Jazee

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Jazee last won the day on December 19 2018

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  1. So I was curious about Dronebase and a search here brings up this thread so I'll rekindle it a bit. I noticed on their site they state back in October they stopped doing Gerry images missions. Was anyone or does anyone know anyone that was getting a significant number of Getty images missions from Dronebase prior? Did the end of the relationship cause a big decrease in possible jobs? They also state on their website they pay $70 for "Insurance Jobs" I take that to be roof inspections. It seems from the couple of really big Hurricanes in the South/Southeast over the last year or two, there was a flood of requests for drone services for roof inspections. I'm guessing Dronebase and a few other companies possibly capitalized on this. But the demand is highly variable based on storms (not that there's no demand at all when there hasn't been a storm.) But talking to a few pilots I got the sense that a bunch of pilots experienced the surge but it just exaggerated pilot expectations for future work of this type. Has Dronebase's Insurance Jobs been growing quick, steady, stagnated, or been all over the map because they are mostly tied to storm activity? Not having used the app, what's this about the payout score in the context of someone saying "likelihood of payout" Dronebase isn't actually asking pilots to run a mission that you might not get paid for (other than training missions) are they? I do know one thing Droners in general is much much more visible on the Internet than Dronebase. We all know how few and far between Droners jobs are since they've essentially created a "race to the bottom" market over there at Droners with a high Supply to Demand ratio. If Dronebase is much less visible than Droners on the Internet, they probably have a fraction of the jobs, especially after the merger with Precisionhawk and Airvid and if they have quite a few pilots, then any reports in the forums from pilots that have gotten a significant number of jobs from them may just be the exception to reality with Dronebase in my educated guess. The only exception would be if they've done "offline networking" to forge a lot of relationships with big national companies (like Getty - now a defunct relationship, and a few insurance companies probably.) The problem with that is as time goes by, the large Fortune 1000 national companies are going to be the companies most likely to take their drone operations in house eventually, if they already haven't. Also the fact that Dronebase wasn't bought out by Precisionhawk is most likely a bad sign. I doubt they turned away a sales offer thinking they could come out on top and beat the combination of Precisionhawk/Droners/Airvid. So I would assume they never got an offer because their job volume was too low and/or inconsistent. Anyone have any insight on the current status of Dronebase?
  2. Looks like enough of the FlyGuys pilots are getting tired of paying them a monthly fee for little to no jobs. I wonder how many paid a year's worth of fees to help pay for FlyGuys' online advertising and DroneDeploy/Pix4D business subscription, and didn't make their money back? Is their a no-job refund policy? This just in from the FlyGuys Pilot Newsletter... 2018 Pilot Beta Programs Based on pilot feedback, drone business support tools are still of high interest, yet paid programs are not useful before a certain mission traction is reached. So the early 2018 FlyGuys pilot programs, Standard and Plus, will be closing on December 31, 2018
  3. Well, now I want to edit my original question.... Anyone get authorization in a LAANC 0 altitude grid in CLASS B or CLASS C airspace? No luck here for 75ft about a mile from runway but not in the flight path.
  4. I want to take some Commercial Real Estate Photos at 75ft in a 0 altitude facility map section. It's about 1.2 miles from an airport runway (class C airspace) but it's not in the approach or takeoff path. Now we all know, common sense tells us, if an airplane is flying below 100 feet where there are 8 story buildings, especially if it's not in the landing or takeoff path, then you have much bigger problems than a drone. Is it impossible to get auth? Does anyone really know?
  5. Is anyone aware of tools/workflow to help classify surface features (trees, shrubs, bare ground) using RGB or Multispectral imagery (as opposed to LIDAR) as an alternative to importing an orthomosaic into a GIS program and manually identifying and mapping the surface features?
  6. Wondering what people recommend as the best free or very low cost practice tests that have the most current array of questions?
  7. Oh I see. You use a high enough resolution sensor so that you can make one pass, capturing multiple lines and then zoom in when inspecting the image to get the detail you need on the lines, insulators, and other components. Do you still use a camera with optical zoom during flight to get extreme detail on certain areas, or is the sensor resolution high enough that you can forego the necessity to use optical zoom during flight? Do you typically run an IR and RGB camera at the same time or is IR not required in many situations? It would seem to me like the IR information would be more valuable for detecting issues?
  8. A common voltage is 345,000. Let's assume that.
  9. What's a typical mission plan for power line inspections? I've read distance recommendations from 20ft to 100ft. It seems to me at 20ft, unless you are using course lock or similar, you could have issues keeping the line in the frame depending on how fast you are flying. Are most companies looking for thermal videography of the entire transmission line for a distance to identify obvious problem points and then more close visual inspection of insulators near the towers using a zoom camera? I really can't see how visual RGB images would be that useful as an insulator in the early stages of failure could look fairly normal from afar. Breaks or issues in the actual line would also not be very visible unless you could get very close-up images. Running a closeup inspection of a line for several miles would just be extremely cumbersome.
  10. Looking at a potential application where I need to measure the settlement of land over time. The land is not covered by much vegetation so photogrammetry is an option. However obviously I need at least one ground control point outside of the subject area that is on stable land (such as a survey monument). I'm looking for relative elevation accuracy within 3 inches which can be achieved by flying pretty low (Say 0.5 inch/pixel GSD). It would seem to me, with a ground control point on can "anchor" each subsequent survey to, there's no practical significant benefit to using RTK or Lidar?
  11. All these platforms like DroneDeploy, etc, allow annotation of the resulting orthomosaic output. Does anyone know of a platform that has similar functionality as far as ortho/3D processing, BUT, you can upload photos just for sharing and annotation without doing any processing on them? Seems to me you'd have to use a separate "photo sharing" site with that function?
