Learn how to use drone data to monitor progress in real time, improve communication, and make better decisions in our upcoming webinar

According to recent data from McKinsey, the average large construction project costs 80 percent 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.

There is almost no end to the amount of coordination you face on any given day. As a construction project manager, you are the hub of an ever-changing landscape. But staying up to date on the many moving parts of a project can be challenging — especially in an industry that primarily relies on paper-based processes.

That’s the topic of discussion in DroneDeploy’s upcoming webinar Managing Construction Projects with Drone Data, which is set to take place next week and features panelists from Procore and Key Construction.

Register for the upcoming webinar to learn how you can and read on to learn three ways you can put this technology to work on your next project:

Site Planning and Design

Drones shorten the time it takes to conduct site surveys, so you can place bids fast, and accelerate the planning and design process with highly accurate drone-generated maps and 3D models. You can even overlay drone maps with site plans such as utility, wastewater, and equipment clearances. For more advanced oversight and planning, export drone maps into BIM, GIS and CAD software.


Overlay CAD designs on Orthomosaic Drone Maps to improve the design process. Map and overlay provided by Brasfield and Gorrie General Contractors.

Progress Tracking and Reporting

Weekly drone maps reduce the amount of time spent walking a site to monitor, track progress, and inspect for safety issues. It’s also easy to repeat flights each week for consistency and create a comprehensive visual record of a project. Your team can also leverage built-in analyses tools to generate progress reports for internal and external stakeholders, or compare real-time site conditions against plans — so you can catch deviations before they add weeks to your timeline. Each map can be exported to your Procore project album, so your entire team can be kept up-to-date on any changes to the job site.


Export orthomosaic drone maps from DroneDeploy into your Procore Project Album with the Procore Export app available on DroneDeploy’s App Market.

Real-Time Communication and Collaboration

Drones simplify communication and information sharing, both internally and externally. Aerial imagery keeps entire teams aligned and informed with up-to-date, easily digestible visual data. DroneDeploy is cloud-based, so it’s easy to share annotated maps between team members in real time from the field, or keep external stakeholders up-to-speed on the progress of a project through share links and interactive 3D models of a job site. By communicating in real time, with the latest information from the job site, you can shave days — or even weeks — off your timeline, and avoid added costs associated with paper-based documentation and communication.


Leverage DroneDeploy’s built in measurement and annotation tools to calculate stockpile volumes, markup drone maps with notes and photos, and communicate in real-time with your team. Map provided by Brasfield and Gorrie General Contractors.

To learn more about integrating drone data into your project management workflow, tune into to the upcoming webinar Managing Construction Projects with Drone Data.

Attendees can expect to get an in-depth look at how they can capture aerial data, generate high-resolution photos, maps, and 3D models with DroneDeploy, and sync data to their Procore project album for streamlined communication and project management. They will also learn how Key Construction has implemented drones on their job sites.

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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

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



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


Making a high-quality 3D model with a drone has never been easier

Creating a drone-generated 3D model has always been part art and part science. But at DroneDeploy it’s our goal to make it simpler for anyone—no matter their skill level—to make high-quality maps and 3D models using our software. That’s why we’re excited to announce our Structures Mode.

3D Models. Simplified.

Structures Mode is designed to simplify the data capture process for anyone who wants to make a good 3D model.

So how does it work? Structures Mode captures oblique images from the perimeter of your mission plan, facing towards the center of your subject— while making sure not to include the horizon in the shots.

The best part? Structures Mode automatically collects the lowest number of images required to make a good model. Instead of needing hundreds of images, you can now get crisp models with dozens of photos. This means that your model will process faster in the cloud and you won’t have to wait as long for a finished product.

How to Use Structures Mode

Using Structures mode is easy. In the app’s flight plan settings, enable “Structures Mode” with a flip of the toggle. This allows you to automatically capture predefined photos of a structure located at the center of your map during flight.


Enable Structures Mode when planning your flight in DroneDeploy.

