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Showing most liked content since 01/22/2017 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    I'd like to respond to Joe3223 re the challenges of running a UAS Business.... .....It was supposed to be the greatest thing since the light bulb. I was going to get slammed with business, it was....."a website". However, strictly speaking only for myself, in my experience I'm finding that no matter how sophisticated your web site or clever your SEO expert is, at the end of the day it cannot make personal contact of any kind, provide true traditional customer service or prospect for new business. Unless one thoroughly understands html codes, web crawling, SEO, directory listings and etc., one will always be held hostage by an I. T. employee, notwithstanding the fact, that unless the service one hires is completely trustworthy, there seems to be no way to vet the info they are submitting re the site analytics and performance....it's all in cyberspace and if it's not working out....there's always some cyber rhetoric as to why. For the record, my site does locally occupy the number one google listing slot. And the web team that works on it has impeccable credentials. According to Google analytics we got a 1000 hits last month (August). But no calls. Not one. We can discuss cosmetics, content, SEO and the like but its becoming abundantly clear to me, that "Old School" prospecting and personal contact is the most formidable way to capture new business. Every client we have landed thus far I have literally gone out to a construction site (on a Sunday), shot aerial footage, put together a report consisting of both video and stills, researched how to contact the upper level management of the construction company and sent said report (via drop box) to any exec that may be connected to the project with follow ups until I get some kind of a response, to include going back to the site to find the project manager and follow up or gain more insight as to how to land this elephant. Now that approach can be dangerous. When I go out on a prospecting Safari if you can bag the elephant you can eat for quite some time but sometimes it can land on you when it falls. As in the case of the prospect responding positively but needing a service I can't provide like 3D imaging or thermal searches. Nothing feels worse then having to retreat locked and loaded, knowing the elephant is right there for your best shot. Yes, the "Old School" way is labor intensive and the research can be tedious but the results have been undeniable (for us). In my humble opinion, web sites are a great advertising vehicle but the car can't drive itself. I had to personally put the wrench work in and drive it to the finish line myself. Being "Old School", business 101 always dictated that businesses succeed by employing principles that have proven successful over the test of time. I haven't seen a web site that can take the place of personal contact, prospecting or servicing. If Joe3223 or anyone out there can share some insight and help me cast off my ignorance re the above, I sure would like to hear from ya....I'd certainly appreciate a better way to work smarter and not harder....
  2. 5 points
    We had a mission in downtown Los Angeles and I thought I'd share some stills.
  3. 5 points
    Uploading these really changes the color.
  4. 5 points
    We flew two missions last year in Coastal Trident, a law enforcement exercise to test port security for homeland defense. The first is a bomb on a boat and our ability to detect and pursue. The second was integrating one of our drones into first responders command and control and detecting nuclear material on a large ship. Both missions were successful.
  5. 5 points
    Another untouched resource (and a tax deduction) is to do 2D/3D/short video of churches. You can look up churches in your area and also the state church/conventions/synods/county associations, etc. Send them several samples of your work (screen shots of a 2D/3D, close ups of church roof damage, asphalt parking lots, gutters, etc. and then charge a ridiculous amount ($80-$120) and when you send them the invoice show the going rate of what you normally charge (our case was $485) and then show the cost to them ($120) and take the difference as a donation/benevolence deduction. At 10 churches per county (and depending on where you are you can get 10 - 30 churches per county [sometimes per city]), @ $120 per job, for 80 counties = $96,000. So there is business out and about. You just need to find your niche.
  6. 4 points
    Hi everyone, I've created about 900 tracks of music and sound effects that you can freely use in your videos. It's all original...all my own work. All I ask is to be attributed in the video as described on my homepage: http://soundimage.org/ I'm a big fan of drone videos so it's always a treat for me to hear my music in them. Please feel free to share links if you happen to use some of my tracks...I sincerely hope they are helpful! All the best, Eric
  7. 4 points
    Aloha community, Today, I'm sharing a few images that I'm rather proud of, created by a technique I've been practicing for several months now. Each image you see is comprised of anywhere between 10 to 25 individual photos, merged together like a jigsaw puzzle. In doing this, I'm able to create high resolution images of panoramic scenes that would not fit in a single exposure. These will print clearly up to around 5-8ft on the long edge, depending upon the image. They vary between 20-100mp. All shot on a Phantom 4 Mahalo for viewing, looking forward to feedback and constructive critique! 1 2 3 4
  8. 4 points
    Hi guys! Short film of an abandoned factory explore - used the drone inside for a few shots along with the train-yard stuff. Thanks for watching!
  9. 4 points
    Couldn't resist grabbing a pano the other day on my way home. I never tire of this scene, and conditions were just right for it. Enjoy!
  10. 4 points
    Had a winter storm come through overnight and give us just a bit of wet snow and some dramatic morning skies. Still getting the hang of working with raw images from my P4Pro, but it sure is fun!
