quantity. Many drone operators adjust the overlap depending on the needs of a particular project, striking a balance dependent on the project’s requirements and desired outputs.


Overlap settings visualized

Check (and Doublecheck) Your Camera Settings

The DroneDeploy app is designed to capture camera imagery at its absolute best quality. However, ultimately image quality can be determined by a wide range of factors. So, we always recommend you check the quality of any individual photos captured as the drone is performing the mission flight.

For those who are more experienced with photography, clicking the Automatic Camera Settings toggle button off you can manually adjust your camera settings in the DJI Go App. This allows you to adjust camera settings such as shutter speed, white balance, and ISO manually, which can sometimes lead to crisper, more consistent images for your maps.


Turn off automatic camera settings to make manually adjustments in the DJI Go app

Learn more about improving the quality of your drone maps by adjusting manual settings in this post.

Update to the Latest DJI Firmware

Before you go out and fly any mission, it’s always important to make sure that your drone hardware is up to date and has the latest firmware installed. Firmware updates are issued for all DJI drones fixes any reported issues and ensures DJI’s products continue to provide information and features to support safe flight. Learn more about updating your drone’s firmware in our Zero to Hero video series. Keep in mind that when you are updating the firmware it’s best to remove the props from the drone beforehand.

Use a Recommended Mobile Device When Flying

While the DroneDeploy flight app works on many iOS and Android devices, some devices are going to provide better performance, user experience, and security. This is because computing power, memory, and other hardware factors play a role in operating DroneDeploy’s software during flight. In general, we recommend newer devices for the best experience. We also provide a list of supported and recommended devices in our support documents.

Pack the Right Gear and Inspect it Before Your Flight

Before heading out to the site, you’ll want to be sure you have all the right gear packed — and that it’s in working condition. The last thing you want is to get into the field and realize you left your SD card or connection cable back at home, or in the office. Here are some hardware tips to keep in mind before you go out to make your first map:

  • Check the usb cable between your remote and mobile device in advance to make sure it is in good operating condition
  • Keep a few backup Micro SD cards in the drone carrying case in the chance you forget to pack one before the mission
  • Inspect the drone for any types of cracks between mounting points
  • Make sure the props are in good condition and not chipped in any way
  • Consider bringing an extra battery (or two) in case you’re in the field longer than expected

Use AirMap to check airspace before your mission

Leverage Flight Planning Apps in the App Market

There are a host of apps in the DroneDeploy App Market that can help with flight planning and optimization. And they can be easily be installed via the app dashboard on your mobile device or desktop.

We always recommend checking airspace before you fly with apps like AirMap and Flyte. Make sure that you’re operating in a legal airspace, and no flight restrictions or notices to airmen (NOTAM) are in place. You can also check the FAA website for the latest updates to airspace.

Some of our other top app recommendations can be found here.

Fly in 3D Mode to Make Better Models

While making great 3D models has always been part art and part science, we’re trying hard to automate the process by putting our drone database to good use. That’s why we recently released our new 3D Mode. 3D Mode is currently part of DroneDeploy Labs, where we release some of our newest beta features for testing, and is available under the “Settings” tab in the DroneDeploy dashboard. It’s the go-to place for the latest innovations in drone mapping.


Enable 3D Flight Mode in the Advanced Settings tab during your next 3D mapping mission

In 3D Mode, your drone will fly along the perimeter of your flight plan and take a predefined set of oblique images — photos pointed inwards toward the center of the mapping area — resulting in a better data set for producing 3D models.

Update to the Latest Version of the DroneDeploy Mobile Flight App

Last, but certainly not least, we always recommend flying with the latest version of the DroneDeploy mobile app. We frequently update our app to give you with the best flight experience possible. Our updates also provide support for new hardware, and fix any known issues you might encounter. So, before you head out to the field, check to see if you’ve got the latest version of the app installed by stopping by the iOS App Store or the Android Play Store.

Where to Learn More

If you are new to drones, and especially drone mapping, our Zero to Hero video series is a good place to start. Here, you’ll get advice on everything from unboxing your drone, to engaging in advanced flight planning.

Our support documents cover a wide range of topics for beginners including FAQs, getting started with DroneDeploy, and more.

Remember, if you’re flying commercially you need to get certified by the FAA first. For information on obtaining your Part 107 certification, check out commercial helicopter and drone pilot Ian Smith’s post outlining the process.

Interested in discovering more tools to simplify your workflow? Explore all the apps available to you on the DroneDeploy App Market.

Want to learn more about making good drone maps? Read some of our other blog resources to get a better understanding of the concepts at work, along with best practices:

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.



10 Tips for Making Your First Map with DroneDeploy was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Improve your drone program by creating custom apps and leveraging our APIs to get the most out of your aerial data

Integrating your operations into existing enterprise workflows is often the fail or fly moment for any new project. Aerial insights from drone imagery are no exception. It’s so important that you — and your team — have access drone data when you need it most, whether that’s on the DroneDeploy platform, in an internal tool, or using third-party industry software that is part of your existing workflow.

That’s why we’ve made our platform APIs available to enterprise customers. You can now extend and amplify DroneDeploy by building custom applications and automated workflows that scale with your business.

Expand DroneDeploy with Private Apps for Your Team

You’re probably familiar with our App Market, which launched last year. It’s since grown to be the industry’s largest drone data platform, with more than 60 public apps available across 9 different industries.

What you may not know, is that our open APIs allow you to build 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?

Here are some examples of how you can use our private app APIs to streamline workflows, improve collaboration, and increase efficiency.

Customize Flight Settings


Quickly generate flight settings based on site location

If you’re consistently flying the same sites to document progress or track changes over time, you’re probably flying with similar flight settings (altitude, overlap, etc). Why not make it simpler to repeat flight plans instantly based on site location?

With our APIs, you’re able to build and deploy a flight app that generates custom settings based on common locations. This makes flight planning simple, repeatable, scalable, and ultimately reduces the chance of error along the way.

Improve Safety with Pre-Flight Checklists

Safety is a priority for DroneDeploy customers in every industry. And FAA compliance is always top of mind in growing drone programs. What if you could make custom safety checklists part of the flight process directly in the DroneDeploy interface? With our APIs, custom safety checklist apps can be a requirement for every flight. This reduces the chances of equipment and personnel being put in danger.


