Perhaps one of the most often used commercial purposes of a drone is surveying. The low cost and ease of use make it a viable option for any company; not to mention they yield impressive results with high-quality images. DroneDeploy is at the forefront of this industry and they just raised $25 million to better their software.
What is DroneDeploy?
DroneDeploy, for lack of a better word, is an app that is available through your web browser and mobile devices. It enables commercial drone operators to stitch their images together to create high resolution 2D and 3D maps. This gives you an up-to-date and detailed view of what is on the ground and it has various tools built in like an elevation calculator, plant health monitor, and an area calculator.
You can take the images straight through DroneDeploy’s mobile app or a third party such as DJI’s Ground Station Pro. These apps work similarly by planning a flight route for the drone to embark on. The settings are abundant so you can choose how many passes it will make and how many pictures it will take in the set area. Once these photos are uploaded to DroneDeploy’s cloud server it will process them into a full scale map in high resolution.
DroneDeploy’s 30,000 current users have mapped close to 400,000 job sites. These projects have taken place in 180 countries across the globe totaling 30 million acres mapped. These numbers alone prove that DroneDeploy’s application is a viable solution to use for surveying purposes in the drone industry.
Plans for the future
The drone industry is a booming market with an estimated value of $127 billion by the year 2020. Rival companies of DroneDeploy have begun raising money on their own; all of which are between $12 million and $75 million. CEO and cofounder of DroneDeploy Mike Winn said:
“With this new funding round, we have the opportunity to work with more customers who will bring our drone data platform to new industries and transform workflows on every job site.”
Not only is their goal to expand, but also to heavily invest in AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology in hopes to solve more problems with their software. The ultimate goal is to reduce risk and boost efficiency, both of which DroneDeploy does with ease.
As a drone pilot myself, I have used DroneDeploy in the past when photographing a new plot of land waiting to be developed. The lot was filled with trees on Monday and was a wide open field by Friday changing the surface of the earth entirely. The architect wanted a real time look at his land to figure out where his houses would go and just wasn’t able to get that information from something like Google Maps, which still showed the trees and the resolution was very low.
Using DJI’s Ground Station Pro, I mapped out a flight plan around the area and sent my drone off to take hundreds of photos of the ground. Once completed, I uploaded them to DroneDeploy’s website and waited for the full image to process. I had a real time map delivered to my client that same day, proving the worth of my drone.
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