  11. 4 points
    One of my favorite photos, Laguna Salada de Torrevieja in Spain. No editing required. The algae and salt turns the water a pink hue. Shot with a Phantom 4 Pro and I used a Polar Pro ND8 filter.
  12. 4 points
    Greetings, Folks. Just got a Phantom Pro +, learning to fly it and starting to study for the 107 test. Pretty daunting. Interested in Cinematograpy, I'm an experienced aerials cameraman, flown with people you know, Alan. Paul Barth and Al Guthery in Florida, and the Tamboros in LA.
  13. 4 points
    Looks like they changed the restrictions on the number of pictures you can post in a thread. Thanks Alan, I will certainly try not to abuse it. This is actually the subject of our survey. Can't say much about it, but it came out really well.
  14. 4 points
    Aloha UAV'ers! I'm new to this online community, and thought I'd introduce myself, and share a piece of recent work to get started. My name is Jonathon, owner of JBR LIFE Photography, located on the beautiful island of Maui. Primarily, I shoot real estate, although our company also specializes in family beach portrait shoots and the occasional wedding, which we contract out to other photographers. I keep the real estate and commercial media projects for myself The video I'm sharing today is a high-end property located on the south shore. These units sell for around $2-2.5M, which is not really an astronomical figure on this island, but higher than my personal home budget none the less. lol The camera line-up: Canon 7D mkII, Phantom 4, iphone 7+ (yep...4k vid) & GoPro Hero 5. Anyhow, I appreciate your time and views, and look forward to any feedback y'all have to give. All constructive critique is welcome too! Warmest Mahalo, Jonathon
  15. 4 points
    Hi All, I wrote my first piece for DRONELIFE and had to name UAV Coach as one of the best communities. I'm really enjoying the discussions here and I hope more people catch on. Here are some others I recommend, as well. http://dronelife.com/2017/06/05/a-guide-to-the-top-drone-forums-and-facebook-groups/
  16. 4 points
    Welcome to the Republic of California, where the inmates are running the asylum and they aren't happy unless they're telling everyone else how to live.
  17. 4 points
    A smidgen is 10 smirchs, a smirch is 10 tads, A tad is 10 frog hairs. Haven't you ever hear of the hillbilly metric system?
  18. 4 points
    Hi - I have been involved with production and copyright since the mid-70s. Copyright is an old model, it was developed to protect sheet music, films and other things that had recurring value. Very often the copyright holder was also the promoter - ie he didn't make a dime unless he sold tickets or whatever. It evolved with photography - go negotiate with Corbis or Getty and you will see how specific it can get. Print, billboard, 1 month, one year, unlimited, US, worldwide and on. But keep in mind that is a picture that is done and probably been approved internally. In many cases it is cheaper or faster to just buy the image you need and get on with the day. This may not be popular but my advice with things like real estate is to sell an all-rights package and be done with it. It is much easier to negotiate - you pay me and do what you want - there are not forms to fill out and there is no enforcement. Not even Getty and Corbis try to enforce anymore. Unless you are extremely professional and dealing with sophisticated clients you will blow more deals than you close. Read the rest of these posts - cheaper, faster. And you are going to tell that customer that he has to pay you extra every time he wants to use an image? I don't think so. The exception where negotiation would be expected is an advertising campaign where you might want to keep the rights to the Miami skyline at 6am because you can resell it later. And where the agency would pay you based on use. The other exception where you might want to keep the copyright is something that has residual value that can be resold. You can keep the copyright and give the clients all the rights they need for their project. Don't forget you then have to complete the copyright process otherwise you don't have a chance. But stuff that is specific to a company or business that has no residual value, give them the rights and go do another project. There are too many people out there who will give it away to stand on principal for something that is basically worthless to anyone but the original client.
  19. 4 points
    Hi Everyone, In the effort to keep the spammers at bay, I'd like to suggest, if possible, to click the "Report post" button next to the spammers name. This will send an email notice to the admins/moderators of the forum who can limit the activity or ban the individual if needed. Thanks!
  20. 4 points
    I'll add my 2 cents worth: I've done quite a few missions so far for Drone Base. I started with some basic Pano's that didn't have a guaranteed payout for several reasons: I wanted to get a feel for where a drone needs to be to get the shots they wanted. I need to build flight hours for legitimate jobs. I want to get more comfortable flying my Phantom in different locations. I have implemented my own Standard Operating Procedures and want to become efficient in following these so I'm not spending a ton of time planning a 15 minute job. I've flown 8 Pano's and received payment for 2. Doing this on the side means I am not that concerned about how much they pay, rather the experience and confidence gained. This has led to them contacting me for several client missions. They've asked me to fly 4 client missions. One was canceled a few days prior to my flight by their client. Another ended up being in Class C surface airspace and the client couldn't wait for FAA approval after I pointed its location out to them. The other 2 for which I did fly, I got paid for. As I gain more experience, I'll likely fly less Pano's - mostly to keep myself and flights skills fresh. I will add that several Pano's I uploaded resulted in their tool being unable to stitch together the Pano. Light level and time of day is very critical to determining if these can be done or not. So in the winter, I have a very narrow time of day when I can fly these Pano's to get optimal results. Also, uploads are painfully slow and you can only upload one job at a time. So when I go out and fly several Pano's, I'll upload one batch at a time while I do other stuff around the house.
