October 2020 Product Release Wrap Up

October 13, 2020

We started DroneDeploy in 2013 with a mission to make drones accessible, productive tools for everyone. And today, in 2020, we’re taking another step – perhaps a leap – toward broadening our solution further. There’s a need for a new tier of end-to-end solution – a complete reality capture solution, inside and out – and we’re here to bring that to you.

DroneDeploy is expanding into the world of digital reconstruction to serve our customers’ ever-evolving needs. To completely reconstruct reality, you need data from all perspectives, not just from the sky looking down, but also from the ground looking up. With DroneDeploy, all with the push of a button, you’ll unlock in-depth insights, at any height, and solve business problems in innovative ways.

For 360 Walkthroughs, you don’t need a drone, just walk your site with a 360 camera and upload the video. We’re incredibly excited about this next step: adding a new perspective to reality capture in DroneDeploy. You can now provide a complete view of what’s happening, inside and out, to get a complete digital perspective of your entire site, and share it across the company.

DroneDeploy's 360 Virtual Walkthrough allows users to utilize any 360 camera to reconstruct a job site.

Sometimes photos and videos aren’t enough; we know you are looking for a complete integrated reality capture solution, with each image located in the right room, easily shareable, easily collectible, and easily comparable. Over the last year, we’ve worked hard to solve these problems, to augment our external reality capture with interiors to produce an even simpler workflow.

When we think about the job site in 2030, it’s easy to imagine indoor data captured by robots on schedules. We’ve been collaborating with Boston Dynamics and Brasfield & Gorrie to develop the prototype for this automated future.

With 360 video support and processing in DroneDeploy, we can now provide full context for onsite decisions. Safety inspections for the entire job site, QA/QC of any point, and continuous progress monitoring are all easily achievable. Interior and exteriors, groundbreak to handover, with all of it in a single platform. This is just the beginning of the possibilities available when integrating interior and exterior data from your job site.

DroneDeploy's 360 Virtual Walkthroughs visualize the path taken by the 360 camera throughout the jobsite.

Learn more about how you can create a virtual walkthrough and have one solution for complete site documentation.

If you are a current customer on Business or Enterprise and would like to join the beta, work directly with your Customer Success Manager or Account Executive.  

360 Walkthrough beta is available for Business and Enterprise plans only.

DroneDeploy is going vertical with our newest flight mode. Vertical Flight is specifically designed specifically to capture facades, building exteriors, and other vertical assets.

DroneDeploy's Vertical Flight allows users to plan and capture data of vertical structures like building facades.

Most of you are familiar with DroneDeploy Mission planning to capture progress media like videos for construction sites, high-resolution orthomosaics for field monitoring, 3D models for asset reconstruction, or photos captured manually for inspections - all in a single mission. But for those who needed detailed models of facades, it was difficult to capture and process the necessary data. Until now.

After flying with DroneDeploy's Vertical Flight, users can upload data to product high-resolution 3D models to conduct facade inspections.

With Vertical Flight, you can easily capture high-resolution imagery of many vertical structures, whether it is a 20-story apartment building, a hospital, or a tower. This comprehensive data capture can potentially save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars on scaffolding, swing stages, or bucket lifts to conduct a facade inspection for a bid or maintenance.

All customers are eligible to nominate themselves for the Vertical Flight beta.

A Focus on User Experience

With every release, we work closely with our community of customers to understand their processes, workflows, and pain points, to ensure the product we build solves the challenges they face every day. This quarter, we’ve upgraded a number of our most commonly used features to streamline the experience, enabling our users to go from data to action exponentially faster.

Data analysis begins with capture, so with each release, we try to make life easier for all of our customers on the ground capturing data. First, compass calibration arrives inside the DroneDeploy app this month, making takeoffs that much quicker and simpler. You’ll now be able to calibrate your drone’s compass without ever leaving the DroneDeploy app.

Users can now zoom in while flying in manual mode with DroneDeploy.

We’ve also added functionality to Manual Flight. To assist in asset inspections, you will now be able to use the camera’s built-in zoom to get a closer look. Autofocus is enabled on the drone’s camera, but you will also be able to tap to focus.

