Data Mapper expands cloud-based platform for UAVs

By Emily Aasand | October 20, 2014

Data Mapper, an enterprise aerial data software company, has expanded its cloud-based platform to ingest data collected by a wider network of unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) providers. The application is able to upload, store, process and share aerial imagery and is capable of detailed, automated analysis.

According to the company, before the expansion, Data Mapper operated under the domain PrecisionMapper and was only able to be used with The PrecisionHawk UAV. Now, the software is accessible on a variety of aircraft and allows users to see data in real-time. The data processed can be shared across devices or analyzed using sophisticated algorithms, the company said.

“As we begin to collect data with PrecisionHawk UAV across data intense industries, we discovered a clear gap in the market for an end-to-end enterprise level solution,” said Christopher Dean, CEO of Data Mapper. “The creation of Data Mapper was a way for us to ensure that what matters most to our customers, the ability to transform aerial data into actionable information, was available quickly and cost effectively.”

According to communication director Kyle Hirano, Data Mapper was created out of necessity. “The team at PrecisionHawk learned that the more you take the human out of the equation, the more efficient the process and the better the information you can collect and analyze from a UAV platform,” he said.

The data collected is transferred into the cloud for processing and is accessible via an online login on a desktop, tablet or mobile device, the company said. Once the data is processed, the user receives a notification that their data is ready. “Upon login, users can manage their data, or ingest their data into any GIS software,” said Hirano.

A concern Data Mapper customers have with data being processed and stored in the cloud has been servicing in rural locations that do not have high internet bandwidth.

“One of the ways we have worked around this [issue] with some of our remote clients is by using compression techniques that allow data to process even in these locations,” said Hirano.

Data Mapper has a strong client base consisting of Fortune 500 companies, top global agriculture companies, education and research institutions and individual agricultural producers, due to its previous work with PrecisionHawk data.

“For agriculture in particular, a huge need is consistency tracking,” said Hirano. “When a farmer looks at an early stage, he wants to come back two weeks later and see what areas may need more fertilizer.”

“UAVs are an extremely effective and efficient means for collecting data, but the value of this technology goes far beyond an aircraft,” said Andrew Slater, vice president of software development for Data Mapper. “Data Mapper is a tool designed to close the gap between a service that UAVs provide and the value of that service, which is information delivery to the right person at the right time.”

According to the company, Data Mapper will significantly grow its employee base, hiring geospatial analysts, software engineers and embedded software engineers to work toward a generalized ingestion method for all UAV data in 2015.