Easily combine drone maps with powerful geographic information system tools for deeper analysis
29 June, 2016 - Many industries are discovering the power of drones to quickly and easily capture on-demand, higher-resolution aerial data, and with the recent announcement of Part 107, drone adoption in the United States is expected to increase. Although aerial mapping alone can help improve communication and efficiency, companies can often unlock even more valuable insights by analyzing aerial imagery in combination with other spatial data, such as in GIS (geographic information system) software.
Today we are thrilled to announce the beta release of an integration with Esri, the leader in GIS software, that will allow users to easily analyze their DroneDeploy maps in ArcGIS Online.
“Emerging technology such drones have the potential to revolutionize how we work across many industries,” said Lawrie Jordan, Esri’s director of imagery. “Now, with the Esri and DroneDeploy integration you can more easily leverage powerful drone imagery directly from within ArcGIS.”
Combine Data Sets for Deeper Insights
DroneDeploy users across many industries are already using Esri’s ArcGIS tools to analyze their DroneDeploy maps alongside other data sets to extract insights that could not be obtained from the drone imagery alone.
In one recent case study, a grower compared a drone-generated plant health map to soil sample data to understand why crops were stressed and make decisions about nutrient applications. As in this example, combining drone mapping with other spatial data can help users not only describe what is occurring but also begin to understand why and identify trends.
Drone Imagery in GIS: A Big Data Problem
For the GIS community, drone imagery provides a high-resolution, on-demand alternative to satellite imagery, which is often out of date. However, the data-rich nature of drone-based mapping introduces a problem - the file sizes involved are often too large for effective desktop processing.
“As UAS platforms and sensors continue to improve, users are being faced with some BIG DATA issues,” said Devon Humphrey, Founder and CEO of Flightline Geographics, a GIS professional who sees growing potential for drone imagery in GIS.
“In addition, for GIS users it is crucial to be able to capture and utilize the data as soon as possible within the Esri GIS environment. After all, as fun as drones can be, the whole point of capturing imagery is analyzing and consuming the content in a meaningful way.”
The solution to this big data problem is cloud-based processing and hosting. Although both DroneDeploy and ArcGIS Online leverage the power of cloud-based computing, without an integration between them, the process of transferring data from DroneDeploy to ArcGIS Online still involved a desktop step.
“You would have to export the data - it’s a very large file - to your own computer. Then you would manually process that in ArcGIS desktop and upload it to your own ArcGIS Online account,” said Jeremy Eastwood, Mapping Technical Lead at DroneDeploy. “Now we’re streamlining the process - taking the desktop out of the equation.”
Powerful, Streamlined Analysis - All Online
With the new integration, currently in Beta, Esri users can send their DroneDeploy maps to their ArcGIS online account, without having to download anything.
To use the integration, a beta tester would simply navigate to a map in DroneDeploy, click on the tool to send their map to ArcGIS Online, and enter their ArcGIS Online credentials.
This new integration will empower users to focus on data collection and analysis - rather than on data migration - and also will enable analysis of larger and more complex drone maps that would be too data-intensive to analyze locally.
Request the Beta Integration
The integration between DroneDeploy and Esri’s ArcGIS Online is currently in Beta. If you are interested in trying it, please fill out this form to request access.
Start Mapping with DroneDeploy
DroneDeploy provides drone mapping, processing and analysis tools to make the power of aerial data accessible and productive for anyone. Free mobile apps for Android and iOS simplify data capture by automating flight with DJI’s most popular drones, while DroneDeploy’s Map Engine can process imagery from any drone into professional-quality maps and 3D models. Once a map is complete, it’s easy to analyze elevation and plant health data, make measurements, and share and collaborate on the map from any device.