Finally, you can now customize your Return to Home altitudes from the ground or mid-air for improved safety and control. Additionally, we’ll set an RTH altitude that is aware of your flight plan to ensure the drone doesn’t return at a lower altitude than you fly.

Flight Enhancements available to all customers.

We’ve made several upgrades to our elevation analysis tools based on community feedback to help customers keep projects on track and keep everyone accountable in their work.

Users can now upload DXF and LandXML design surfaces into DroneDeploy.

Coming with this release in Earthworks, you can upload DXF and LandXML design surfaces, making it simple to import and visualize your site grade directly from products like Autodesk Civil 3D, AGTEK Gradeworks, and Carlson Precision 3D. Cut/fill analysis has been refined, and we’ve added allowed tolerance, so you can see and quantify precisely where work has been done on-site, and extract exact quantities of earth imported, exported, and moved.

Volume measurements now have a new reference base plane, meaning you can set the exact height of a slab and quantify the cut needed to meet grade. Or perhaps you are filling a pond or a retaining wall and need to see the volume of material you’ll need to fill; now, you can choose that reference elevation and instantly have the answer.

For customers who need to keep track of inventory, quantify site progress, and monitor changing conditions, it’s now easy to import and copy annotations between maps - including the material properties. Whether you’re tracking quantities of gravel or calculate a season’s remaining cattle feed, inventory management and change reporting are now 10x faster.

DroneDeploy distance annotations now support multi-segment lines for elevation profiles.

Now, while viewing in elevation mode, you can always see the elevation of your site at the tip mouse pointer, which is a speedy way to check the depth of a pit or the height of a wall. For inspecting curbs, roads, or measuring cable runs, distance annotations now support multi-segment lines for elevation profiles. We also show your cursor as you move along the line while giving you the vertical height rise along the length of the line profile.

Earthworks Enhancements are available to Business and Enterprise customers.

COVID-19 has significantly increased the value of sharing critical site data remotely to reduce travel and keep non-essential employees offsite. You can now add users in bulk to both your organization and specific projects, making it way easier and faster to get information to the people who need it.

Users can now download videos directly from DroneDeploy.

Additionally, users can now download videos directly from the DroneDeploy interface, making it simple to view or edit video footage on your native computer.

Bulk User Addition is available to Enterprise, Video Download is available to Business and Enterprise customers.

Data Processing with Double the Resolution and Double the Speed

With each release, DroneDeploy’s processing engine keeps getting better. As our customers expand their fleets, standardize operating procedures, and inform decisions across the company, they demand the highest data quality and fastest processing speeds. And we aim to deliver just that.

Point clouds are now twice as dense, and process twice as fast in DroneDeploy.

We’ve re-written significant portions of our photogrammetry pipeline to deliver better quality models with twice the point cloud density, while also increasing speed. Point clouds are now twice as dense as they used to be - it’s becoming difficult to distinguish reality from reconstruction. This density level results in crisper 3D models of thin structures, pipelines, and building edges, making it that much easier to perform inspections remotely.

DroneDeploy Panoramas allow you to instantly transport yourself to a construction site, inspect an asset like an oil pad or substation, or assess damage from above a field.

DroneDeploy panoramas are now processed at 4x the previous resolution (over 130 Megapixels per pano) so that you can immerse yourself in every detail.

With this release, all panos uploaded to DroneDeploy will be processed at 4x the previous resolution (over 130 Megapixels per pano) so that you can immerse yourself in every detail. Loading speeds have also been increased by 10x, and you can now view and interact with 360 panoramas in full resolution on your mobile device.

High-Res Panos are available to Business and Enterprise customers.

One thing we hear from customers time and time again is consistency. You need maps and models to be the same every single time, regardless of the environment in which the data was captured. You don’t have the time to customize settings or train your team on data processing nuances, which is why we’ve released our unified processing mode.

DroneDeploy’s Map Engine employs AI to determine the best processing settings, so you don’t have to. This has resulted in a single processing mode that is consistent, repeatable, and, best of all, lightning-fast. All you have to do is upload your images; let us do the rest.

Unified Processing Mode is available to all paid customers.

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