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Hi, new member here.  Sorry in advance if some of my questions are too "noobish"

I work for a mining company, limestone being our main thing, and a higher up recently got enamored with drone surveying, more specifically Trimble.   After a few meetings with them, I attended being the obligatory IT guy,   They seem like a legit big company, but not the most cost-friendly from my own research. 

Apparently the main selling points of theirs is their proprietary Image processing software/service Stratus & proprietary GCPs, Aeropoints.  They claim to have images processed in under 6-8 hours by their own "professionals" and cloud service software.  Our current SW takes about 24-48 hours.  Of course it's a service so it'll be a monthly/yearly payment.  They were also pushing their fixed wing drone UX11 & ground-based 3D laser scanners as well as their "total software package" that had CAD capabilities, point could tools, road design tools etc.

Anyone here have experience working with them,  and what were your experiences like?   Were their higher prices worth it?  Were they faster & images more accurate as they claim?  I'm more curious about their software than their hardware.  

Thank You.

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I work for a municipality; I am a GIS TECH. and I love Trimble products. They have amazing products and are a premier geospatial company. That said, a majority of the geospatial industry's business model, as im sure most others are too, is subscriptions. Trimble is no exception. Drone imagery processing software companies are also the same way. I recently started our own drone program; and what i had determined from similar research was I had to bring as much if not all stages 'in house' as possible. Processing, fleet/ pilot management, mapping. I will say though if you got the money and it's no issue, go the route that requires less experience on your end. The route we chose required us to learn a lot beyond the basics, lots of training. But if you don't have time to do that id suggest going the way you mentioned. Less stress on you and the quality will be A+ right off the bat. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I use Trimble products though we rejected the UX11. I started with a DJI Inspire and moved up to a Firefly 6 Pro for large mapping operations.  I do use Aeropoints though we do our own processing in-house. The Aeropoints are robust and reliable under a large range of conditions. Their accuracy is spot-on. We set a hotspot up in the office and the units automatically upload the data they collect as soon as they are in range of the hotspot. A few clicks on the desktop and I normally have numbers and a quality report within 60 minutes. We use Pix4D for imagery processing. I think the package was roughly about $8600.00 with a $600.00 yearly maintenance contract. Don't forget the cost of a workstation that will process the imagery in-house if you go that route...$4500.00 is reasonable for a fast machine.

Trimble Business Center (TBC) will run you around $10,000.00 less modules plus a yearly maintenance contract for support and service. We are still using Pathfinder Office to process our GPS data with and have not made that jump. You'll need to determine which mapping software that company prefers; either CAD or GIS. Both will do the job. LiDaR is really accurate with the right unit. It's also expensive and requires a lot of processing and storage power to work with the data. That is probably not something that you can economically farm out (IMHO).

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