With our APIs, custom safety checklist apps can be a requirement for every flight

Generate Custom Reports

Reporting is necessary for any large company to operate. Ans our publicly available report apps are some of the most popular apps on our App Market today. But larger companies often need custom reports that support their specific workflows to get the job done.

Maybe you want a 2D orthomosaic map and 3D model each time you make a map? Or perhaps you need to share stockpile volumes or site progress updates with your team after each flight? Our APIs make it possible to do just this with a private app for your team.


An example of an automatic site progress report generated using DroneDeploy’s Enterprise APIs

Private apps can make your workflows simpler and more efficient. And they’re just one of the ways you can put our APIs to work to get more out of DroneDeploy and make your drone operation more effective.

Automate Your Workflows by Syncing and Exporting Drone Data

While private apps can improve workflows for your team, you may be able to further increase efficiency by automating tasks entirely. Our APIs make it possible to do just that. Here are some ways you can put them to use to eliminate tasks that previously required human interaction. This can speed up your workflow, reduce the chances of error, and ensure your data is always right where you need it.

Backup Drone Data to Your System of Record

If your company is like most enterprises, you’ve got an internal system of record to store all your data and assets. Our APIs make it simple to automatically backup all the drone data you collect and process on our platform. This means the second you produce a map of your jobsite, field, or project it can be synced to your company’s Box, Egnyte, Dropbox, or Microsoft Sharepoint account.


DroneDeploy’s APIs can automatically back up data to your system of record

Export Data to Industry-Leading Software

Like many pros, you likely rely on external software to get things done. If you’re in the Ag industry, you might use John Deere or Case IH software to assist with crop management. If you’re in construction, you might rely on tools like AutoDesk or AutoCAD. If you’re in surveying, you probably use ArcGIS. With our APIs, it’s easy to export mapping data into industry tools so you can do things like integrate drone maps as base layers, or share 3D models with design programs to assist your workflow.


Export data to industry-leading tools like AutoCAD, AutoDesk, and ArcGIS.

Build a Custom UI to Display Maps and Measurements

Many companies have built proprietary internal software tools to power their unique workflows. Our customers have already built custom javascript applications and augmented data inside SalesForce with DroneDeploy maps and measurements. . This is possible for all our enterprise customers via our comprehensive suite of APIs.

Create Flight Plans from Data Instantly

What if you could automate flight planning by exporting location data to DroneDeploy? Our newest API makes this possible. Just share geolocation data and we’ll automatically create a flight plan to fly your structure, field, or jobsite.

Lean on DroneDeploy for as your Map Processing Engine

You may be collecting drone data through an existing process, have years of past data which needs processing, or even wish to white label the map processing process under your own brand.

Have no fear. DroneDeploy is still be the right tool for you. If you’d like to whitelabel our solution and handle image uploading and map display through your own internal interface, we can help.

While most customers upload drone data to process through our web interface, DroneDeploy also supports fully automated image transfer and back-end processing services. Our simple to use Map Processing API accepts secure links to image sets and will download and process them into high quality 3D maps, generating your desired set of export data automatically. These are then all available for you to download or query via our APIs.

So let DroneDeploy manage processing and image stitching in the cloud. This means you won’t have to host your own servers, and can benefit from our cloud network. You’ll also eliminate the need to hire an in-house engineering team to manage processing and machines — saving you time and money. So you can focus on what matters most: using drone data to fuel better business decisions.

Where To Learn More

If you’re an enterprise customer and ready to explore all that our APIs have to offer, you can get started by reading more in our Support Documents.

Want to learn more about our drone mapping solution for the enterprise? Check out the complete rundown here.

Interested in what other ways DroneDeploy can improve your team’s efficiency? Read about our one-click collaboration and management tools.
Get Started with DroneDeploy

Have questions about any of the latest updates, features, and capabilities?
Get in touch with our team for more answers.

Start Using 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.



Extending the Power of DroneDeploy with Custom Applications and Enterprise APIs was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Obstacle avoidance, improved offline flight, support for the latest DJI drones, and new flight modes just released

Over the last year, DroneDeploy has helped customers capture, process, and analyze more than 40 million aerial images. If that sounds like a lot of data, that’s because it is. Now we’re leveraging the largest drone database on the planet to improve your flight experience in the field and on the jobsite.

Leading the Industry in Drone Flight

We have seen a lot of growth in 2017. Each month, DroneDeploy helps customers fly more than 40,000 flights over 150,000 miles — or about 6 trips around the earth.


Each month, DroneDeploy helps customers fly more than 40,000 flights and 150,000 miles — or about 6 trips around the earth.

Along the way, we’ve gained a better understanding of your mission planning needs. Whether you’ve made 3D models of structures, worked in areas without cell coverage, or tried to avoid obstacles in the field, we’ve learned from you. We know what it takes to make great maps, and those learnings are making their way into our product. We’re excited to share many of them with you today.

Increase Safety in the Field

When you’re in the field, safety is paramount. That’s why we’ve worked with DJI to make support obstacle avoidance during every flight with drone platforms featuring onboard sensor hardware, including: Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 Series, and Inspire 2 drones.


Access Obstacle Avoidance when planning your next flight, or make it the default setting in DroneDeploy Labs.

Obstacle avoidance is now enabled by default when you plan any flight with the DroneDeploy mobile app. And if you don’t need it, simply flip the toggle to turn off the feature when you’re creating your flight plan. You can also disable obstacle avoidance by default with a setting in DroneDeploy Labs.

See, Adapt, and Create Flight Plans in Remote Areas

Many of our customers are mapping in some of the most remote areas across the planet. As drones have become the go-to means for aerial data collection in the forestry, agriculture, and mining industries, we’ve seen more than 10% of drone flights take off without internet connectivity.

For those of you mapping in remote areas, you will be pleased to hear that you can now see, adapt, and create new flight plans while completely disconnected from the internet.


Make up to 10 flight plans and map base tiles available offline on your mobile device when creating a flight plan with DroneDeploy.

The latest update makes it possible to sync up to 10 flight plans and base map tiles to your mobile device for offline use in the field. Just flip the offline toggle to download plans and base maps to your device.