  21. 4 points
    Hi all, just got a written response back from Drone Base, with their permission to publish. See below! -- 1. We completely understand the concerns of the "potential" to get paid on Pano Missions. This is a new business model and we're working with customers up and down the real estate stack (agent/broker, owners, and data services companies). We've had some tremendous success so far in the first month of launch with thousands of Panos being completed with hundreds of distinct pilots getting paid. We're getting very creative in our sales + marketing channels and on the other side of the coin, how and what we're offering. Prices have varied bc it can come down to a quick negotiation of the assets. End of day, we'd rather the pilot get something vs nothing if we stick to a price point and the buyer is unwilling to budge. But then again, I'm also seeing some local pilots on Thumbtack or other drone marketplaces selling full shot lists and editing for $75-100 flat rates. Its definitely a fast moving industry, especially in the real estate vertical. Our pilots on average are taking about 10-15 min of flight time to complete these Pano Missions. No heavy editing required. 2. A lot of our pilots only want Client Missions (the ones that have guaranteed payments). For now, we only notify pilots about Client Missions when they are geo-located close to the property. So a pilot won't see any Client Missions until they get the notification. Trust us, we wish our map was full of client missions vs pano missions. This leads me to #3 below: 3. We recently were invited to our investor DJI Airworks Enterprise event last week, and the overarching theme was a focus on 2017 and if/when the large enterprise customers will finally deploy drones and/or have a need for a national service partner. These large enterprises have assets all over the country/world and can usually be performed on spec (ex. cell towers, etc). It'll be interesting to see if these enterprise customers will deploy because the drones & outputs/analytics must be magnitudes better vs business-as-usual (sending a person in a bucket truck up for inspection or on a roof for an insurance claim). Magnitudes better can mean a number of things from being cheaper, better data, safer, etc. 4. For privacy, the drone actually isn't circling their property or supposed to be even over the property. We understand pilots concerns and get that some may not want to fly. That's totally fine and there are no costs to be on our platform. We have our FAQ and video that explains that you are shooting in front of the property, on public ground. For this particular poster, we've actually had a ton of traction in the LA area. We obviously stay off the forums as much as possible, but we completely know that this is probably one of the biggest concerns. We've talked with DJI about our biz model and they are very excited that someone like us, is building out a platform for pilots. We put a lot of thought into this, and we know we're not privacy experts at the local level. Thats why we try and be as transparent in our FAQ about 1) following FAA guidelines and 2) local laws, etc. We firmly believe in safety as our number one operating principle and there are thousands of pilots that have done both Client and Pano missions who an speak highly of us. 5. Also for privacy, even when pilots do have approval to shoot a property, we've seen issues with peripheral properties being in frame that never provide permission. Its just the nature of photography in general. We're not asking for pilots to fly over peoples homes for Pano Missions. Hence, front of property, and then back off to take the Pano. We also mention the idea of Google Street View. These google cars are taking 360 images of cities + streets. We liken it to this. There is no permission because its not needed. Imagine if a family is walking down the street, pulls out their iphone to take a "kodak moment" picture, but has to ask permission of surrounding business or homes because the are in frame. 6. We also understand there is a large public perception of drones and how a few rogue pilots can ruin it for the industry. We're trying our best to continually update our data and remove panos that have bad addresses. Sometimes, we get pilots emailing us that properties are off market now. Thats fine, but we're also selling off market data to data services companies. We're seeing pilots actually email us with new properties that aren't on our map, so that's been pretty amazing. 7. Having DJI as a 2x investor in us has been amazing and we're pushing for more stuff with them that will trickle down into the pilots on our platform. Again, our platform and business model is continually evolving and thats just the nature of the game in startup land. We're a small and nimble team and we're continually trying to improve both the pilot and customer experience.
  22. 4 points
    Pricing, to a very large extent, will depend on the price of the properties you're shooting. A real estate agent will be a lot more likely to spend marketing money on a multi million dollar estate than a $250 K tract home. If you're just starting out I'd suggest speaking to one or more local agents - preferably agents who specialize in large, high end properties. I find that I get a lot more requests for still images than video because the websites local agents use most, the MLS & realtor.com, do not host video, though that may be different in your area. It's also important for you to understand what advantages aerial photography brings to real estate marketing. Basically there's no reason to do aerials for an unassuming Cape Cod on a a quarter acre lot. I'm attaching conventional and aerial pictures of a nice colonial I shot last fall that, I think, show the advantage of aerial photography. Having said all that I'll tell you that I charge $250 for aerial still photography, $150 if I'm also doing conventional photography as I save travel time.I charge by the day for video work. $400 for a half day, $750 for a full day. Post production is much harder for video, at least for me. I wish I could charge more, but I think I'm pretty close to what the market will bear.
