Drone Deploy Review – Aerial 3D Mapping Software

You purchased a drone because of its amazing ability to capture beautiful photos and video from angles you’d never before seen. If you’ve had the chance to do some research, you’ve probably realized that drones can do much more than simply taking pretty pictures.
An increasingly popular application gaining traction among drone pilots is DroneDeploy.

You’re probably wondering––What is Drone Deploy? As simple as possible DroneDeploy is aerial mapping and 3D modeling software. DroneDeploy is a powerful mapping application that can transform images you take with your drone into a high-resolution maps with information about plant health and terrain elevation, and provides tools for calculating distance, area, and volume. Learn more about how Drone Deploy works in the video below!

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How Drone Deploy Works

DroneDeploy works by allowing users to pre-program an automated flight path for their drone, and then turning the images captured from the flight into a high-resolution 2D map and 3D model. We outline the full process of creating an automated flight path in our review video, but here’s a summary of what you need to do: First, create an account with Drone Deploy. Then click the “Plan – Add a Flight” button, and DroneDeploy will zoom in on your location with a highlighted box. The blue box represents the area you wish to map, while the green lines represent the flight path of the drone. You can use the search tool find the location you want to map, or if you are already at the location you can simply use the grabbers on the corners and sides of the box to resize it. DroneDeploy will give you information about your planned flight, including flight time, total area, resolution, and the number of batteries required. You can also customize the altitude and direction of your flight. Once you’re satisfied with your settings, tap the blue save icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the map.

At this point you have successfully pre-programmed a flight path for your drone to follow. Now it’s time to fly. Grab your drone and head out to your mapping location. Start the drone normally, but instead of launching the DJI Go App, launch the Drone Deploy application. Your drone should automatically connect, and the blue save button will turn into a blue fly button. After you tap the fly button, DroneDeploy will do a system check to make sure everything is a go, and once that is done you can tap the blue check button to send your drone on a fully automated flight. The DroneDeploy app will let you monitor everything about the flight in real time, including your drone’s position, battery percentage, the number of photos it has taken, its altitude, its speed, the distance from the Return to Home point, and the elapsed time. Upon completing the flight, your drone will automatically return home. Pop the Micr0-SD card out and upload the flight photos to DroneDeploy’s website.

And that’s it! It’s really that simple and easy to generate your very own 2D map and 3D model. Again, consider watching the video to see everything in action and to learn more about the powerful map analysis tools DroneDeploy provides.

Pricing

Incredibly powerful software like this does come at a cost. You can view all plans on DroneDeploy’s website, but here’s a quick breakdown of what they offer:

Explorer – free

  • 5 maps per month
  • 500 photos per map
  • Community support
  • No exporting capabilities

Pro – $999/year or $99/month

  • Unlimited maps per month
  • 1,000 photos per map
  • Email + chat support
  • Exporting capabilities

Business – $2,999/year or $299/month

  • Unlimited maps per month
  • 3,000 images per map
  • Email + chat support
  • Exporting capabilities
  • Support for ground control points
  • Even more advanced features

Is it worth it?

Whether or not DroneDeploy is worth it for you really boils down to how you plan to use it. We think DroneDeploy is optimal for the agriculture and construction industries. Farmers can easily monitor crop health, while construction workers can use built-in tools to calculate volume and area measurements. DroneDeploy also promotes their service as being beneficial for surveying land, mining, and performing inspections. You do get a 1 month free trail of the Pro plan when you first sign up, so take advantage of the opportunity to see if DroneDeploy may be worth it for you.

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