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Leads on Photogrammetry Work and Inspection Work

MCW LLC

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For those of you that would not mind sharing, where does your marketing (knocking on doors) get you the most leads? with mapping, modeling, and inspection work.

Personally, I seek out general contractors, engineers, land developers... I live in Las Vegas NV and here it seems a little behind the times with aerial work.
Most of the bigger contractors are using this in-house.

Any info on getting work doing mapping/inspection would be much appreciated! and I'm sure for others as well.

Thank you
 

Airmapper

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As an in house guy, I'll say the company I work for (engineering firm) has a pretty dim view of 3rd party drone service providers because they got burned for a lot of money for crap results prior to having a staff pilot, most likely because drone pilots aren't engineers. But, being in house I can learn both sides. I learned what they did with the data, what was useful, what was not, and we got the right equipment and learned to use it. We don't do much engineering work with anything you'll find made by DJI or Autel. Sure we use consumer drones for odd jobs, but the real work is done with commercial drones not spoken of much on this forum and have a price tag more like a manned aircraft.

And I'll say this, orthomap aerials are nice to haves but rarely is it something we will really push for. I don't even get them on some sites I fly. There are good enough state flown aerials that satisfy most clients if they want a consept or drawing to look cool. I mostly fly Lidar, with a very high grade GNSS accuracy, it's much more useful and accurate for what the engineers actually use. Photogrammetry is usually garbage unless the site is super clean, and if they can't trust it they don't want it. I also have a actual survey GNSS units in my kit, I can get additional field data while I'm there a lot of the time.

I'd love to maybe run my own drone business one day, but being the in house guy I'm going to get a lot of hours and years of experience on not only the flying of jobs, but what they do with the data. I fly the site, I do field work, I process the data, I set up the drawings, I load it in CAD and pretty much have a hand in it all along the way. And I will say I work for a small company, not a large one. I get most of my projects directly from the owner, and I look at some and say, "no we can't do this" sometimes. But, I'm not working on stuff for a competitor, I'm not putting them in line with other clients. In a fast paced field, I can go get data as fast as practical where with a 3rd party, who knows when you'll get it or what you'll get. With me, they always know where it's at and how it's going, I'm in the office every day to ask, and if I'm not in my office and the drone is gone, well they know it's coming soon.

Not really what you wanted but maybe an insight to how at least the place I work for thinks on drone services. It may get better as time goes on, but in the commercial realm there are a lot of places out there giving drone services a bad name, and it's not the privateer guys like you find here.
 

MCW LLC

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Thank you very much for your reply.
I also use a GNSS ground unit along with an RTK drone, and the NTRIP network works very well here in the valley. The Key is trust a reliability and knowing what you will get... it's so hard to get that trust right off the bat. What type of engineering firm do you work for (field)?
I don't use lidar yet, but photogrammetry works well in Vegas due to very few trees and vegetation.

This is my website if you're interested in taking a look at it, any advice is welcome. buildingamerica702.com
 

Kristina Fowler

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As an in house guy, I'll say the company I work for (engineering firm) has a pretty dim view of 3rd party drone service providers because they got burned for a lot of money for crap results prior to having a staff pilot, most likely because drone pilots aren't engineers. But, being in house I can learn both sides. I learned what they did with the data, what was useful, what was not, and we got the right equipment and learned to use it. We don't do much engineering work with anything you'll find made by DJI or Autel. Sure we use consumer drones for odd jobs, but the real work is done with commercial drones not spoken of much on this forum and have a price tag more like a manned aircraft.

And I'll say this, orthomap aerials are nice to haves but rarely is it something we will really push for. I don't even get them on some sites I fly. There are good enough state flown aerials that satisfy most clients if they want a consept or drawing to look cool. I mostly fly Lidar, with a very high grade GNSS accuracy, it's much more useful and accurate for what the engineers actually use. Photogrammetry is usually garbage unless the site is super clean, and if they can't trust it they don't want it. I also have a actual survey GNSS units in my kit, I can get additional field data while I'm there a lot of the time.

I'd love to maybe run my own drone business one day, but being the in house guy I'm going to get a lot of hours and years of experience on not only the flying of jobs, but what they do with the data. I fly the site, I do field work, I process the data, I set up the drawings, I load it in CAD and pretty much have a hand in it all along the way. And I will say I work for a small company, not a large one. I get most of my projects directly from the owner, and I look at some and say, "no we can't do this" sometimes. But, I'm not working on stuff for a competitor, I'm not putting them in line with other clients. In a fast paced field, I can go get data as fast as practical where with a 3rd party, who knows when you'll get it or what you'll get. With me, they always know where it's at and how it's going, I'm in the office every day to ask, and if I'm not in my office and the drone is gone, well they know it's coming soon.

Not really what you wanted but maybe an insight to how at least the place I work for thinks on drone services. It may get better as time goes on, but in the commercial realm there are a lot of places out there giving drone services a bad name, and it's not the privateer guys like you find here.
I'm my experience, I find that there's a huge gap between what the drone pilot is looking for to properly deliver the desired results and what the construction company is willing to share with the drone pilot in terms of said desired results. They are stingy with details. It seems that the company expects the drone pilot to somehow magically deduce what the desired results are with sharing specifics about the shoot. I think it's a direct result of the company underestimating - selling short - what the drone and the pilot are capable of doing, with the consensus being that all the drone can do is take pictures. It has nothing to do with the IQ/Intelligence of the company folks. Rather, it's a result of the company dealing with construction matters 99.9% of the time, and drone matter 0.1% of the time and not willing to concede that, in general, they're not properly versed in drone matters and capabilities.
 
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MCW LLC

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I'm my experience, I find that there's a huge gap between what the drone pilot is looking for to properly deliver the desired results and what the construction company is willing to share with the drone pilot in terms of said desired results. They are stingy with details. It seems that the company expects the drone pilot to somehow magically deduce what the desired results are with sharing specifics about the shoot. I think it's a direct result of the company underestimating - selling short - what the drone and the pilot are capable of doing, with the consensus being that all the drone can do is take pictures. It has nothing to do with the IQ/Intelligence of the company folks. Rather, it's a result of the company dealing with construction matters 99.9% of the time, and drone matter 0.1% of the time and not willing to concede that, in general, they're not properly versed in drone matters and capabilities.
Exactly, I find that most companies have no idea what can be done with the drone and the right software! Having a ground base station connected to NTRIP and sending corrections to an RTK drone, setting some Checks and GCPs
I have come up with Absolute accuracy, and unlimited use cases for this data!
They think drones are just for photos and video. I wish there was an easy way to show them what all can be done. and work with the software they already use, like Autodesk, BIM 360...
But they don't seem to have the time or understanding of what I am even talking about.
 

Kristina Fowler

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Exactly, I find that most companies have no idea what can be done with the drone and the right software! Having a ground base station connected to NTRIP and sending corrections to an RTK drone, setting some Checks and GCPs
I have come up with Absolute accuracy, and unlimited use cases for this data!
They think drones are just for photos and video. I wish there was an easy way to show them what all can be done. and work with the software they already use, like Autodesk, BIM 360...
But they don't seem to have the time or understanding of what I am even talking about.
Correct. Construction companies (in general) are reluctant to admit that they don't know drone capabilities and are unwilling to recognize an "outsider" as an integral part of the process, such as steel erectors and concrete companies. Your last comment about the futility of them not even wanting to talk about it reminds me of what Mark Twain once said:

9a892c8cf9493e034bf99bc468b775fc.jpg
 
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