  23. 3 points
    Once again you give us all reasons to hate you. Its not enough that you live in this incredible place but then you rub our faces in it by producing videos that probably make it look better than it is. Wish I was there..
  24. 3 points
    You see, I'm no stranger to a baked potato so when I engage my core that's then the jello starts...
  25. 3 points
    Cool truck! But I can hear the GPS now -- "recalculating... do a U-turn in 180' turn left on there's no way your going to make it." Nice video.
  26. 3 points
    This drone is amazing. Its a small quad with 5" props that has a 6-axis gimbal, can carry a Canon 7D for about 45 minutes. Plus the batteries only take about 10 minutes to charge and cost $10!
  27. 3 points
    This was posted in here previously, but wanted a dedicated thread I could sticky as I keep coming back here looking for this. http://dronecenter.bard.edu/state-and-local-drone-laws/ If you know of other good collections for local drone laws or ordinances that have been enacted that are NOT in the above link, please add another comment to the thread with as much info as possible.
  28. 3 points
    Aloha, I wanted to share the most recent property video from a house that I really loved. This piece was shot almost entirely on a P4. Only the zoomed in view shot was calories with a DSLR. Mahalo for viewing!
  29. 3 points
    As long as you are not flying for profit (commercially) and are flying under 336 rules (AMA) you are not required to file a NOTAM. You need to have a COA in order to file to my understanding (which may or may not be correct). I always call the tower to inform them that I am flying 15 minutes prior to takeoff, and while this is not necessary it is in accordance with a deal we struck when I began flying. You might contact the local airport manager and meet with him face to face and see how he wants to handle it. It could be something as simple as a letter of agreement or just a call to the tower (or no contact at all in some cases). At least give him/her the option and you should not have any problems.
  30. 3 points
    How to Price Your Drone Mapping Services might provide some a useful advice.
  31. 3 points
    There are more threads with the topic embedded but this will get you started. ESRI's Drone2Map was based off of the Pix4Dmapper software but they are going native and the next version is supposed to be all their own. simActive's Correlator3D has some unique hardware requirements but it is some slick software if you have a GPU that will run it. The GPU needs to be OpenGL and OpenCL compliant, and not that many high-end GPUs fit that bill.
  32. 3 points
    Here's my most recent effort at producing a property video. I hope you enjoy.
  33. 3 points
    Longer shot of Downtown.
  34. 3 points
    My friend Lauren, who regularly kicks but at Drone360, wrote a great piece about a little-known rule. If you're working on the farm, you want to read this. http://drone360mag.com/rules-regulations/2017/06/part-137-agricultural-aircraft-the-drone-certification-youve-never-heard-of#.WULTFyeruGA.facebook
  35. 3 points
    Calling all of the city halls in my perspective work areas to verify there are no other cities with a drone ordinance so I don't run into another issue. The city of El Segundo, ca gave me some weird answers that didn't make sense. Drove down to their city hall, I ended up in front of the city business guy. He had a lot of questions for me as well. Turns out he regards me as a drone expert (don't know about that) and wants me to come speak in front of their city council meeting so that I can educate the body with insight. My fear is that I'll say something that triggers more regulation on our already overly regulated industry. Fingers crossed!
  36. 3 points
    This can become a hottly debated subject. Initially Airmap was a website where local business owners could pay a fee to restrict airspace around their businesses. Then they partnered with DJI to become part of their implementation of GEO fencing. If a smartphone app can provide better situational awareness for drone operators as long as its accurate that's great. If it becomes a trusted source of information and you pay for that service, that's the operators choice. But if drone manufacturers make this technology mandatory then they become a regulatory agency and they aren't authorized to do that. You are the PIC, you need to take any and all relevant sources of information into account when making your decision to fly. But you probably shouldn't rely solely on a cell phone app.
  37. 3 points
    Hey everyone, I just wanted to say that I appreciate all of the feedback. Ultimately, I decided to pass on the job as it was way too difficult to set out a clear plan to my client. Thanks for sharing this. I have looked through this before and there is literally nothing written here about drones. I really wish there was a clear resource put out from New York City about how to fly for commercials, films, and television legally. My first experience using this forum was pretty great. Thanks everyone who took the time to help!