This means you’re no longer limited to plans created in the office or at home. Should you need to deviate from your initial plans while in the field, you can with DroneDeploy.

Make Drone Maps in the Harshest Environments

Inspection, search & rescue, and construction often require drones to fly in harsh environments. From bad weather to dusty work sites, you shouldn’t be limited when your job is on the line. That’s where DJI’s Matrice 200 Series comes in. Built to thrive in the toughest places, it makes mapping possible in extreme cold, wind, dust, and even rain.


DroneDeploy now supports the M200 Series from DJI. Photo courtesy of DJI.

We’re proud to announce that DroneDeploy now supports mapping with the DJI M200 series on iOS. If you need to map in tough environments, we’ve got you covered.

Access the Newest Flight Capabilities in DroneDeploy Labs

If you haven’t stepped into DroneDeploy Labs to take a look at our latest experimental features, you might want to consider it. DroneDeploy Labs is where we release some of our newest beta features for testing, and is available under the “Settings” tab in the DroneDeploy dashboard. It’s the go-to place for the latest innovations in drone mapping.

This month, we’re excited to share our newest flight capabilities: 3D Mode and Auto Flight Mode

3D Mode

When you’re presenting to clients or comparing structures to design plans, you need to be able to produce crisp, accurate 3D point clouds and models. While making great 3D models has always been part art and part science, we’re trying hard to automate the process by putting our drone database to good use.

In 3D Mode, your drone will fly along the perimeter of your flight plan and take a predefined set of oblique images — photos pointed inwards toward the center of the mapping area. Enable 3D Mode under “Advanced” settings when planning your next flight.


Turn 3D mode on in the Advanced Settings menu when planning a flight.

So far, the results have been exciting. Below you can see a recent map made by our team. The 3D model was made by collecting just 40 photos while in 3D Mode.


This high definition 3D model was made using just 40 images collected while in the new 3D Mode.

We’ll be adjusting our algorithms this fall based on user feedback before the new capability moves out of beta. In the meantime, we encourage you to give it a try. So get out there and let us know what you think.

Auto Flight Modes

We often hear that customers want a more scientific method to choose overlap when mapping with DroneDeploy. The latest app from DroneDeploy Labs automatically calculates overlap based on data from over 100,000 maps. All you need to do enter the height of the buildings or trees in your mapping area, and select the appropriate scene, such as field, varied terrain, or man-made structure.

In addition, some of our customers flying more complex 3D environments have requested the ability to fly a “double grid” or “crosshatch” flight plan, and to be able to set the gimbal angle before the flight.

These capabilities are now available in DroneDeploy thanks to the new Auto Flight Modes app — another beta product from DroneDeploy Labs. If you’d like to try this for your next mission, install Auto Flight Modes now from the DroneDeploy App Market.


Auto Flight Modes is now available on the DroneDeploy App Market.

Where to Learn More

Read more about some of our recent product updates and releases including:

Have questions about any of the latest updates, features, and capabilities? Get in touch with our team for more answers.

Start Using 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.



Flying with DroneDeploy Just Got Even Better was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Administer hundreds of users and keep your team connected with one-click management and collaboration tools

The ability to quickly process, manage, and share drone data anywhere — on any device — is one of the key benefits to using a cloud platform like DroneDeploy.

We’re willing to bet you’re not the only one who will use drone data in your company. That’s why we’ve made it simple to share the aerial data you collect, process, and analyze with DroneDeploy.

Today we’re going to look at the newest tools available on the DroneDeploy platform and discuss how you put them to use for better collaboration with the pilots, analysts, and decision makers on your team.

Keep Your Team Organized with Folders

You no longer need to scroll through hundreds of maps to find the one you’re looking for — instead you can sort them into folders for easy navigation. Create a folder, and add maps to it. It’s that simple.


Folders make organization and navigation easy

Not only do folders make it easier to navigate maps and stay organized, but they also make sharing projects and plans easier too.

Let’s say you have a construction site that you’re mapping multiple times a week. You probably want to share those maps with your team or client, right?.

Now you can create a folder for that site and share it with the project team. Then each map made made of that site is housed in the folder. Once you do this, the whole team automatically gets access — without the need to individually share each map with your team. This saves time and makes collaboration simple across projects.

Folders can also be used to organize your workflows more effectively. If you work in insurance, you’re likely flying a different site for each claim. And organizing by workflow makes the most sense. Maybe you would have a folder for the stage where the inspector plans the flight — then your drone program coordinator might review it — before delegating it to pilots, QA, or other team members.

Check out a short demo of folders below. Folders are now available to all DroneDeploy customers.

https://medium.com/media/1575255dcaf5885d7dd22d6f9e77c0f5/href

DroneDeploy’s New Admin Panel Simplifies Team Management


DroneDeploy’s Admin Panel makes team management simple

As more people become involved in your drone operation and generate more data, managing those people becomes a bigger challenge. It can be tough to keep track of your pilots—and the mapping data they create.

Large organizations need to keep track of the data they are generating, as well as safety issues and data breaches. That’s why we created our new Admin Panel.


DroneDeploy’s new Admin Panel

Manage Security Settings

Using the Admin Panel, you can add and remove users from your account, manage permissions, and require Single Sign On (SSO) to keep your data secure. Who’s authorized to fly? Who should have edit access or view-only access? This new tool makes it easy to assign permissions, so you can be sure your data is safe, and shared with the right people.

Keep Track of Important Account Activity

Our new tool makes it simple to keep track of any activity that takes place on your account. Who’s flying? When did they collect data? Who’s uploading and analyzing that data? Now you have all the answers right at your fingertips. You’re able to see when new data is created, or deleted.

Maintain Visibility Across Your Organization

What good is data if you can’t access it quickly? The Admin panel gives you instant visibility into your company’s mapping data. It’s never been easier to quickly scan all of your flight plans and maps — and see who has access to the data.

These rollouts make it easy to track hundreds of pilots and collaborators at a glance — seeing where they have flown, the routes they have mapped, and the data they have gathered and analyzed. Check out the Admin Panel in action below.

The Admin Panel becomes available for all DroneDeploy Business and Enterprise customers starting the week of November 6th, 2017.

https://medium.com/media/e31f43aa70e7bf0ade637d43d06763db/href

Share Maps, Models, and Annotations Externally with One-Click Public Sharing

In addition to folders, we’ve also made it easy to share individual maps with just a single click.

