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Questions for commercial/profressional users

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Steve9, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Steve9

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    I’m an software/app developer, entrepreneur and drone enthusiast (of course!).

    I know there are a lot of commercial drone operators using the I1 here. I'm hoping you can take a minute to answer a few questions to help me and other developers understand your needs better.

    1. What type of work do you do with your drone?

    2. What is the hardest part of commercial drone flying?

    3. What are some unmet needs that you have?

    4. I’ve seen it mentioned a few times that the DJI GO App doesn’t meet the needs of pro users very well. What would your ideal app look like?

    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer the questions. Hopefully, it will lead me (or someone) to creating better tools and apps for you guys!

    Thanks!
    Steve
     
  2. Mazz

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    Hey Steve,
    Welcome to our corner of the internet. Glad to hear you are developing ideas for the I1. I can try and do my part and answer the questions for my personal uses.
    1.) Personally, I shoot just about anything that comes across my desk. I have done different types of motorsport races including cars and dirt bikes. I have also filmed races on foot (for a school) and on bicycles (for a charity). I also do work for a few different construction companies, a paver/striper, and a few videos for advertisements for different municipalities around NY. These are just a few examples of what I film. So as far as "What" we shoot, you will find quite a spectrum of options.
    2.) The hardest part of flying commercially for me would be setup and safety. Pre-flight is a major part of what we do and for me the most stressful part is making sure everything is going to go right before I even start.
    3.) I feel pretty good about my "needs" but if I was going to make an app or some kind of software, I would integrate a checklist that can be manually edited. I have a laminated checklist in my folder but I am constantly changing it so I end up using a list under "notes" in my IPad. It would be nice if it was in a nicely organized app with options to change it.
    4.) I am pretty happy with the look of the current DJI apps. My only change would be more customization. I would like to be able to add and remove features and move them to different parts of the screen as needed.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
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  3. BostonDronePhotos

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    I am not officially a commercial operator as I am currently offering my services for free while I go through the 333 exemption process.

    1) I shoot houses for realtors, back yards for landscapers/pool guys/deck guys, aerial surveys for engineers, and I donate my time to local government (school, town hall, police department etc). 90%+ is photos rather than video. 100% is done with the permission of the property owners.

    2) Making sure you don't disrupt neighbors and give the business a bad reputation, it's important to know property lines, not spook horses/pets, minimize disruption.

    3) Property boundaries as part of the control app, i.e. showing your drone's location in relation to lot lines.

    4) I like the app, would like it to be easier to show full-size photos to clients, would like to see lot lines, would like to be able to setup a job in the app and save photos/videos directly to that job folder and share with a client.
     
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  4. Steve9

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    Thanks for the warm welcome :) And for answering the questions, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience.

    Great suggestion! I like the idea of making an app with a flexible/editable pre-flight checklist. I know how easy it is to forget something when you're under stress and there are other distractions etc. A checklist app is relatively straight forward, but it would help prevent avoidable mishaps as well as make drone flying safer for everyone.

    I've seen some checklists for the I1 around that would make a good starting point, and then users could edit depending on their particular needs.

    Thanks again Mazz!
     
  5. Steve9

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    BostonDronePhotos, thanks for answering my questions!
    That's an interesting problem. I can see how it would be very useful to see the property lot lines. I wonder if property line data is widely available?
    I like the idea of being able to save photos/videos by job to keep things organized. You might want to even be able to setup the jobs ahead of time in the app so that when you're actually on-site everything is ready.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. Str8-Aero Media

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    No, that would be a huge headache for you to put something like that together. Mainly due to the amount of work, but also how property is described in legal documents. Here in Oklahoma, some of this info is available on county assessor’s websites but it is not always accurate, especially for tracts of land less than 10 acres. Even with plat maps, you still can’t get everything completely accurate. However, this sort of feature would be most useful in the suburbs and cities were properly lines are more easily crossed. You could accurately map housing additions as the developers have to submit their ‘blueprints’ to the city, which are mapped with footages. I know there are companies out there that determine who owns the mineral rights for very large land masses (to sell to O&G companies) but I’ve never heard about one that does that for surface estates. Regardless you would be paying a yearly fee to someone like that to utilize the data.

    I would probably use an app with a preflight checklist that can be edited. You should include the ability to setup different check lists for multiple drones. It would also be nice to have a battery log feature included where you can select the drone you are flying, then the battery number (I number my batteries), and it auto fills the forum with the current date. Another thing that may be useful to some is a distance measuring tool for the map. That way you can see how far away a landmark is before flying towards it.
     
  7. BostonDronePhotos

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    I know sites like Zillow for real estate have lot lines on their maps if you zoom in far enough (at least in areas I have lived).
     
  8. BostonDronePhotos

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    I just checked a randomly chosen small town in OK and once you zoom in enough it shows lot lines, both for small street lots and for larger areas of land.
     