  38. 3 points
    Drone Deploy is fine if you are not planning on using GCPs and you don't want to mess with learning the software. Basically, they do all the processing for you and a little cleanup of the 3D aspect. The pricing isn't bad as a temporary solution for a full package sans GCPs at around $3000.00 a year. You have a lot more control over your projects with Pix4D both up front in establishing GCPs and checkpoints and in the final product including a lot of additional outputs like contour lines, DSMs, DTMs, point clouds, ect...For this, you do have the additional task of learning how to use the software but you also have the ability to spend a lot of time on the back end cleaning up your project data to make it more attractive. There are a lot of pricing options; we went with a perpetual license for $8700.00 with a ~$900.00 per year maintenance fee. Over a five year lifespan, it was a little more expensive BUT it runs on my workstation under an OpenGL environment without any need to upgrade. You can also look at Correlator3D by Symactive which I had really high hopes for but the hardware requirements and our purchasing bureaucracy dashed those hopes. Over a five year lifespan it is actually cheaper (~&2000.00 cheaper) even taking into account that I had to buy yet another GPU that would run it (FirePro W7100 or W9100) that operates under an OpenCL environment. One drawback is that the available coordinates systems you can choose between to run your projects under is pretty limited but I'm sure you can script that and resolve that issue. Bottom line is Drone Deploy is good for casual use without much accuracy unless you have a lot of extra cash to spend on adding GCPs to each map (we produce at least 200-1500 map sets of various projects through a fiscal year). Otherwise, you need to dole out a little more money up front and learn how to use the software (or hire a photogrammetrist).
  39. 3 points
    Some interesting items from FAA here https://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2017/media/MayJun2017.pdf
  40. 3 points
    Hey @Up Sonder! Love this question. This is something we grapple with frequently at AeroVista Drone Academy. How does one measure experience for a drone pilot? Especially with varying and complex mission profiles (Construction mapping vs. Thermography, ETC. ) This question is especially pertinent when we train pilots on the Public Safety side, because not only does a pilot have to be experienced, but they have to maintain proficiency! A 500hr pilot who hasn't flown in 6 months has plenty of experience, but over time skills get rusty. This is why the FAA requires 90 day currency for manned pilots to carry passengers, and biannual flight reviews to keep a pilot's certificate active. So here's my opinion, which is entirely based upon my experience instructing drone pilots of all backgrounds from former airline pilots getting into the unmanned world, and those with zero aviation background staring totally green. First, let's define "experienced" What I would consider an "experienced" drone pilot is one that I would trust flying under my authorizations, waivers and insurance without creating significant spikes in my blood pressure. This is someone who's had enough flight hours to see some emergencies, bad weather and complicated airspace. This is someone who's encountered adversity and demonstrated their ability to sort it and keep flying safely. They don't need to be Chuck Yeager, but they need to be independent, confident, and safe. An "experienced" and "flight ready" drone pilot has logged between 100 and 150 total flight hours, with at least 3 hours in the preceding 90 days, and 10 hours "on type" (on the make and model they intend to fly) Why so rigorous? With very few instructional standards, and the constant progression of automation technologies, the role of PIC becomes less and less about physically flying the Aircraft. This is a real double-edged sword for the student drone pilot. Usually, when someone learns a skill, they follow the following progression, which can be described by the following thoughts: Unconscious Incompetence. "PSSSH this is EASY! I'll master this overnight" (Don't know what you don't know) Conscious Incompetence. "Woah, okay. I now know how much I don't know" Conscious Competence. "I can do this, if i focus on it" Unconscious Competence. "I can do this without thinking about it" This progression applies to almost anything. Learning to fly, learning to drive, even learning a musical instrument. The problem is, in order to progress, a learner must first be confronted with the fact that they don't know what they don't know. When I learned to fly an airplane, this became very apparent very fast. The problem with cheaper and more available automation, is it allows new pilots to become somewhat successful (IE, not break anything for a while) before they are confronted by their own lack of proficiency) When I was a kid, radio controlled helicopters had little to no automation. I bought one, thinking it would be easy to fly. It ended up looking like This and I was immediately confronted by just how little I knew. Necessity is the impetus to learning. if you don't feel you NEED to know something, you WON'T learn it. Over time, a pilot builds confidence. If that confidence building in't peppered with minor emergencies and uncomfortable situations. That confidence turns to complacency and in aviation, Complacency Kills. If I where to ask you, "Which group of pilots are most likely to crash" you'd probably say, "Student Pilots, because they have the least experience!" but you'd be wrong. In fact, the AOPA's Nall Report on aviation accidents, lists low time Private Pilots as the most likely to cause accidents. nearly half the accidents reported where caused by Private Pilots. But why does that happen? They have certificates so shouldn't they know more, and therefore be safer than than the students? Here's the problem: They get cocky. Just like the 16-year-old kid with a brand new driver's license, they've been through all the training they've been out on the road and they think they know everything there is to know. Until they get confronted by their lack of proficiency. Or in my case when I was 16, my neighbors mailbox. So What does all this mean for drone pilots? As helpful as automated modes are (secretly, I love flying the DJI birds in P-GPS) they can cause the really insidious problem of brushing a pilot's lack of skill under the rug. Essentially allowing them to build hours, without building experience. This building of hours in turn causes vastly increasing confidence causes pilots to feel comfortable cutting corners, skipping steps, and flying "on the edge" Problem is, all that shiny new obstacle avoidance and automation only works well under perfect conditions. Unfortunately, the real world is filled with bad GPS reception, high winds and dark skies and often times those systems fail. As a result, with no substantive airmanship skills to fall back on, drone pilots crash. with little guidance from the FAA as to how to train pilots beyond 107, it's incumbent on us in the industry to set the expectations and training standards for tomorrow's pilots. While it's obviously not of the same risk profile as a manned aircraft, no serious industrial user can afford to have pilots ditching Phantoms after a magnetometer failure, or having CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) losses on construction sites with tall cranes. It's simply not enough for a pilot to have just flown a certain number of hours. Its paramount that they can demonstrate proficiency and recency along with experience. We as an industry have the opportunity to be the safest sector of aviation. Let's do it!
