Meet the world’s first machine learning-driven photogrammetry engine built for industry

Photogrammetry is the complicated process of generating accurate 3D reconstructions from 2D images. It’s a challenging endeavor, involving intricate knowledge of cameras, geometry, motion, and light. Add a drone to the mix and things get even harder.

If you’ve ever tried to stitch a late-season crop map or a half-built construction site from drone imagery, you know how difficult it can be to get sharp lines or in some cases even complete maps. While it may be frustrating when this happens, it makes sense. Most photogrammetry engines weren’t built to solve these unique industry challenges. But we have some good news: that’s all changing.

Today we’re excited to release Map Engine, the world’s first Machine learning-driven photogrammetry engine built for industry. This release comes after a successful beta period where Map Engine processed 30K+ maps per month for more than 4,000 clients across 180 countries.


DroneDeploy’s Map Engine generates accurate 3D reconstructions from 2D images.

A World-Class Mapping Experience in the Cloud

By building an in-house photogrammetry solution, we’re able to rapidly develop new capabilities to solve customer problems faster — and ultimately ensure you get back high-quality data to drive your business forward.

“We have brought together the latest advances in cloud computing, computer vision, and machine learning to build a best-in-class photogrammetry pipeline that delivers accurate results in record time — no matter your workflow.” —Nicholas Pilkington, CTO at DroneDeploy

The new processing engine leverages the latest cloud infrastructure to stitch the maps faster and more accurately than ever before. With the DroneDeploy cloud, you can eliminate the need for on-premise hardware and cut maintenance and engineering costs.

This release includes four major improvements over earlier beta versions:

  1. Improved Speed: Map Engine now generates maps and models 30–50% faster. Scenes made up of hundreds of images can be processed in under an hour.
  2. Improved Accuracy: Industry-specific accuracy improvements for Agriculture, Construction, and Solar generate higher-quality results.
  3. Large Map Support: Maps of up to 10,000 images can now be quickly and accurately rendered (in beta). Sign up here to try it out.
  4. Mobile Uploads: Customers can now wirelessly transfer images to the cloud with Mobile Uploads for immediate processing (in beta). Sign up here to give it a try.

“With DroneDeploy’s latest advancements, I can process anywhere between 5–22 acres in an hour, which means faster communication and decision making for all of our field teams.” — Ray Pascua, Drone Specialist at KATERRA


Map Engine quickly identifies objects in scenes such as trees, cars, and buildings so it can optimize the processing of your drone maps and 3D models.

The More You Map, The Smarter Map Engine Gets

Unlike other photogrammetry engines, Map Engine is powered by machine learning. What does this mean for you? Well for starters, this means that Map Engine can detect and process your images in a whole new way. By quickly identifying objects in scenes such as trees, cars, and buildings, Map Engine can optimize how it processes your data. This also means you get access to smart workflows to make things fast and easy for your team, such as ground control points and automatic counting and measurements.

Even better? Map Engine gets smarter with every map you make. It’s designed to get better at processing data as more customers use it — continually making improvements as we scale our platform. So you know you’ll always get a better experience with each map you make using DroneDeploy.


With Mobile Uploads you instantly transfer images to the cloud before you leave the job site.

A Photogrammetry Engine in Your Pocket

We live in a mobile world. That’s why we’ve made Map Engine the only photogrammetry tool capable of working in real time from your mobile device. Map Engine is available on the edge, meaning you get Live Map and instant insights in the field without an internet connection. And with our new Mobile Uploads feature, you can cut the cord and instantly transfer images to the cloud before you leave the job site.

Access Map Engine Today

The best news? You already have access to these improvements. DroneDeploy’s image processing with Map Engine has grown exponentially over the past year. Since launching in beta last January, Map Engine has processed 100M gigapixels of drone imagery, and along the way, you may have noticed some of the speed and quality enhancements. But if you haven’t, there’s never been a better time to give DroneDeploy a try.

Where to Learn More

  • Get the full rundown on Map Engine by visiting our website.
  • Learn more about our new Mobile Uploads feature, including a full how-to and best practices here.
  • Sign up to join our Mobile Uploads and Large Map beta programs.

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

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