Now you can share a complete view-only map with a client, external partner, or someone else who does not have a DroneDeploy account. Simply click the “Share” button, copy the link, and share it with whomever you choose.

Before, a client that clicked a link to view a shared map would see only the specific map layer shared with them. To see the complete map, the client would need to create and login to a DroneDeploy account.

Now sharing a map via link will give the viewer complete view-only access to the map, including the ability to:

  • See the satellite base layer
  • Explore all layers of the map, including the 2D orthomosaic, 3D model, elevation map, and plant health
  • View any annotations or measurements on the map
  • View and toggle any overlays attached to the map
  • View and export any existing exports that the map owner has already generated

Did you know that you can include your company’s logo on any map you share with a client? Check out our support center to learn more about this and other sharing options or give us feedback on the forum.

Public sharing is now available to all DroneDeploy customers.

Where to Learn More

Read more about some of our recent product updates and releases including:

Have questions about any of the latest updates, features, and capabilities?
Get in touch with our team for more answers.

Start Using 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.



Manage Drone Data Across Teams with DroneDeploy’s Collaboration and Admin Tools was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Administer hundreds of users and keep your team connected with one-click management and collaboration tools

The ability to quickly process, manage, and share drone data anywhere — on any device — is one of the key benefits to using a cloud platform like DroneDeploy.

We’re willing to bet you’re not the only one who will use drone data in your company. That’s why we’ve made it simple to share the aerial data you collect, process, and analyze with DroneDeploy.

Today we’re going to look at the newest tools available on the DroneDeploy platform and discuss how you put them to use for better collaboration with the pilots, analysts, and decision makers on your team.

DroneDeploy’s New Admin Panel Simplifies Team Management


DroneDeploy’s Admin Panel makes team management simple

As more people become involved in your drone operation and generate more data, managing those people becomes a bigger challenge. It can be tough to keep track of your pilots—and the mapping data they create.

Large organizations need to keep track of the data they are generating, as well as safety issues and data breaches. That’s why we created our new Admin Panel.

Manage Security Settings

Using the Admin Panel, you can add and remove users from your account, manage permissions, and require Single Sign On (SSO) to keep your data secure. Who’s authorized to fly? Who should have edit access or view-only access? This new tool makes it easy to assign permissions, so you can be sure your data is safe, and shared with the right people.

Keep Track of Important Account Activity

Our new tool makes it simple to keep track of any activity that takes place on your account. Who’s flying? When did they collect data? Who’s uploading and analyzing that data? Now you have all the answers right at your fingertips. You’re able to see when new data is created, or deleted.

Maintain Visibility Across Your Organization

What good is data if you can’t access it quickly? The Admin panel gives you instant visibility into your company’s mapping data. It’s never been easier to quickly scan all of your flight plans and maps — and see who has access to the data.

These rollouts make it easy to track hundreds of pilots and collaborators at a glance — seeing where they have flown, the routes they have mapped, and the data they have gathered and analyzed. Check out the Admin Panel in action below.

https://medium.com/media/e31f43aa70e7bf0ade637d43d06763db/href

The Admin Panel becomes available for all DroneDeploy Business and Enterprise customers starting the week of November 6th, 2017.

Keep Your Team Organized with Folders

You no longer need to scroll through hundreds of maps to find the one you’re looking for — instead you can sort them into folders for easy navigation. Create a folder, and add maps to it. It’s that simple.

Not only do folders make it easier to navigate maps and stay organized, but they also make sharing projects and plans easier.

Let’s say you have a construction site that you’re mapping multiple times a week. You probably want to share those maps with your team or client, right?.

Now you can create a folder for that site and share it with the project team. Then each map made made of that site is housed in the folder. Once you do this, the whole team automatically gets access—without the need to individually share each map with your team. This saves time and makes collaboration simple across projects.

Folders can also be used to organize your workflows more effectively. If you work in insurance, you’re likely flying a different site for each claim. And organizing by workflow makes the most sense. Maybe you would have a folder for the stage where the inspector plans the flight — then your drone program coordinator might review it — before delegating it to pilots, QA, or other team members.

Check out a short demo of folders below.

https://medium.com/media/1575255dcaf5885d7dd22d6f9e77c0f5/href

Folders are now available to all DroneDeploy customers.

Share Maps, Models, and Annotations Externally with One-Click Public Sharing

In addition to folders, we’ve also made it easy to share individual maps with just a single click.

Now you can share a complete view-only map with a client, external partner, or someone else who does not have a DroneDeploy account. Simply click the “Share” button, copy the link, and share it with whomever you choose.

Before, a client that clicked a link to view a shared map would see only the specific map layer shared with them. To see the complete map, the client would need to create and login to a DroneDeploy account.

Now sharing a map via link will give the viewer complete view-only access to the map, including the ability to:

  • See the satellite base layer
  • Explore all layers of the map, including the 2D orthomosaic, 3D model, elevation map, and plant health
  • View any annotations or measurements on the map
  • View and toggle any overlays attached to the map
  • View and export any existing exports that the map owner has already generated

Did you know that you can include your company’s logo on any map you share with a client? Check out our support center to learn more about this and other sharing options or give us feedback on the forum.

Public sharing is now available to all DroneDeploy customers.

Where to Learn More

Read more about some of our recent product updates and releases including:

Have questions about any of the latest updates, features, and capabilities?
Get in touch with our team for more answers.

Start Using 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.



Manage and Share Drone Data Across Teams with DroneDeploy’s Collaboration and Admin Tools was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


The latest software updates, features, and partnerships bring drone mapping to small and large companies alike

2017 has been a banner year for commercial drone adoption. The FAA certified over 60,000 commercial drone pilots in the first year of its Part 107 Rule, enabling commercial operations for service providers and large organizations alike.

At DroneDeploy, we are seeing major companies fly fleets of drones to increase productivity, improve safety, and deliver significant ROI. This expansion of operations poses new challenges for hardware and software providers, requiring increasing scale, sophisticated controls, fleet management, and compliance tools.


Over the last year, DroneDeploy has seen significant growth in enterprise drone adoption.

