DroneDeploy launches real-time mapping


DroneDeploy is launching the first drone software capable of creating orthorectified maps in real-time. Farmers, surveyors and search and rescue teams typically had to wait for 4-6 hours for maps to be created out of drone imagery, but now can start making decisions with data as it’s collected live.

Tim VanDermyden, CEO of Stratos Aerial, a Surveying Drone company explains “Typically data processing takes four or more hours – actually it’s somewhat of a holy grail to get real-time aerial maps. This will save operators hours every time they fly their drones, and enable better decisions, as data can now be ground-truthed during a flight instead of hours or even days later as is the case with existing systems.” DroneDeploy is able to achieve this real-time stitching because their drones are all internet enabled, and can leverage massive cloud infrastructure for the processing.

DroneDeploy CTO, Nick Pilkington, who has a Ph.D in Machine Learning explains “The drones stream back high definition imagery over LTE during the flight. Our software processes the images rapidly in the cloud and high-resolution orthorectified maps are delivered back to the user in seconds.” The technology is being demonstrated for the first time at ‘ASPRS UAS Technical Demonstration and Symposium’ – a dedicated Drone Mapping conference starting today in Reno, NV. Construction and survey companies are rapidly adopting drone technology, with over 500 attendees, and 50 drone companies displaying their flying robots.

Stratos Aerial, is launching two drones with DroneDeploy’s software, making them the first drones capable of real-time mapping. Visit www.dronedeploy.com for more information.

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  • Moderator

    @Aaron - I was able to connect initially with no problems, but the connection kept dropping.  We think it's a power issue.  I'm adding a 5V ubec instead of powering off the receiver.  Hopefully that will solve the problem.  I was in contact with support at drone deploy and found it to be top notch. 

  • Jono he has and the support team is great. I was just asking in case I missed something. Jeremy gave me some things to try when I get home. 

  • @Aaron, I believe Jeremy has been in touch with you regarding the matter - please reach out to support@dronedeploy.com, or make use of our live-support feature on the website if you're still having issues.

  • Bill did you have to do anything special to connect your copilot? I've connected mine but won't show up online.

  • Moderator

    Will do.  I don't think I will attempt real time mapping this first flight with drone deploy.  I'll probably just do a short 3 waypoint mission just to see if it behaves the same way that a Mission Planner mission does.   I imagine it would be identical.  I've actually had my drone deploy for a while, but haven't had a chance to test it yet.   I almost tested on a 1.2 meter Octocopter earlier this year, but we had so much invested in the craft that we held off and went on to do other things with it.   

    The drone I'm going to fly it on today is a small quad.   

  • Hey Bill,

    Let us know it goes! I'm considering getting one as well.

  • Moderator

    @Jono Can I ask what network you're using?   I have my drone deploy installed on a drone that's ready now.   I will start my testing in just another hour or two!   I haven't been able to connect my gopro yet, but I'll try your online chat service in a little while.  EXPLR18

  • @Ben - Coverage in the US is fantastic, see our coverage map below:


  • 3) seems an odd choice if LTE isn't available in most locations that need mapping?

  • @Rory,

    1) Pretty good - for the example above, we had an RMSE of 4cm (14 control points) with a 2cm GSD and 5 GCPs.

    2) Image resolution is a function of the altitude of the flight and the camera used.

    3) Magic :) We're leveraging the Machine-to-Machine LTE backbone, and all transmission costs are covered with a subscription to the service.

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