  9. eColumbia_449

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    Hi Steve,

    I am also looking into developing custom drone software. I think there will be a market providing end-to-end solutions taking some of the hassles out of flying drones for commercial purposes: video/photo management, check/lists, and custom no-fly zones (limiting flight to property lines) were mentioned here.

    I've been looking at the 3dr DroneKit so far. The software is available and it seems doable to create custom software using their system.

    Do you have any experience with dji Matrice 100? It looks like dji has published their sdk on github. I'm wondering on how flexible/difficult it is to write for the dji system.

    I'm not looking for a dicussion of 3dr vs dji here. I'm just looking to see if someone has experience building software under the DJI matrice eco system.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  10. Str8-Aero Media

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    I don't think those are very accurate and are most likely computer generated using roads and fences as reference points. If you explore around in the same general area you will probably see some weird properly lines. For instance, I saw an equipment yard that obviously belonged to the same entity, broken up into 4 oddly shaped pieces. I like the idea of having this feature, but I also don't want an app beeping at me when I'm close to a non exact boundary. I've got one of the customized buttons on the controller programed to turn the camera straight up/down, which is a simple way to see how close to a fence line you are.
     
  11. Jon L 13

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    Steve,

    This may be out there and I just don't know about it...

    A live stream capability. So that people could remotely log in to some sort of server and see what my camera is seeing. Or even a way to tap in via Bluetooth near the aircraft/controller. Some way so that more than just 2 devices can see the stream in real time.

    This would be very useful. I will gladly test for you if you come up with something.

    Jon
     
  12. BostonDronePhotos

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    "don't think" "most likely" "probably" - those are all non-factually based statements, aka guesses.

    I know for a fact that around here the lot lines on zillow accurately represent the legal lot lines (90+% of which aren't based on fences). I don't know if that is true everywhere.

    If you see one commercial property on 4 oddly shaped lots then that one property most likely (aka a guess) owns 4 smaller lots that they combined for their business.

    If you find it is inaccurate and beeps at you then you can turn it off.
     
  13. damoncooper

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    Shou can do that, or built in YT streaming
     
  14. tweaker

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    "don't think" "most likely" "probably" - those are all non-factually based statements, aka guesses.
    Boston drone pilot love it.

    I say this all the time to smoke and mirror merchants.

    straight answers on a postcard please!!
     
  15. IrishSights

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    Those are called opinions and they are legit to have on this forum. Sad day when we can't use these terms. Or maybe it's just sad that some people think we can't use them. And that is my opinion :) Posting false statements is a different matter and needs corrected...politely.
     
  16. fab72

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    In my opinion, the integrated checklist is the best enhancement that could be brought to the DJI app. It's such an apparent need that its shocking they haven't integrated one yet.

    To be clear, it should be a checklist that not only allows you to customize the list, but it should also serve to display values (i.e. failsafe altitude settings, compass calibration values, camera speed, picture format, etc.). The checklist should also allow the user to modify the values readily directly from the list.

    I'm tired of swapping back and forth between screens to check all of these settings. To have my customized list all in one place would be fantastic!
     
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  17. tweaker

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    Irish sites

    My like of boston drone pilot had nothing to do with content and context of your post.

    Totally agree with bouncing ideas opinions around with like minded enthusiasts etc on here. Could not agree more.

    My like was regarding society in general out with this forum.

    Any crossed wires lies in my poor communication skills........
     
  18. Steve9

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. Keep them coming!

    Thanks Str8-Areo for confirming that you would also use it. It sounds like the checklist idea could be a winner.

    The battery log idea ialso interesting and relatively straightforward.

    Fab72 I agree, it should get all the values from the drone and display them with an indication if they are OK or not. Thanks!

    While I like the property line idea, it sounds a lot more challenging.

    Thanks again!
    Steve
     
  19. rtrhead

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    Just for reference, Google Earth Pro has parcel data along with the apn
     
  20. Str8-Aero Media

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    First of all, those phrases are not necessarily correlated with non-factual statements. “Most likely” and “probably” are phrases that account for probability of a factor being true/false. Of course I’m not going to say with 100% certainty that the property lines aren’t accurate because I don’t have access to Zillow’s software, nor do I have the programming knowledge to decipher the code. What I offer is my work experience as a Landman having spent numerous hours in various courthouses pulling deeds to chain title for both surface and mineral estates. I understand how properties are described in legal documents and know that an actual survey is needed to be accurate.

    May I ask how you know for a Fact that the lot lines on Zillow/Boston are accurate? Also, where are you getting the 90+% statistic from and what exactly are the property lines based on? Oh and I found plenty of irrational property lines in Boston cutting city streets in half and dividing small parking lots up into 5 different parcels of land.