That’s why we’re excited to announce major updates to our enterprise solution — allowing companies of all sizes to scale their drone operations and gain access to valuable drone data faster than ever before.

“More and more companies are moving past early drone technology adoption to roll out larger, enterprise deployments — and their software platform needs to expand with them.” — Mike Winn, CEO of DroneDeploy

Manage Large Teams, Workflows, and Operations with DroneDeploy

Because large organizations need to keep track of the data they are generating, as well as safety issues and data breaches, DroneDeploy now offers an Admin Panel to simplify team and data management.


DroneDeploy’s new admin panel makes it simple to manage teams, set permissions, and track user activity.

We’re also excited to provide SAML based Single Sign On, user roles (administrators, view only, etc.), an audit trail view to track exactly where drones have gone, and folders to group related maps and projects.

These rollouts make it easy to track hundreds of pilots and collaborators at a glance — seeing where they have flown, the routes they have mapped, and the data they have gathered and analyzed.

“We’re passionate about providing these team-oriented features to all our customers. Drones are transforming workflows, and every company deserves software to help them make smarter decisions with aerial data.” — Mike Winn, CEO of DroneDeploy

New Industry Partnerships Bring Best-In-Class Solutions to the Enterprise

Setting up a drone program and taking it to scale can be complicated. Selecting the right hardware and software is just the start. Training, insurance, and compliance can prove to be a challenge for a company of any size.

That’s why we’ve partnered with industry leaders to provide a best-in-class solution to support drone service providers, multinational corporations, and everyone in between.


DroneDeploy has partnered with some of the best in the industry to provide a complete enterprise solution.

Together with our partners, we’re providing customers with a broad and integrated technology stack to power drone operations, including: software, hardware, insurance and training. It encompasses all the tools companies need to launch and scale their drone operations.

Training

Our partnership with DARTdrones offers companies enterprise-class training from the world’s leading drone instructors. DroneDeploy customers now have access to in-person team trainings to cover the FAA Part 107 Knowledge Exam, flight with DJI drones, and aerial mapping and modeling with the DroneDeploy platform.

Hardware

Support for the Latest Drone Platforms


DroneDeploy now supports DJI’s Matrice 200 Series.

We’ve long been partnered with DJI, but we’re excited to announce that we’ve recently expanded our partnership with support for the DJI Matrice 200 series. With the Matrice 200 series, you can now make drone maps in even the harshest environments.

“These expanded features and collaborations showcase their commitment to helping companies of all sizes utilize the power of DJI technology in today’s rapidly expanding commercial drone industry.” — Jan Gasparic, Head of Enterprise Partnerships at DJI

Making Survey-Grade Maps More Accessible

Creating accurate maps is a requirement for industries such as construction, surveying, mining, and insurance. That’s why we’ve partnered with GeoCue. With GeoCue’s Loki direct geopositioning system, customers can create highly accurate drone maps in record time, reducing or eliminating the need for ground control points or traditional surveying.

Insurance

We’re partnering with Droneinsurance.com to offer comprehensive insurance to our customers. More details on the partnership will be announced soon.

Putting the Power of Enterprise Software in the Hands of Everyone

These updates aren’t just for our enterprise customers — they’re available to all drone mapping professionals or organizations seeking drone capabilities regardless of size. Our latest updates put the power of enterprise-grade software in the hands of everyone — from small organizations just getting started to international teams scaling operations.

Drones are already increasing the efficiency of companies across industries by five-fold, and soon there will be drones on every job site. Our mission is to provide the technology and partnerships to make it happen.

Where to Learn More

  • Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring these new features and partnerships in greater detail. Stay tuned to our website and blog to learn more.
  • Read our recent case study to learn how our SunPower is using DroneDeploy to manage an international team of drone pilots.
  • Learn how McCarthy Building companies expanded an in-house UAV program from one drone to twenty in less than a year in this post.
  • Have questions? Contact our team to learn more about our latest enterprise update.

Start Using 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 DroneDeploy’s Mapping Solution for the Enterprise was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Monitor, Measure, and Communicate with Drone Maps and 3D Models

Keeping tabs on a construction project is no small task. Every job has many moving parts. From tracking progress to managing subcontractors, communicating across teams can be challenging — no matter the size of your organization. The good news is, by spending less than an hour each week mapping your jobsite with drones, you’ll gain an entire toolkit to help you and your team work more efficiently, make more informed decisions, and communicate with ease.

Drone maps and models not only provide an aerial view of your project, but each map includes a rich set of data that can be used to further measure and analyze just about anything on a site.

Here are three ways you can improve communication on your jobsite with the use of drones and aerial maps.

1) Project Monitoring and Site Inspection

60% of DroneDeploy customers make maps weekly. This regular, overhead view is invaluable when it comes to tracking progress and inspecting for safety issues on construction projects.

As Matthew Forster, Project Engineer for Choate Construction, points out, an aerial view gives his team a different perspective, helping them catch issues they might not notice at ground level.

“Drone maps give my team a bird’s eye view of the site, which looks a lot different than being on the ground. It gives them a full picture.” — Matthew Forster, Project Engineer for Choate Construction

Monitor More Efficiently

Although nothing replaces boots on the ground, weekly drone maps can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend walking an entire site for the purposes of inspection and monitoring. If an issue stands out on the drone map, and warrants closer inspection, DroneDeploy’s built-in annotation tools allow you to mark the exact location of the issue and make shareable notes for efficient follow up.


Inspect the site from above and make annotations for follow up or closer inspection.

Regular mapping flights have the added bonus of creating a complete, visual record of a site’s progress, which many project managers and site engineers find invaluable when it comes to exploring trends over time.


See a site’s progress from start to finish in this time-lapse. Learn more by reading the full case study.

Catch Conflicts Sooner

For more advanced oversight, you can import and overlay site plans right in the DroneDeploy interface, or export your maps into industry software like BIM, GIS and CAD. You can easily export your data in the format you need, including TIFF, KML, SHP, DXF, LAS, OBJ and XYZ, or use open APIs to sync your data with everyday tools.


Overlay design plans to manage large projects from design to completion.

Contract Project Manager Nick Johnson of Tilt Rock of Texas does this to help him manage large, custom home projects. Homeowners make frequent changes to house footprints, models, and orientation, so Nick overlays drone maps with utility, wastewater, and communications plans to help him can catch conflicts with services before they actually happen and redirect them at minimal cost.

