DroneDeploy has announced several new upgrades to its cloud-based platform for commercial drone operations: volume calculation improvement, the ability to measure the elevation of a point and the easier export of data.
The original version of the volume tool, released back in February, allows users to outline a structure – e.g., a stockpile – and then instantly calculate the volume with a click of the button. Behind the scenes, DroneDeploy uses the outline to define the base of the stockpile and then compares the base to the surface of the pile to make the calculation.
But what if you need to calculate a volume where the base of the structure cannot be easily defined by drawing a perimeter on the ground? A small adjustment to the volume tool now allows operators to use the lowest selected point to define the base of the volume they want to calculate – making the volume calculation usable for a broader range of objects (e.g., when a pile isn’t on an even surface).
In addition, users can now see the elevation of any point on their map when they drop a marker on a point. The point elevations can be used, for example, to measure the height of features or to calculate slopes. DroneDeploy notes that elevation values are relative to the point at which the drone took off.
Up until now, DroneDeploy users could export elevation data only as a point cloud, which is not compatible with many popular GIS tools and would need to be substantially manipulated to calculate elevation information and perform comparative analysis or generate contour maps, the company explains.
Now, with a new upgrade, users can export raw elevation values as a GeoTiff (single-band GeoTiff with elevation data encoded as 32-bit floating point numbers at each pixel), which can easily be imported into ArcGIS, Civil 3D and other popular GIS tools.
The elevation and volume tools are currently part of all DroneDeploy’s paid plans, including the Pro plan, starting at $99 per month.