The Rise of Drones in Construction

While dozens of industries use drones, the fastest growing commercial adopter is the construction industry. Drone use on the job site has skyrocketed in the last year — surging 239% — and construction is now the leading sector using DroneDeploy.

The construction industry has seen the most growth in the last year, followed by mining and agriculture.

With growth like that, you probably have some questions. How are companies putting drones to work? Who exactly is benefiting from drone data? And what are the results?

Who’s Using Drones on the Job Site?

Superintendents, technology managers, and project managers lead the pack, using drones in day-to-day workflows on the job site.

We talk a lot about what’s possible with drones on our blog, but who is actually taking advantage of the technology?Project managers, technology managers, and superintendents are the top roles benefiting from drone data to date.

It’s no surprise that project managers are leading the charge to bring drones to the job site. The typical project runs over budget, behind schedule. Drones help close the gap.

How are Drones Put to Work in Construction?

Builders use drones to collect real-time data about projects and understand what’s happening on site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early — before they become costly or add weeks to a project’s timeline.

But progress tracking is far from the only way construction companies use drones. By spending less than an hour each week mapping a job site, contractors gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of their project. With this data in hand, DroneDeploy’s software makes it easy to plan, communicate, and keep projects on schedule.

How are Construction Companies Benefiting from Drones and Aerial Data?

Drones do more than improve communication and help keep projects on track. They also increase safety, save time and resources, fast-track surveying, and deliver accurate measurements.

What Software Tools are Construction Pros Using with Drone Data?

While thousands of construction customers use DroneDeploy on a weekly basis to collect, process, and analyze drone data, added value comes from incorporating maps and 3D models into existing planning, design, and management workflows.

So what other tools are construction pros using to amplify the power of their drone data? Here’s a breakdown of the leading software that our customers regularly use in conjunction with drone maps and models.

The leading software tools used by DroneDeploy’s construction customers.

How Accurate is Drone Data Captured on the Job Site?

As construction companies turn to drones for aerial data collection, we’ve seen a rise in the demand for higher data accuracy. Today, companies are using ground control points (GCPs) — ground markers measured with GPS to calculate absolute global positioning — more than ever before with DroneDeploy.

Measurements are also more common with construction customers. Construction companies use DroneDeploy’s built-in analysis and annotation tools to calculate area, volume, and distance accurately. Exactly how accurate are drone measurements? Using GCPs, customers achieve 99% accuracy. You can learn more in our recent white paper, Linear Measurement Accuracy of DJI Drone Platforms and Photogrammetry.

Phantom 4 Pro map measurement variance with and without the use of ground control points (GCPs).

What are companies measuring? Stockpiles are some of the most common things measured with drones on the job site. In 2017, DroneDeploy users measured more than 300,000 stockpiles to estimate value and track volume changes over time.

Using DroneDeploy construction customers can accurately measure stockpile volumes on the job site.

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