Tools of the Trade: The Best Hardware, Software and Apps to Power Your Commercial Drone Business

DroneDeploy
Oct 12, 2017 · 5 min read

With the right tools, you can improve your efficiency, expand your services, and help your business succeed. But choosing the right solutions to power your business is never easy. As a drone service provider (DSP), the many hardware and software choices on the market present an even bigger challenge.

So how do you know which solutions to consider, and who you can trust to get the job done when your company’s success is on the line?

We’ve done some legwork to make it a bit easier to decide. Whether you’re a new DSP just getting started, or a veteran to the industry, here are some of the top drone mapping tools we recommend.

Drone Hardware

Multi-rotor or fixed wing aircraft? Mavic or Phantom 4 Pro? Visible spectrum (RGB) or multispectral camera?

Deciding which drone hardware to invest in can be daunting. New drone businesses often ask us for recommendations, so we created a Drone Buyer’s Guide to help make sense of it all. We hope the information helps you navigate the different options available on the market and decide which drone model is the right choice for your business. .

Read the 2017 Drone Buyer’s Guide to get tips on choosing a mapping drone, and side-by-side comparisons of top drone models available today.

Drone Mapping Tools

As the drone services ecosphere grows, so does the number of software tools available to help UAV businesses succeed. In addition to , here are some other helpful tools to enhance your mapping services.

Airmap charts up-to-date airspace restrictions and advisories based on your flight area. Millions of drone users and hundreds of partners rely on AirMap’s data and services for safe and efficient drone flight. No drone service provider should leave home without it.

Skyward is an innovative drone management platform that helps connect pilot networks, track equipment, and manage processes. Check airspace, coordinate with your flight crew, and minimize risk with Skyward’s platform.

Skyvector is another leading online resource for worldwide aeronautical charts. Check your airspace and keep up to date with notices and flight alerts in your area.

This app provides hyperlocal weather information and up-to-the-minute forecasts, so you can plan for the conditions at your exact flight location. You don’t want to get caught in a weather event that puts you or your business at risk.

The Best Apps to Power Your Business

The DroneDeploy enables your business to unleash the full power of aerial data with enterprise software integrations and specialized tools built right within the DroneDeploy user interface.

There are over 50 great apps available on the market. Here are a few that you’ll find especially helpful as a drone service provider:

The Flyte Lite app creates automated pre-flight checklists for any flight plan, helping pilots identify and address unidentified ground or airspace issues before takeoff.

Airdata UAV Sync simplifies the process of uploading DroneDeploy log files from the DroneDeploy App to Airdata.com. Discover ‘under the hood’ information and review early signs of problems before you take off again.

Report Solutions makes it simple to generate a flight summary report using your flight maps. Share reports with your customers and colleagues to provide a valuable post-flight deliverable. Recipients receive an interactive report branded to your company, showcasing your maps and flight details.

This plugin allows you to automatically upload DroneDeploy missions to your DroneLogbook. A flight record is created with location, drone, and battery — based on settings from your inventory.

This app generates a printable PDF report for a map. The report includes all annotations along with any associated measurements like distance and volume. It also includes a view of the map showing the location of these annotations.

With Maptasks it’s easy to create and import flight plans into DroneDeploy, assign pilot tasks and deadlines, and track progress across your team. You can use Maptasks to improve collaboration and drive client projects to the finish line.

This built-in app allows you to view and download an accuracy report of your DroneDeploy map. The report contains a summary of the map details, camera and image information, and processing results. If GCPs were used, the report will also include GCP results.

Where to Learn More

Interested in discovering more tools to simplify your workflow? Explore all the apps available to you on the .

Trying to get your new drone service business off the ground? Check out our free . It’s the ultimate playbook to surviving and thriving in the world of drones for hire.

Need help navigating UAV insurance, commercial drone regulations, or your Part 107 Certification? Read our to learn more.

Not sure where to focus your commercial efforts in this fast-paced industry? Learn more about finding your niche, marketing your services, and finding customers in this blog .

If you are new to drones, and especially drone mapping, our is a good place to start. Here, you’ll get advice on everything from unboxing your drone, to engaging in advanced flight planning.

For information on obtaining your Part 107 certification, check out commercial helicopter and drone pilot Ian Smith’s post .

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit to or with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both and devices.

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