  41. 3 points
    Great feedback @Up Sonder and @eColumbia99. Wholeheartedly agree that respect is very important in a community forum like this. New designs / forum threads going live in the next 2-3 weeks!
  42. 3 points
    Hey everyone, Here where I work we don't take the drone into too much consideration when it comes the quality of the products that we can provide, granted our sUAS is very high end. We have only been using a fixed wing aircraft made by Trimble that is specifically designed for surveying. We know that the quality of our products depends on how it is processed and gathered. We use survey grade GNSS receivers or conventional total stations to set out GCPS and to observe the more critical areas of a survey when it comes to elevation, especially when it needs to match some existing grade somewhere. The camera onboard is also very high quality, not just a "UHD Camera". We use the Trimble UX5 HP which logs a static GNSS vector as it flies and must be run with a local static base station logging it's own Data. Trimble claims that their processing Software (TBC) paired with this particular drone eliminates the need for GCPs through the use of Post Processed Kinematic methods that they derived. Trimble is well known to the surveying field to be high end surveying equipment and is probably blindly trusted when they make these statements. We, however have found through our own experiments that it is simply not true. I have come across horizontal differences of more than a foot and vertically even more when comparing a processed flight with survey grade GCPs to one without them. This, a survey grade company (Trimble), still doesn't yield the accuracy needed to rely on for any type of design without the use of survey grade GNSS receivers and the knowledge to understand the shortcomings of the photogrammetry performed. This, in my mind does not bode well for new services such as PX4d to be reliable for survey grade data yielded from a point cloud they generate. I agree that they can take a point cloud and make it useful but to rely on it for photogrammetry scares me. We cautiously use TBC and understand that in order for a survey to receive our stamp that it must be controlled well. We not only use our system for Topographic surveys but for Alta surveys as well as supplemental data. Deriving the feature line work and most of the surface (if requested) is done along with our survey technicians. It is clear to me that the data that can be gathered by sUAS can be very accurate if processed correctly, but that it does not eliminate the need for ground work, nor the need for a licensed surveyor to produce and examine the data. I agree with R Martin above that surveying is still a very profitable profession to enter, having just entered it myself as a 24 year old LSIT. The need for surveyors is growing very quickly as well in New Mexico. Someone said above that it would be foolish not to get into the newest technology available as a surveyor and I couldn't agree more. Surveyors for the most part are not young people and do not like to have to learn to work with new technology. That is where we young surveyors can help the previous generation while they help us to understand how to determine a boundary, and how to use all of the equipment they have been accustomed to. The Idea of GNSS was rejected fairly widely and thought of only as a fad, those that believed this were missing out on increasing profitability in a lot of projects. Don't let this technology pass you up as a fad. It is a great tool that we use frequently and it will only continue to grow and improve. Sorry if I seemed to jump around. -Kyle
  43. 3 points
    Hello All, First thing first, my apologize for not responding sooner. I have had my head down working with our engineers on some of your feedback you provide as well as on the product in general. Secondly, will anyone of you be attending Xponential (May 8-11th) this year in Dallas? If so, I will be there and would like to invite any of you to come by and see the current product. We (I will provide the company info in a direct PM if you are interested) are having an invite-only preview of our new mapping product at AUVSI/XPonential. I'd like to show it, and get feedback it from experts like yourselves. I will upload some example images from the software shortly. V/R,
  44. 3 points
    Hi I'm Michael Grancell. Licensed sUAS pilot. I've been flying for some years and love it. I go by the handle "Skyanchor". I work for a Network TV station in Philadelphia, News department, and brought sUAS's into the station. Enjoy everyday and check out the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee!! We make the best "Shine".