Aerial imagery identifies conflicts I wouldn’t normally see from the ground level. Now, I find out about conflicts in a matter of days, instead of months.”- Nick Johnson, Project Manager, Tilt Rock of Texas

2) Take Volume and Area Measurements, Estimate Stockpiles, and Monitor Earthwork

Every location on a drone map is geotagged, so you can take basic measurements almost instantly, from any device. Many teams use standard drone maps, combined with DroneDeploy’s built-in tools, to take basic area and volume measurements and estimate stockpiles for on-the-go decision making.


Instantly calculate area, cut, fill, and volume of a stockpile on your site.

For situations that require centimeter-level accuracy, ground control points (GCPs) can be added to a map. These marked targets help mapping software accurately position your map in relation to the real world and afford the accuracy needed to make precise volumetric and linear measurements. Learn more about GCPs here.

“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

Make On-the-Ground Decisions Quickly

Measurement tools can be used to help your team make more informed decisions about a whole host of everyday site issues. The staff at McCarthy Building Companies uses DroneDeploy to assess everything from the volume of a topsoil stockpile, to the width of a road for truck clearance. As Field Services Manager Ryan Moret puts it, “For what we’re doing on a commercial site, the measurement tools are killer.”

Reduce Downtime by Monitoring Contracted Work in Real Time

Many construction professionals also use drone-generated measurements to review the work of site contractors. With quick access to this type of information, a site manager can easily hold a contractor accountable, and save downtime by requesting changes to work before the contractor leaves the jobsite.

During work on a 61-acre hospital construction site, the VDC team at Brasfield & Gorrie used drone-generated elevation data to monitor the site grade on contracted earthwork, saving days compared to on-the-ground data collection methods.

3) Share Insights, Align Teams and Inform Stakeholders

Drones make collaboration and information sharing, both internally and externally, easier than ever before. DroneDeploy’s platform is cloud based, so it’s easy to share annotated maps between team members, or keep external stakeholders up-to-speed on the progress of a project.

In contractor meetings, having a clear display of any current site issues is a powerful communication tool. Likewise, having an up-to-date drone map helps distribute information efficiently, even among large teams. Streamline the decision-making process by referencing a drone map any time changes need to be made to a project.

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

The McCarthy Map Wall

McCarthy Building Companies uses drones in many high-tech ways, but at the end of the day, “paper is still the common denominator for jobsites,” says Field Solutions Manager Ryan Moret.


McCarthy Building Companies’ Drone Map wall improves internal communication across teams with aerial maps to document site progress over time.

On every McCarthy site, the wall of the job trailer is covered with weekly drone maps posted in sequence, giving anyone who walks into the room a clear picture of the project’s progress over time, as well as a snapshot of any current issues on the site.

The trades love it, being able to walk up to the wall and see nine weeks of construction photos. They pull these up in every sub meeting, every owner meeting. We have data from that week to show contractors, ‘Hey, the site’s a mess, you guys need to go clean it up.’ You can see rebar spread out all over the place, so there’s no arguing. They see it for what it’s worth.” — Ryan Moret, of McCarthy Building Companies’ drone map wall

Getting Started with Drones on Your Jobsite

Like what you see? Have more questions about getting started with drones on your jobsite? Learn more by downloading our free guide to drones in construction. Read the eBook to get a comprehensive look at how you can put drones to work, create instant ROI, and set up a drone program at your company.


Read our free guide to drones in construction.

Where to Learn More

  • If you’d like to learn more about how drones can make a difference on your construction project, watch our Drones in Construction webinar, Part 1 and Part 2, and Part 3.
  • Learn more about scaling your construction drone program in our recent post featuring McCarthy Construction.
  • Looking for an all-inclusive construction mapping package? DroneDeploy recently partnered with DJI to develop a turnkey drone mapping solution for the construction industry.
  • Learn more about comparing design plans and drone maps with our new overlay tool.
  • Find out how drones are improving safety on commercial jobsites in this post.
  • Once you’re ready to get started, our construction onboarding is a great place to begin.

Start Using 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.



3 Ways to Improve Communication on Your Jobsite with Drones was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


The drone industry is quickly becoming a crowded marketplace. So far, more than 60,000 pilots have been certified by the FAA to fly drones commercially — and that number is expected to increase 7X over the next 5 years. As more drone service businesses emerge, you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd to be successful.

To do this, you have to be good at selling drones and the benefits they can deliver your clients. It might also require stepping out of your comfort zone and into new industries to provide mapping services.

A recent report from Skylogic Research suggests that the agriculture, inspection, construction, and surveying industries are a good place to start. These industries are among the most likely to outsource drone services to contractors. If you’re not familiar with these industries, it can be hard to get your foot in the door.


Source: 2017 Drone Market Report: Opportunities and challenges in key market segments, courtesy Skylogic Research

So how do you pitch mapping services to these companies? It’s one thing to read all of the information yourself and understand the business value your services bring to the table, but it’s an entirely different challenge to explain that value in a 3–5 minute pitch.

As a company that has spoken to thousands of businesses around the world, we have found what resonates with industry buyers that are skeptical about the value drones provide. And we’re happy to share some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

To make things easier, we’ve put together some industry applications and talking points to help build the perfect pitch deck to sell your services in the fast-paced world of drones for hire.

Market #1: Agriculture

In agriculture, it’s all about understanding what’s happening in the field, in order to increase yield and improve efficiency. Mapping with DroneDeploy gives growers and agronomists detailed insights about crops that would not be noticeable on foot or by traditional land-based methods.

Applications and Talking points

How does the agriculture industry apply drones to everyday workflows?

  • Crop scouting. Using drones is a much quicker, simpler way of scouting crops to find irregularities and issues, so that you can reduce variability and solve problems faster.
  • Soil mapping: Identify crop variation and damage across an entire field in a matter of hours.
  • Irrigation optimization: Drone imagery helps identify irregularities in irrigation based on vegetative cover and other indicators that you can only see from overhead, so you can make adjustments and achieve irrigation uniformity.
  • Drainage repair: Fix drainage issues so that water is consistent across the crop.
  • Yield optimization: Make the right crop adjustments faster with instant data and detailed mapping.
  • Yield projections: Make accurate projections based on detailed, high-resolution mapping.
  • Nitrogen application: More easily see nitrogen deficiencies in your crops.
  • Emergence/Stand count: Determine if you need to replant in any areas.
  • Equipment malfunction detection: Catch equipment issues that result in uneven seeding, pesticides distribution or replanting or gaps in plants.
  • Pest issues: Determine if any areas are having pest issues, and assess the effectiveness of pest control strategies.

