Drone technology is evolving at an incredible pace these days, but few new announcements really offer a really game-changing – or work changing – feature. This one is different. A few years ago, the ability to create a map from drone data in real time would have been unthinkable – but now DroneDeploy, the world’s leading drone mapping software platform, has done just that.
We got a sneak peak of Live Map – the first-of-its-kind solution allowing for operators to create real-time maps in the field with an iOS device – at DroneDeploy’s user conference last year. Live Map is just what it sounds like: plan a flight, take off, and see maps render on-screen during flight – even without internet or cell connection. No image upload or processing times: a real time aerial view of the job site, field or project.
Drone solutions companies tend to throw around phrases like “real time decisions” a lot – but this is a significant, work-flow reducing innovation. It means that you can get an aerial view and then go in for a second look, more data, or a different view while you are still actually onsite.
“Live Map is really the re-imagining of Drone Mapping. There’s no SD cards, no uploads and no waiting,” said Mike Winn, CEO of DroneDeploy. “Now our customers, from across any industry, can get the data they need, immediately providing the instant insights and enabling them to make real time decisions, right in the field.”
“Since the original Live Map inception, mobile devices have doubled in computational power — allowing DroneDeploy to improve map quality 400% by leveraging the latest devices and state of the art computer vision algorithms,” says DroneDeploy. “Customers can now instantly turn hundreds of acres into consumable maps and share with collaborators without going back to the office, thanks to instant cloud-syncing across devices. If deeper analysis is necessary, users can also create higher-resolution 2D maps from the same flight data.”
“By producing a real-time map of a large construction or solar project, I can stay on top of site progress by counting solar arrays or monitoring progress,” said Ryan Moret, a field solutions manager at McCarthy Building Companies. “Live Map helps me end each day with confidence knowing where a project stands and what our subcontractors have completed so that we can provide the best product for our clients.”
It’s an obvious win for DroneDeploy’s large customer base in agriculture and construction, but other uses of the technology in firefighting, search and rescue, disaster response and other lifesaving applications are equally exciting. It’s one of the biggest steps forward in mapping technology to come out in recent months – and we’re looking forward to even more from DroneDeploy.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies. Email Miriam TWITTER:@spaldingbarker