  45. 3 points
    We were part of several scientific research projects last year. They are a lot of fun but the environments in which the drones were deployed really test both the drones capabilities and the operators endurance. Unfortunatley the footage of the actual research is restricted. We don't want to post footage that might steal the thunder of their research. So most of this footage is behind the scenes. Also in Costa Rica I was fortunate to get to take my family but you get a sense of the environments we were working in. In Costa Rica it was about 90 degrees with the highest humidity I've ever experienced. We had to acclimatize all of our equipment for two days before we could even think about using it. All of he aerial footage in this video was shot with the AUTEL X-Star Premium. That drone was a trooper, it was much less temperamental that the GH4 we used for the actual research. The DJI P3P didn't work at all. Unfortunately we can't share much of the actual whale footage. It's probably some of the best whale footage I've ever seen. There's a little in this video.
  46. 3 points
    @Kyle@NWDW - I'll give you a quick rundown of what I do, this is with the caveat that I am creating a ton of video and still assets and am a firm believer that if I don't 3 copies of my data I don't truly have it backed up (3-2-1 principle below) this is part of my OCD after decades of system engineer work. All of my work comes off the various media it captured on (RedMags, CineSSD, SD card, Cfast, codex, etc) and goes directly onto my attached storage, this is an 18TB direct attached storage. Depending on what I am working on some of that makes it's way into various local folders and starts replicating across the LAN to a large 48TB Network attached storage. I am generally keeping about a quarters worth of work on my local drive (assets I know I am finished with get moved off earlier) then moved off to another offline disk (which is kept at a different location) and replicated to the large NAS. That NAS (it is a QNAP system) is replicating off to Amazon's glacial storage, for long term storage. Luckily I have never had to retrieve from here but this is my third copy and likely my safest. If I need to retrieve from it (I have for testing) I make a request, then hours later can start that transfer and am charged for that. The storage itself is very cheap, cost can get high with retrieval. This seems like overkill to some, but I have never had a client file that I needed later in the year not be available, never lost anything. For sharing directly with clients I will either give them assets on media or deliver through Vimeo, Dropbox or WeTransfer
  47. 3 points
    Hi everyone - I haven't been real active on this forum but I thought I would weigh in with what I do in regard to licensing, rights, charging etc. I'll try to make this a quick (I am not know for this!), succinct read. I license / sell use of my imagery in a couple of different ways. Almost always, regardless of the deal I own the imagery and am free to use it as I please. There are a few exceptions to this, let's start there. 1) Cases where I don't end up owning my imagery - Work for hire, very high price commercial jobs. This has happened a number of times in my still work when working for a major brand. In those cases the imagery that I created wouldn't have had recurring commercial value to me as it contained trademarked material. In these case I had a very high day rate, did my shooting, in some instances I edited and delivered in others I shot and delivered directly. In nearly all the cases I was able to show the work when proposing new work to clients but where I wasn't I could point to work and list clients like "Brands include, BofA, Crowdstrike, Nike, etc" 2) Someone mentioned flat rate - about half the work I do is architectural work. Both with traditional cameras and with aerial systems. Almost all of this is billed as a daily rate, plus all expenses and I give the client a direct use license that they and the direct tenants can use. The client knows that they can use the imagery for all their needs, forever, and I also can use the imagery or allow others to as needed. I have a handful of clients that I do this with and I prefer this. First my client knows that I am not coming to them to hassle over licensing (I don't have time for that), they pay a day rate that allows me make enough that I really only need to work a handful or two of days a year and they get exactly what they need. For these clients though, they have been with my for multiple years and I know that typically they are going to hire me for well into six figures of billable work a year. I charge them a day rate, travel, food, production, travel time, etc. They are really good size productions. 3) Licensing - I try to stay away from this except that I have had a number of images, sold through an agent to large travel brands that have either taken images I have my agent representing or commissioned. They have a strict license on usage and duration (and a number of other factors) and they pay for that particular use. Typically this image cannot (or similar images in a series) be used in a commercial use by me or any other clients during this licensed use. I first negotiated something like this on my own, it went well, no problems, I was happy with the fees, then I had an airline a number of years ago that had a new route from one side of the world to another and they wanted to use an image of mine. I went through an agent and that figured was 10X what I previously charged. This business is increasingly rare, but over the course of years has been a good piece of income. 4) Stock / Agencies - this has been terrible. over 10 years I have probably made somewhere in the range of $10k from ALL stock / microstock agencies. The prices have gone from multiple dollars / image / download to multiple cents. There are people that are doing well and they are putting up 10k+ images / year (or month for some) and are dedicated to it. If I was going to try and make it off stock I would get into a platform like offset where I am dealing more with companies in scenario 4 above. One this to be cautious of @Christopher Korody up above stated "Not even Getty and Corbis try to enforce anymore" this isn't true, they do. All the time, they have really sophisticated methods that have gone way beyond simple hashing and they enforce use a lot. Enforcement for them is much more lucrative than selling is. With enforcement they look for punitive damages and if you have received a letter from them then you have seen this. But that's simple, don't steal work. Hopefully this helps someone with some thoughts! Bill Nichols
  48. 3 points
    Thanks Steve, very helpful page. I encourage any UAV pilot to read the actual statues as websites can be misleading. Better yet, call the cops if unsure. Arizona SB 1449 - (enacted May 11, 2016) Prohibits certain operations of UAS, including operation in violation of FAA regulations and operation that interferes with first responders. The law prohibits operating near, or using UAS to take images of, a critical facility. Misleading. The actual statute says" B. It is unlawful for a person to operate or use an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system to intentionally photograph or loiter over or near a critical facility in the furtherance of any criminal offense. 3. "Critical facility" means any of the following: (a) A petroleum or alumina refinery. (b) A petroleum, chemical or rubber production, transportation, storage or processing facility. (c) A chemical manufacturing facility. (d) A water or wastewater treatment facility and water development, distribution or conveyance system, including a dam. (e) An electric generation facility, as defined in section 42‑14156, and any associated substation or switchyard. (f) An electrical transmission or distribution substation. (g) An electrical transmission line of at least sixty-nine thousand volts. (h) An electronic communication station or tower. (i) An energy control center. (j) A distribution operating center. (k) A facility that transfers or distributes natural gas, including a compressor station, regulator station, city gate station or pressure limiting station or a liquefied natural gas facility or supplier tap facility.