Market #2: Construction

The construction industry is complex. Construction pros need technology that won’t add to the complexity of a project, but instead help to simplify it. Drone maps and models are a cost-effective, user-friendly way to help achieve this goal.

Speed is also essential to construction projects. Contractors are constantly working against timelines, and they need to have access to real-time insights to make smart decisions. Drone maps make it easier and more efficient to manage work as it is happens, and monitor site progress overtime.

Applications and Talking points

How does the construction industry apply drones to their businesses?

  • Management oversight: Keep real-time tabs on projects with regularly updated overhead maps. For in-depth analysis, zero in on key areas, often with enough resolution to see individual studs.
  • Site progress: Track progress against 3D models and aerial views. How many floors have been built in the past week? Are the builders following the plan? Are we on track to complete the project by the deadline?
  • Improved communication: Share maps and models with internal and external stakeholders for streamlined communications. Keep everyone in the office up-to-date and informed — even if you’re still on site.
  • Site planning & surveying: Instead of hiring a survey team to survey a greenfield site, you can hire a drone business to perform the same job faster, with as much accuracy, and at a lower price point. In some cases, this information is even more accurate because drone-generated point clouds gather millions of points compared to the hundreds gathered in a ground-based survey.
  • Stockpile measurement: Instantly measure stockpile volumes so you can make on-the-spot decisions about your materials needs.
  • Safety improvements: Identify safety concerns in real time, so your team can address them quickly. Reduce the time employees and contractors spend on roofs, steep slopes, and other dangerous areas.
  • Virtual design and construction: Export drone-generated point clouds into 3D design software for powerful insights. Ensure site progress is in step with original design plans.

Market #3: Inspection and Insurance


Image Courtesy of The Sequel Group

As a building or insurance inspector, you can use drones to inspect sites and infrastructure more efficiently and in a safer manner.

Building inspectors: Use drones to identify issues on roofs, building exteriors, and elevated towers without the need to spend hours walking or climbing a site. Collect better data, save valuable man hours, and reduce the need to send contractors into unsafe conditions.

Insurance inspectors: Use drone data as a way to streamline inspection claims by quickly and comprehensively assessing damage to property, homes, and commercial real estate.

Agriculture insurance: In the case of agricultural insurance, gather a complete picture of an entire field so that you can make the most accurate damage assessment.

Applications and Talking points

What role do drones play in the commercial inspection industry?

  • Improve safety: Perform remote inspections to identify problem areas that need further attention. Reduce the amount of time crews spend on roofs, elevated towers, and other dangerous areas.
  • Thermal imaging: Gather accurate thermal imagery to identify structural issues and remotely identify problem areas.
  • Enable complex simulations: Drone-generated 3D models aid with forensic inspections by providing a cost-effective way to reconstruct incidents.

Market #4: Surveying

Drones are quickly becoming an integral part of every surveyor’s toolkit. Survey teams see huge time savings and decreased costs thanks to UAV technology. In some cases, sites can be surveyed 20x faster than they would through traditional ground methods. Not only do drones increase efficiency, but for many surveyors drones can be a safer choice too.

Applications and Talking points

How can drones help surveyors?

  • Create topographic maps: Use drone data to save time and lower costs while creating accurate topographic maps.
  • Produce survey-grade maps: When paired with powerful drone mapping software, and ground control points, drones can produce survey-grade maps and accurate 3D models in hours, as opposed to days.
  • Improve safety: Reduce the amount of time crews spend walking sites or navigating dangerous areas.
  • Lower costs: Lower costs for yourself and your clients by performing surveys in a fraction of the time compared to traditional ground methods.
  • Integrate with industry software for additional analysis: Drone maps and models can be easily imported into most industry software. As a surveyor, you can provide your clients with additional information that they may not otherwise have, like 3D models that can be used for inspection and compliance.

Market #5: Mining & Aggregates

The mining industry is highly-regulated, technical, and potentially dangerous. Overall, the industry faces tough market conditions and operators are constantly working against skill shortages, labor unrest, cost inflation, reserves exhaustion, safety concerns, public image challenges, and government revenue expectations. Operational efficiency and cost is crucial; And safety is paramount.

Drones help mine sites improve efficiency, lower costs, and increase safety by gathering powerful aerial data.

Applications and Talking points

How do drones fit into the mining and aggregates industries?

  • Site surveying: Surveying a potential mine site is faster, safer, and more cost-effective using drone technology.
  • Information sharing: Easily share maps and site information between on-site supervisors, explosive technicians, and employees in the lab.
  • Material/aggregate volume analysis: More accurately determine material volumes that can be extracted, or calculate material volume on site.
  • Fragmentation analysis: Fly over blast sites to photograph the rock and ensure that the blast was done correctly. Flying overhead to plan a future blast.
  • Equipment and materials tracking: Keep track of the location of equipment and the amount of materials remaining.
  • Terrace/ramp evaluation: Determine how much to add or remove for efficient operations.
  • Bench evaluation: Verify the face of the bench to understand structural integrity. Maintain safety by ensuring equipment is protected from falling over the side.
  • Regulatory and environmental compliance: Easily survey your site to ensure environmental compliance (e.g., measure the elevation variation to protect against material and/or chemical runoff)
  • Improved safety: Measure materials with drones instead of dangerous and labor-intensive manual methods.

It’s Time to Fine-Tune Your Pitch Deck

So, what’s next? We recommend you get to work by updating your pitch deck, outreach emails, or other sales materials with some of our talking points. If you aren’t speaking the right language to your prospects, you’re bound to have a hard time conveying the value your drone services can bring to their business.

If you ask any salesperson, they will tell you that a good pitch can make or break an opportunity. Get started by finessing your approach. Practice your pitch. And go into your next call, presentation, or meeting with the confidence—and good talking points—to close the deal.