Here is an example of a recent model we made of our office. This model was made with just 40 images captured in less than ten minutes.


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

Supported Hardware

We built this feature for recent DJI Drones, released since the Phantom 4. Please take a look at our list of Supported Drones to learn more about the compatibility of your drone and the DroneDeploy flight app.

So what are you waiting for? Give Structures Mode a try during your next flight.

Where to Learn More

  • Learn more about Structures Mode and making 3D models with DroneDeploy here.
  • Read our blog post to get expert tips on making accurate 3D models with your drone here.
  • New to drone mapping? Read our top 10 tips for making your first map with DroneDeploy here.
  • Don’t forget to check out our online resources and webinar series to get expert tips and advice for putting drones to work in agriculture, construction, and 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.



DroneDeploy Releases Structures Mode to Simplify 3D Modeling with Drones was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Three reasons leading solar companies are transitioning to drones for surveying, inspection, and design

In the booming solar industry, efficiency is crucial to your company’s success. Whether you install solar panels, inspect and repair large arrays, or survey land for solar farm prospecting, drone photos, maps, and 3D models can

The latest drone technology — like aerial mapping, thermal imaging, digital terrain modeling, and automated roof measurement — gives you a rich set of data to streamline your workflows and generate real-time insights. High-resolution drone maps far surpass imagery gathered by satellite or manned aircraft in accuracy, accessibility, and cost.

With results like this, it’s no surprise that builders, inspectors, and surveyors are all turning to drones and DroneDeploy. So what are you waiting for? Here are three ways you can start putting drones to work in the solar industry right now:

Survey Property for Solar Farm Prospecting

To gather topographical information for a prospective site of a future solar farm, you traditionally have two options: rely on publicly available data or conduct a new ground surveys, neither of which are ideal for large-scale projects like solar farms.


A contour map generated with DroneDeploy during a land survey.

In the competitive world of solar farm prospecting, it’s challenging to generate purchase bids quickly. Traditional land surveys can take weeks. By surveying land and creating contour maps and digital terrain models with drones, you can cut this process down to a few days. The Result: faster turnaround times and a leg up on your competition.

“Having a workflow to get your data out in a timely manner is key to success” — Kingsley Chen, UAV Operations Coordinator, SunPower

Read our case study to learn why SunPower uses DroneDeploy to map solar farms and manage a growing team of UAV operators around the world.

Design and Install Solar Panels Layouts

Drones powered by 3D mapping software like DroneDeploy can reduce the design cycle of solar energy projects by as much as 70%, and increase team productivity along the way.

Surveying a roof usually requires companies to send out surveyors to gather manual tape measurements, meaning they have to clamber across rooftops for about 2 to 3 hours. Drones capture measurements from the safety of the ground. Capable of flying close to any site, drones deliver precise measurements consistently and help surveyors generate accurate 3D models for further inspection.


A preliminary design produced with a drone-generated 3D model by iSolara.

After the drone finishes its flight — which typically takes 15 minutes — surveyors can review all measurements from their desks before producing reports and export the data into design software.

“With Drones, we save weeks on the turnaround time from initial design to deployable design.” —Albert De Sousa, Operation Manager at iSolara

Read the Case Study

Inspect Panels on Solar Farms

Solar panels often overheat, go offline, or require maintenance due to excess dust, scratches or mechanical deficiencies. It can take days — or even weeks — to inspect large solar farms from the ground.


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

Drones can spot issues from the sky in minutes, and help teams pinpoint problem areas and fast-track repairs. Improve your team’s efficiency on site by conducting drone-based thermal inspections with Thermal Live Map. Generate thermal maps in real time and quickly detect broken photocells faster than ever before, so you can keep your solar operation running at peak efficiency,

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As drone use continues to increase in the solar industry — for surveying, design, inspection, and more — so too does the potential that solar energy will become a primary source of all electricity in the United States and the rest of the world.