  49. 3 points
    I've tested Autodesk Recap 360 with dissapointing results and Pix4D with fairly satisfactory results. I recently saw a demo of Bentley's ContextCapture tool which looks even more promising for several reasons. While I work for a civil engineering design firm and don't typically deal with survey engineers tasks, we are looking to sUAS to solve a few problems and enhance other services we currently offer. Summary in no particular order: Recap360: Limited support for current camera profiles in use on major pro-consumer drones. Really poor mesh quality for scenes that did manage to process. Seemed to do well processing point clouds generated by pix4d for use in Civil 3D Pix4D: Seems to have all the camera profiles in use on drones and able to compute them Able to compensate for rolling shutter Generally, a fairly high resolution point clouds and mesh Good support for working with common coordinate systems we use in CAD applications Long process times which sometimes fail and need to start over again - really frustrating Cloud processing is nice, usually is able to process jobs that failed on my local system and faster No ability to split up a job into regions - this would likely allow projects to finish rather than crash out No ability to assign one job to multiple computers on a network - something that would be extremely advantageous for the size of projects we work on ContextCapture: Seems to have all the camera profiles in use on drones and able to compute them Able to compensate for rolling shutter Generally, a fairly high resolution point clouds and mesh Good support for working with common coordinate systems we use in CAD applications Ability to split up a job into regions Ability to assign one job to multiple computers on a network - however the cost for this option was staggering (close to 40k for a single license), we would need to be a full surveying company to find this price point something we could work with
  50. 3 points
    Hey guys, I thought I might chime in here. I'm a land surveyor in Idaho, USA, and hold a degree in Geomatics. I am in the process of starting a UAS Department for my current employer which is a Land Surveying, Engineering, and Landscape Architecture firm. My goal is to provide UAS ground data that a licensed land surveyor will feel comfortable signing and stamping. This is the final goal for many of you looking to provide "survey grade" ground data. But, let me tell you, its not as easy as just using centimeter grade GPS or a 1 second Total stations to set GCP's. A huge part of our job is to go collect ground data that will eventually be used to create a Existing Grade (EG) surface for engineers to use as their base surface to design from. Its the surveyors job to ensure that the ground data is accurate and precise (there is a difference). Think of it as shooting arrows at a target. Precisions is when all of your arrows are in a tight cluster, good grouping, but the grouping is a foot from the center of the target. Accuracy is when the grouping is tight & hitting the center of the target. That's what you're looking for or else a surveyor will not sign it, thus not making its way to an engineers desk for design. The way to ensure that your data is good is to have checks... lots of checks. UAS work will not replace ground shots taken by a surveyor, but it can dramatically reduce the number of shots they need to take. One thing that is important to keep in mind when planning a UAS project for a survey or an engineer is to have the surveyor at your disposal and at your direction when you are flying. The only way to assure the surveyor that your data is sub-centimeter (or damn close) is to have survey data to compare to. Its my theology that the surveyor needs to know when the new design will be tieing into existing conditions and focus his work in these areas to insure that the tie-in areas are as accurate as possible. This will most likely be curb, gutter, sidewalk, and utilities, manholes especially because they will need invert data on all manholes. This means that they need a dead nuts elevation on the lids to calculate inverts. So if you can convince them that the ground data that you are providing is within a tenth in the x, y, & z of their data, the likelihood that they will adopt your product is much higher. Survey grade GCP's is required. Using the coordinate system the surveyor is using is required. Comparing your data against their ground data is required. Providing a standard deviation between their data and your data is recommended (surveyors like numbers) or some sort of average variance between the two sets of data. I hope this explanation is helpful. If you would like more info on this, please feel free to get ahold of me. I'm more than willing to spread the knowledge of my profession with any and all. dan@allproaerial.com Thanks guys!