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The Power and Many Use Cases of Drone Data

A drone is only as useful as the data it captures. For many of our customers, that data is already making a huge impact: streamlining workflows, enabling smarter decisions, increasing profitability, and improving safety. 

If your organization is persisting with manual methods of data gathering or hasn’t yet considered embedding drone technology into operations, knowing where to start may be daunting.  

Drones are typically used in two main ways. First, to capture high-resolution images and videos for marketing purposes or visual insights. Second, drones are used to gather unique data sets, including LiDAR, thermal, hyperspectral, or multispectral images. 

Here are a few examples of the power of drone data, along with the benefits that each method can bring to your day to day operations.

Mapping & Modeling

Drones aren’t only flying cameras. Within the meta-data of each high-quality image captured, you’ll find GPS information that is, when flying with a drone such as DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK, precise to within a centimeter.

The combination of high-resolution photographs and accurate location information mean the images can be stitched together to build orthomosaics (2D maps) and 3D models of farms, construction sites, mines, vehicle crash sites and more. 

These orthomosaic maps provide a detailed and accurate representation of an area that can be used to streamline project planning, track progress, monitor crops, support emergency response efforts, and create immersive marketing material.


Gathering drone data is one thing, gleaning insights you can act on from that data is another. Many enterprise drone applications rely on some form of AI or manual review to churn through all the information collected. 

Usually, that data comes in the form of RGB aerial photos. The images are scanned with a specialist solution to pick up on any anomalies or details that are relevant. The results of these can be used to generate industry-specific reports that get right to the heart of the matter. 

This is the process our customers can tap into with the DroneBase Insights offerings. Currently, our automated reports support the work of property managers by assessing damage and mitigating risk for commercial properties.

Powerful Overlays

Another innovative use of drone data comes in the form of overlays, which is essentially the practice of layering one type of data on top of another. 

For example, once a project has started, if you already have a map or model in place outlining construction plans, new flight data can be overlaid onto the CAD files to track the degree to which building works are in line with the original intentions.

DroneBase recently announced a partnership with Esri’s mapping and analytics platform  ArcGIS. Enterprise customers can now tap into both our pilot network and Esri’s Overlay toolset, among other analytics solutions. This means architecture, engineering, and construction organizations can monitor site construction more easily, and cost-effectively assess the integrity of their assets or the extent of possible damage all in one place.

Unique Data Sets

Organizations have increasingly started to use drones for much more than simple aerial photographs. Sensor and payload technology have evolved to the point where it’s possible to capture data across the Green, Red, Red-Edge and Near-Infrared wavebands, from LiDAR and thermal, to hyperspectral and multispectral images.

With all of this data comes a wealth of possibilities. Thermal images can be used to locate anomalies on a roof, track hard to see chemicals, locate animals, and spot poachers. LiDAR, a form of capture that uses light to measure ranges, can be used to map underground caves, mines, construction sites, and a multitude of other assets. 

Multispectral imaging can be harnessed to help farmers manage crops, soil, and irrigation. With a single payload, farmers can gather data to help minimize the use of fertilizers and increase their yield. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that all of these data types can be used to bolster the solutions mentioned above. Multispectral imaging can be overlaid onto agricultural maps to assess crop health and discover trends that would otherwise be invisible. Similarly, thermal images can be layered onto existing maps of solar farms to speed up inspections and help maintenance teams spot anomalies. 

DroneBase maintains the world’s largest network of well-trained, professional drone pilots. As a result, we can quickly scale operations up or down to fit your requirements for any asset or location, mitigating the need for travel in response to social distancing instructions in place throughout the United States.

Our solutions - such as High-Resolution Aerial Imagery & Video, Insights Roof Reports, and Thermal Imagery Capture - can be requested at the touch of a button and capture is often completed within 48 - 72 hours of the request. The drone data can easily be accessed and shared remotely amongst team members via the DroneBase Client Dashboard, which can help in avoiding potential disruptions in your business.

To find out more about how adopting drone technology can support your organization, especially in these unprecedented times, connect with a member of our sales team.

Tags: Drone Uses Drones
Malek Murison
Malek Murison

Malek Murison is a technology journalist based in London who covers drone industry news and product reviews for DroneLife. He's written features for the Financial Times and works with some of the drone world's most exciting startups.


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