My name is Eric Watson, I am an entrepreneur, robotics tinkerer, aerospace engineer, and UAV advocate.
My team and I are currently in early development of a cloud based platform built for UAV owners/operators/enthusiasts that use their drones to acquire images and/or videos. The platform will provide cloud based imagery storage, visualization, sharing, and processing.
I am inquiring within the UAV community to determine what the needs are, including specific requests within storage, visualization, sharing, and especially image processing. I am also interested in needs outside of these areas.
If you are interested, please comment here or contact me directly to discuss details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much and happy flying!
Actually I like to use my Google Cloud I can share and upload any videos or photos needed. But, I am interested in what sort of image processing you have in mind? I will be doing a lot of AG IR photography next spring and that might be useful that is depending on costs involved.
Thank you for the response.
The type of data storage we are going to provide is more than just another place to store a file in the cloud. We are working to utilize GPS meta data and time of image acquisition to overlay image location markers onto a map. This will allow users to better visualize their flight path, image acquisition locations and times. This georeferenced storage visualization also ties in well with our concept of image sharing between collaborators on the platform.
As for image processing, we are planning on offering at product launch basic orthorectification and mosaicing as well as elevation model incorporation. In the future we are looking to launch more application specific processing including agriculture specific tools such as NDVI and false color composites. Then, eventually complex statistic based change detection algorithms.
However, what we are trying to find out is what you would find useful. Do you think a georeferenced image storage visualization, sharing, and these processing tools would be helpful to have in a cloud based platform? What other processing capabilities are you looking for?
I appreciate the feedback. Thank you.
Well I can say that most of us can georeference with mission planner and/or also using a camera with gps and whatever programs. So I am not sure if that would be a selling point to me. However AG specific tools and processing might be. I say might because I can also do this myself at the office. As for the image sharing I don't know that it would be a good idea either as what I would be doing is not a "sharing" thing and customers would not appreciate sharing there information with others.
Now I know this service would be a "time saver" for lots but I guess that would have to be cost effective vs people doing in house. This is just my 2 cents on it Eric. I am sure there is a lot of people who might use the services you are speaking of. I am surprised no one else has chimed in. The only thing to keep in mind here id say the majority are in it for a hobby?
This is our vision:
-Raw imagery is uploaded to the cloud platform including integration with Mission Planner type tools to visualize image location and time with imagery storage.
-Processing tools such as orthorectification, mosaicing, elevation model incorporation, and eventually NDVI, false color, etc. are available to run on the platform - and quickly in the cloud utilizing significant computing power as necessary.
-Both raw and processed images can be viewed from anywhere and shared professionally through the application upon authorization. This is useful for both community collaboration and easy data delivery to end users.
I am hoping this service can be a big 'time saver' as you mention, but also a capability enhancer for many - and these benefits can reach from hobbyists to commercial UAV operators.
Does this seem beneficial?
Thanks again John.
Sounds like a great service:). Have you checked out http://dronemapper.com? They offer something similar but without the sharing ability.
Have a nice day:)!
I have looked into Drone Mapper, it seems like a useful software service - however, I have not used it yet.
Our platform will be similar in that it will be cloud based. We are planning on utilizing cloud processing to reduce image processing time greatly. Also, we will have an interactive approach with storage, visualization, and sharing.
If you have used tools like Drone Mapper, do you think these additions to the service we have planned would be beneficial to you?
Sorry, I have not used the drone mapper service. However, at the moment they are the mapping solution I will try out when I need it. I like the online solution where I don't have to install on my pc or process the imagery on my local pc. I also like their simple and clear pricing: http://dronemapper.com/guidelines
For me simplicity is key. The less I need to know about the processing the more I can focus on what I am good at. E.g. I don't want to type in all kinds of lens and camera specifications. I would prefer specifying the camera model and lens.
I know that drone mapper in the beginning offered free maps for very small areas. That could be useful for getting people to use your product and spread the word.
I hope you will have lots of success with your project:)! I'm sure there is good demand and it will continue to grow. Feel free to contact me when you have something ready to test.
Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. I completely understand the desire for simplicity and a minimalist design and user experience is very important to us: maximizing output while minimizing input.
I will certainly be in contact when we are in beta testing.
I think this is a great idea. It would be nice to have an option for the hobbyist though. Hopefully you will accommodate non-commercial use at a lower price if possible. Maybe trimming the features or resolution...
Absolutely. Our platform is targeted at all UAV imagery enthusiast, both commercial and hobbyist. There will be many features that will be free to users and will provide benefits to hobbyists and there will be additional paid features mainly targeted toward commercial users.
Thanks for your feedback!
Has this progressed any further?
Thanks for the interest and inquiry.
This has progressed significantly! We have a growing, building startup, Spectafy. Our initial focus has shifted away from UAVs to ground based imaging where we plan to anchor our business model before adding unmanned aerial imaging.
Initially, we are offering by request ground based imaging for corporate clients and our main focus markets are retail, real estate, business intelligence, and activity planning.
However, we are truly excited to expand as we have several UAV enthusiasts on our team and we will certainly keep you guys up to speed!