Where to Learn More


Read More in DroneDeploy’s Guide to Starting a Commercial Drone Business

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.



Pitch Perfect: Creating the Ultimate Sales Pitch to Sell Your Drone Mapping Services was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Monitor, Measure, and Communicate with Drones in Construction

By now, there’s no denying it: drones have made their way into the construction industry. And they are here to stay.

Today’s drones pack a big punch, helping project managers, site engineers, and virtual design + construction (VDC) teams build instant ROI with jobsite-ready maps and models. Time and again, drones save money, reduce downtime, and improve safety on construction projects.

But if you are like many construction professionals, you probably have a few questions about implementing drones on your own jobsite. Sure, you’ve heard all the hype, but are they really worth the effort? Exactly what types of results will drones deliver? And most importantly, are they safe?

We’ve got some good news: We put together a new eBook, and we think you’re gonna like it. It digs into some of the most common questions we get from construction pros and highlights the fastest ways to get value from drones on the jobsite.

If you’ve been thinking about implementing drones, then this eBook is for you. Head on over to our resources page and download it today.

In our latest industry resource, we explore how construction teams use drones to generate collaborative maps and 3D models, leverage data from high-resolution point clouds, and even create accurate contour maps. We also give examples of how industry leaders like Brasfield & Gorrie, Choate Construction, and McCarthy Building Companies handle safety, implementation, and scale in their drone programs.

Drones are quickly becoming a must-have tool on any jobsite. Whether your team already has a drone, or you’re just beginning to consider the idea, we’re confident you’ll come away with a better understanding of how drones can help you streamline and improve your daily workflows, save time, and create more informed, collaborative teams.

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.



Build Instant ROI with Jobsite-Ready Drone Maps and Models was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


With the right tools, you can improve your efficiency, expand your services, and help your business succeed. But choosing the right solutions to power your business is never easy. As a drone service provider (DSP), the many hardware and software choices on the market present an even bigger challenge.

So how do you know which solutions to consider, and who you can trust to get the job done when your company’s success is on the line?

We’ve done some legwork to make it a bit easier to decide. Whether you’re a new DSP just getting started, or a veteran to the industry, here are some of the top drone mapping tools we recommend.

Drone Hardware

Multi-rotor or fixed wing aircraft? Mavic or Phantom 4 Pro? Visible spectrum (RGB) or multispectral camera?

Deciding which drone hardware to invest in can be daunting. New drone businesses often ask us for recommendations, so we created a Drone Buyer’s Guide to help make sense of it all. We hope the information helps you navigate the different options available on the market and decide which drone model is the right choice for your business. Download the free guide today.


Read the 2017 Drone Buyer’s Guide to get tips on choosing a mapping drone, and side-by-side comparisons of top drone models available today.

Drone Mapping Tools

As the drone services ecosphere grows, so does the number of software tools available to help UAV businesses succeed. In addition to DroneDeploy, here are some other helpful tools to enhance your mapping services.

AirMap

Airmap charts up-to-date airspace restrictions and advisories based on your flight area. Millions of drone users and hundreds of partners rely on AirMap’s data and services for safe and efficient drone flight. No drone service provider should leave home without it.

Skyward

Skyward is an innovative drone management platform that helps connect pilot networks, track equipment, and manage processes. Check airspace, coordinate with your flight crew, and minimize risk with Skyward’s platform.

SkyVector

Skyvector is another leading online resource for worldwide aeronautical charts. Check your airspace and keep up to date with notices and flight alerts in your area.

DarkSky

This app provides hyperlocal weather information and up-to-the-minute forecasts, so you can plan for the conditions at your exact flight location. You don’t want to get caught in a weather event that puts you or your business at risk.

The Best Apps to Power Your Business

The DroneDeploy App Market enables your business to unleash the full power of aerial data with enterprise software integrations and specialized tools built right within the DroneDeploy user interface.

There are over 50 great apps available on the market. Here are a few that you’ll find especially helpful as a drone service provider:

Flyte

The Flyte Lite app creates automated pre-flight checklists for any flight plan, helping pilots identify and address unidentified ground or airspace issues before takeoff.

AirData UAV Sync

Airdata UAV Sync simplifies the process of uploading DroneDeploy log files from the DroneDeploy App to Airdata.com. Discover ‘under the hood’ information and review early signs of problems before you take off again.

Report Solutions

Report Solutions makes it simple to generate a flight summary report using your flight maps. Share reports with your customers and colleagues to provide a valuable post-flight deliverable. Recipients receive an interactive report branded to your company, showcasing your maps and flight details.

DroneLogbook Mission Uploader

This plugin allows you to automatically upload DroneDeploy missions to your DroneLogbook. A flight record is created with location, drone, and battery — based on settings from your inventory.

PDF Annotation Report

This app generates a printable PDF report for a map. The report includes all annotations along with any associated measurements like distance and volume. It also includes a view of the map showing the location of these annotations.

Maptasks

With Maptasks it’s easy to create and import flight plans into DroneDeploy, assign pilot tasks and deadlines, and track progress across your team. You can use Maptasks to improve collaboration and drive client projects to the finish line.

Accuracy Report

This built-in app allows you to view and download an accuracy report of your DroneDeploy map. The report contains a summary of the map details, camera and image information, and processing results. If GCPs were used, the report will also include GCP results.

Where to Learn More

Interested in discovering more tools to simplify your workflow? Explore all the apps available to you on the DroneDeploy App Market.

Trying to get your new drone service business off the ground? Check out our free Guide to Starting a Commercial Drone Business. It’s the ultimate playbook to surviving and thriving in the world of drones for hire.

Need help navigating UAV insurance, commercial drone regulations, or your Part 107 Certification? Read our recent post to learn more.

Not sure where to focus your commercial efforts in this fast-paced industry? Learn more about finding your niche, marketing your services, and finding customers in this blog post.

If you are new to drones, and especially drone mapping, our Zero to Hero video series is a good place to start. Here, you’ll get advice on everything from unboxing your drone, to engaging in advanced flight planning.

For information on obtaining your Part 107 certification, check out commercial helicopter and drone pilot Ian Smith’s post outlining the process.

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.



Tools of the Trade: The Best Hardware, Software and Apps to Power Your Commercial Drone Business was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.