Where to Learn More

  • Learn more about DroneDeploy’s solar solution on our website.
  • Watch our recent webinar to learn more about using drones to automate roof inspection and measurement.
  • Download our free eBook to learn how to drone-generated maps and 3D models can improve workflows for solar companies.
  • Read our case study with iSolara to see how they implemented drones and reduced their design cycles by 70% in the process.
  • Check out our case study with SunPower to see how they leverage DroneDeploy’s platform to accelerate the land bid process and manage a global team of drone pilots.

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 Help Solar Energy Companies Improve Productivity and Shorten Design Cycles was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


As the drone industry matures, we’re quickly moving towards an era of automation. But what does that look like in practice?

Drone adoption is skyrocketing. UAVs have made their way into the daily workflows across the world’s largest industries. As builders, growers, engineers, and miners scale their drone operations, the amount of drone data collected will only continue to grow.

So, how will drone technology adapt to manage the influx of data generated by millions of drones in the years to come? And how will DroneDeploy help companies digest massive amounts of aerial information collected on job sites every day?

The answer is automation.

Learn more about the future of commercial drones and automation in our recent webinar.

A New Era of Automation is Coming

The commercial drone industry is on the cusp of a new era of automation. While automated drone flight is nothing new, measuring and analyzing aerial data is still very much a manual process. As our industry matures — and large enterprises scale their drone operations — automation will be necessary to ensure consistent and accurate results. The only way ten different people on ten different job sites will be able to generate consistent data is through automated flight, measurement, and reporting.


The industry is maturing. We’re currently seeing large companies scale operations and deploy fleets of drones at the national and international level.

DroneDeploy has been here since the beginning, and we have seen an evolution in the way companies adopt drones. What began as pilot programs and outsourced contracting has quickly moved in-house as companies realized the value drones provide. We’re currently seeing early adopters start to scale their programs to national and international levels. And they need more advanced software solutions to keep up with their growth.

Watch our recent webinar to hear more about the future of drone automation.

What Does it Take to Scale Drone Operations?

The way we see it, scaling operations comes down to three things:

Repeatable Workflows

For any company to grow a drone program, they must be able to produce a repeatable workflow that is easy for workers to integrate into their day-to-day operations. If a workflow can’t isn’t easily replicated, it’s harder to train. And it surely can’t scale.

Reliable Hardware and Software

Any scalable solution has to be reliable. Companies need solutions they can trust every time to work and deliver the insights they rely on to make smarter business decisions. That is why reliability is a tenant of any widely adopted technology. Drones are no different.


To ensure consistent results, we’re using computer vision and machine learning to automate measurement and analysis with tools like Roof Report.

Consistent Results

Consistency is necessary if a company is to implement a drone solution at scale. And unfortunately, manual measurement and analyses are not only time-consuming but also prone to error. Machines can help. Which is why automation will rely on algorithms and deep learning to drive consistent, accurate results every time. We’re already putting this into practice with Roof Reports.

Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and Artificial Intelligence Lead the Way

The key to scaling is automation. But how do you automate the analysis of aerial data? This is where machine learning and artificial intelligence come in. We can teach machines to detect patterns and objects, make accurate measurements, and transform large data sets into digestible reports.

There has been a lot of talk about these technologies in the commercial drone industry, with little action. Why is that? Well, as a new industry we’re just getting started. And to deliver true AI-assisted solutions to automate workflows you need data, lots of it. That’s why DroneDeploy is poised to provide the best solutions in the industry. We’ve built the largest drone dataset in the world, consisting of more than 30 million acres worth of data collected in 180 countries across 400,000 job sites.

Now we’re putting that data to work to build industry-leading machine learning solutions to solve real-world challenges companies face as they put drones to work in the field every day.

Learn the practical applications of machine learning and computer vision in drone software by watching our recent webinar.

Looking Ahead: What’s in Store for DroneDeploy’s Customers

Our team has been working hard over the last year building a proprietary photogrammetry engine to solve the industries toughest problems. The work is already paying off. We’ve cut processing times and now stitch more than 99% of maps processed on our platform — even in challenging environments like late-season crop fields or dense urban areas. But this is just the beginning.

