28 Jul Debunking Drone Mapping Misconceptions that Can Cost You
We can all agree change is uncomfortable. At times, It can promote uncertainty, vulnerability, and risk.
On the other hand, change can do amazing things and is ultimately the reason why it constantly occurs. Recently, this has been the case for industrial companies with drone mapping.
More often than not, technology for businesses is meant to replace time-consuming, traditional practices to create a more efficient organization.
Adopting new technologies is also a way of staying ahead of your competition. If not, they may incorporate a solution which could be costly to your business.
However, industries like construction & excavation, mining, energy, and engineering, tech embracement has plateaued due to long-established methods put in place.
It’s not impossible to make transitions due to new tech advances, especially when there are applications, such as a drone solution, that exist to make life on the job site easier.
That’s why we created this blog post — to correct drone mapping misconceptions so you’re able to separate fact from fiction and be aware of its capabilities and advantages, regardless of the industry you’re in (versus what you may have known about it before).
You’ll find not clarifying these misconceptions can cost your company in growth, development, and staying ahead of the competition, playing a direct role in success.
Misconception #1: ‘Drone mapping is a temporary fad’
Fortunately, drone mapping is here to stay.
You could say drone mapping is still in its infancy, but the impact it’s made for early adopters is undeniable. As this offering progresses, it will only become more of a necessity for 21st-century job site management.
Historically technology replaces traditional methods to push us towards our true potential. Now, drone mapping is pioneering that push for industrial companies.
Misconception #2: ‘It’s easy to create an in-house solution’
At first, it may seem like the sound choice for your organization to create an in-house solution.
However, after experiencing what an in-house solution entails for your team, there are many reasons why working with a drone mapping solution makes life much easier.
Reliability is a key reason — if anything happens, malfunction, crash, etc., they won’t absorb the costs.
Job site mapping applications have very high upfront capital expenses, and when something does eventually happen, the responsibility lies solely with your company.
Also, the ability to communicate any issue at hand with a commercial drone expert is important. Customer success is there to help you through any problem rather than having to combat it on your own.
Misconception #3: ‘Whatever you buy today will be useful in a few years’
All tech happens at a fast pace. In order to get the most value out of drone mapping, you need to have the latest technology to beat out competitors and keep clients happy.
If you work with an in-house drone mapping solution, the burden is placed internally to keep up with the competition.
To be clear, you never want to chase your competition.
In contrast, when you subscribe to a drone solution, keeping up with maintenance and updates are the provider’s responsibility.
Your provider can upgrade you several times a year — with software, hardware, and services taken into account. It’s important to work with a provider who ensures you and your company stay relevant with the latest and cutting-edge features.
It makes the most sense to spend your time and money on what suits you best and leave the heavy lifting of your drone program to your provider.
Misconception #4: ‘Drone mapping replaces people’
The better way to phrase this is ‘drone mapping replaces wasted time.’
Anyone who typically puts in the ‘surveying sweat’ can incorporate the drone into their work as a supplementary tool to save time, not replace their jobs.
Survey drone data can be captured, processed and analyzed in less than 24 hours.
Traditional methods like aerial and land (foot) surveys can take much longer to gather and process data before being returned to you for analysis.
As a result, the time spent waiting for data can be dedicated for analysis rather than waiting weeks for data to be returned. Hence the idea of ‘replacing wasted time.’
Misconception #5: ‘Drone mapping is faster, but it’s not as accurate as traditional methods’
As alluded to above, there are two traditional approaches to receiving job site data: manned aerial survey and ground survey.
Drone mapping is as accurate if not more. Survey-grade Photogrammetry within drone mapping software provides a sub-centimeter margin of accuracy, which is hard to beat.
Related Content: Drone Mapping Accuracy v. Standard Aerial
Also, survey drone flights can occur on an ad hoc basis, allowing you to receive real-time data within hours. This on-demand setup is simply not possible with other surveying methods.
Real-time job site data leads to a more thoughtful decision-making process during a given project. There are many ways drone mapping simply excels; it provides accuracy and timeliness that cannot be replicated with traditional methods.
Misconception #6: ‘All drones are basically the same’
There are two distinct categories of drone use, consumer, and commercial. In any case, this specific difference provides more insight to the large umbrella of drone activity.
Within the commercial category, there are many different applications — this is where drone mapping truly lives under.
Commercial drone mapping providers have different areas they focus on — some build the drone hardware in-house, others rely on manufacturers (like DJI) and place more developmental efforts on software and services, i.e., Analytics Internet of Things (IoT) offerings.
Additionally, certain commercial drone mapping providers also place focus on supplying add-on accessories with their solution.
GPS correction technology, for example, is used by companies with large job sites. The reason being is they find it pertinent to not spend a large amount of setup and is a huge time saver.
Working with the right drone mapping company that ensures your needs are met and provide the best technology on the market is a game changer.
Figuring out how you want to change workflows and handle data is the first step when shopping for a commercial drone because of the many options available. So, not all drones, more specifically drone solutions are the same.
Related Content: Selecting the Right Commercial Drone Solution for Your Company
Misconception #7: ‘Following the FAA commercial drone regulations is optional’
In order to conduct commercial drone operations, you must obtain the FAA Part 107 Commercial Drone License. Without it, you’re partaking in illegal activity.
If you ignore this law, heavy fines will come your way. Fortunately, it’s not hard to become FAA Part 107 certified, you can learn how here.
Once you do become certified, the FAA Part 107 regulations set in place are not as prohibiting as you may think — if any sticky situation does arise, your drone mapping provider should help you navigate through it.
Misconception #8: ‘They don’t have a value for industrial companies’
Aside from lowering your cost per survey, drone mapping is a tool that provides a great value whether you’re in construction & excavation, mining, energy, or engineering.
It has the ability to increase profitability, efficiency, and safety which makes case for it to be a multifold benefit to your organization.
In addition, planning and forecasting are especially easy with a quick flyover, so you’re able to predict the work ahead.
When a new technology like drone mapping enters an industry and shakes things up, it’s easy to make assumptions. However, it’s important to move past first impressions and discover how it might make a positive impact in your organization.
Neglecting these can leave companies vulnerable to technological obsolescence or being overtaken by the competition both of which may very well cost your company in efficiency and profits.
Was there anything that specifically surprised you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Related Content: The Top 10 Most Common Drone Mapping Myths