  12. Regarding the shadows, they are not your friend if you are doing a property with a significant amount of trees close to the buildings. They can cost large areas of shadows along the sides of the structures making part of the structures well lit and others not. People's opinions on the Golden hour subject are often heavily biased by their variety of their experiences with different property settings, or lack thereof. Someone in the Northwest that shoots properties in somewhat wooded areas is going to have a different perspective than someone who shoots properties in say Arizona, or Florida - not to say no homes in Arizona and Florida have large groups of tall trees close to the structures, but it's a lot less common.
  13. There's been some discussion on the potential need for a Land Surveyor License to provide drone surveying and mapping service. I saw somewhere that recently the State of California was cracking down on this. Just got a call from an investigator from my state wanting to learn more about my surveying and mapping service. Sounded like an older guy and thereby my hunch was this was all new to him. He came across as genuinely curious, not like it was a sting operation. Coincidentally this happened shortly after we started advertising on the Internet. May have rubbed one or more existing Land Surveyors the wrong way prompting a call to our department of licensing. I explained to him that we make it explicit to all our customers that we are not land surveyors and that we just collect image data that can be used to produce things that land surveyors produce but we don't provide drafting services, and we cannot and do not certify the accuracy of our data for use in land surveying and mapping. We work with land surveyors unwilling to this point to add a drone to their toolbox, to help them and the customer save time and money. Here's the interesting gray area though. In some states I believe the law is worded to define land surveying as any service that provides spatial measurements of land. This linked in article talks about it and has actual wording from various states: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/uas-mapping-surveying-license-required-ananda-fowler/ The big unanswered question for me though is what if the customer acknowledges they aren't looking for anything very precise? Obviously, an orthomosaic photo of a land area would be okay in my mind. But what if they want a contour map that just estimates/approximates land contours for their own information and the map isn't going to be part of any deliverable certified by a land surveyor? Technically, that's still providing a service for measurement of land. So maybe the answer for now is, it depends on the state's wording and how vigorous they are going to try to enforce it or interpret it. My response was that we make it explicit to anyone we work with that we are not land surveyors and do not provide certification or any other guarantees as to the data accuracy for land surveying and mapping purposes in any situation. That is the responsibility of a licensed land surveyor that the customer chooses to work with." But what if they just want an orthomosaic with precise absolute geolocation data so we subcontract a land surveyor to lay down the ground control points, but the ortho isn't going to be used in any legal document or certified land surveying map? Same thing for something like a topo contour map. So what do people think, as long as the disclaimer is made to the customer and the deliverable, if its a map, DEM, DSM, etc, isn't used as part of a drawing stamped by a licensed surveyor without a disclaimer, is everything kosher? I talked to one licensed Land Surveyor who said it is not uncommon to include information in their drawings that are for informational purposes only and are not suitable for making measurements with "survey grade" accuracy. I really hope smaller Land Surveying outfits or individuals look at us as a boon to save them the hassle of learning to operate and maintain a drone, as opposed to being a competitor.
  14. Seems there's a "new kid on the block" for the drone pilot referral directories. Seems like there's about a half dozen of them out there. I've heard from other pilots, all these services, the supply of pilots is huge and the number of jobs posted per week is very small in most areas, even on the most prominent directories/referral services. So I got this email today from FlyGuys, it was highly unprofessional, it started out without my real first name: Hello #[Contacts.First Name} The image in the signature was broken, etc. And the email makes claims like "The number of mission inquires, as expected, is going up logarithmically and as a result of this rapidly expanding sales pipeline, booked missions are starting to happen multiple times per day." Logarithmically? What, from 2 jobs a week to 4? The thing about this FlyGuys service is unlike the other referral services, they want either $99 a month or $199 a month from you. If the job posting to pilot ratio for these services is really low, I would expect the chance you will be paying your monthly fee and getting NO JOBS is quite high. Do you get your fee refunded? No. So these Fly Guys want $1,200 to $2,400 a year where the other service want $0 unless you actually get and bill a job. This really smells like a big SCAM to me! The email goes on further to say "We are about to launch a major weapon next week. A mostly automated function to register each pilot with near 100 directories. We were already doing google, bing, now yahoo, yellow pages, +90 more... this will help our pilots' url prominence in all searches." "Major weapon?" My friend who works in the Internet Market business says basically they just signed up for a business directory submission service, there's a dozen of them, for probably a couple hundred bucks a month, and so they are really operating from a revenue standpoint more as an Internet marketing service, collecting thousands in fees and paying hundreds to use an automated directory submission service while most likely providing a small trickle of jobs to select pilots or for pilots to all fight over. Has anyone actually signed up for this service? How long have you been with them? What kind of jobs did you get? What area of the country are you in? Which affiliate are you? I'm really afraid this is a scam that many pilots may fall for. There are free ways to get your business listed in directories and you risk paying out lots of money with no jobs referred to you.
  15. You hear all this stuff about shooting at "The Golden Hour" right after sunrise and right before sunset. Many homes have lots of tall trees around them or are in hilly areas. This means they will cast the longest shadows because even though the sun is not in the air, it's location still produces long shadows and in general the scenes are not going to be bright. Don't get me wrong, a home on the waterfront with a fairly open (not wooded) lot, might look gorgeous during the Golden Hour. Wondering what others have discovered works best as far as time of day when shooting Real Estate? I guess another consideration is what area of the country as in the North during the winter the sun doesn't get very high in the sky but I guess there's no getting around that.