Now we’re starting to flex our machine learning muscle, and some exciting new releases are on the horizon. Here’s a look at some of the ways we’re streamlining workflows to make drone insights more accessible, and opening the door for true automation.

Real-time Analysis and Decision Making

Earlier this year we released Live Map. Despite being launched just 3 months ago, more than 10% of all maps made are real-time Live Maps. On the heels of this powerful new real-time mapping tool, we just expanded it’s capabilities with Thermal Live Map. The future of our industry is real-time. There’s no reason you should have to wait for aerial insights. Moving forward, we’ll continue to improve the features and enhance the functionality of Live Map.


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

Machine Learning and AI-Driven Software

As we said before, automation is key to scaling operations. So we’re building tools to automate workflows. We’re starting in three primary areas: Flight, Accuracy, Measurements, and Counting.


Using our massive drone database, we are teaching machines to identify and measure objects automatically. Soon, measuring stockpiles will be as simple as clicking a button.

In the coming months, we’ll be releasing entirely autonomous workflows for measuring buildings and stockpiles, detecting objects and structures, and improving flight planning to collect high-quality data with the push of a button.


With 100 million images worth of drone data, we’re making it simple to automatically count objects like cars, trees, and houses in seconds.

Completely Autonomous Operations

While we’re not there yet, we’re moving to a world where drones will operate entirely on their own. When regulations catch up with technology and the industry is ready to embrace truly autonomous drones without human intervention, we’ll be here ready to meet the demand head on.

We’re excited about the future of our industry and the challenges we’re going to solve for our customers. And we hope you are too. It’s hard to believe we’re only beginning to see what’s possible with drone technology. Just like the flying robots we all know and love, there is only one direction we can go from here: up.

Where to Learn More

  • Watch our recent webinar Drones in the Age of Automation to hear our vision for the future of automation straight from DroneDeploy co-founders Jono Millin and Nicholas Pilkington.
  • Read our 2018 Industry Trends Report to see the state of the drone industry and gain insights from 30 million acres of drone data collected across 180 countries.
  • Download our 2018 Drone Industry Predictions to get a better idea of where the industry is going in 2018.

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


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

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

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Redefining Inspection Workflows

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

See the Unseeable — Instantly. No Internet Required.

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


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

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

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

A Real-Time Inspection Solution

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


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

Solar Energy

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


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

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

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


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

Construction & Roofing

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


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

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

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

Incident Response & Public Safety

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


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

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

Agriculture

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


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

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


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

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

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

Introducing Organizational Apps

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

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

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

Simplify Job Site Documentation with Improved Progress Photo Reports

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


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

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


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

Improved Accuracy and Annotation Reports

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

Custom Coordinate Support Now in Beta

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

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

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

Interested in beta testing this new feature? Contact us.

In Beta: Export CAD Overlays on Top of Maps

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

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

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

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

Where to Learn More

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

Read more about our recent product updates and releases including:

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Who’s Using Drones on the Job Site?


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

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

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

How are Drones Put to Work in Construction?

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

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

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

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

How are Construction Companies Benefitting from Drones and Aerial Data?

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

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

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

What Software Tools are Construction Pros Using with Drone Data?

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

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


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

How Accurate is Drone Data Captured on the Job Site?

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

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


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

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


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

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

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


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

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


What map will you be entering?

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

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

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

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A sample crop damage report from the SkyClaim App

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

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


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

Nearly Fifty Data Layers from a Single Drone Map

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

The results of the accuracy test:

For Crop Damage

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

For Land with Large Patches of Distinct Features

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Learn More

Get Your First SkyClaim Report for Free

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

A Skymatics Case Study

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The Construction Industry is the Fastest Growing Adopter of Commercial Drones

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

World’s First Drone App Market Grows 150%

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


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

Enterprises Embrace Drones at Scale

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


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

Companies Join Forces to Create a Global Partnership Network

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

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

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

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

Where to Learn More

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

Get Started with DroneDeploy

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



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