Mapping A Mission

USV invested in Dronebase earlier this year but I had not used the service personally so I decided to change that this past week.

The Gotham Gal and I are working on a real estate development project in Brooklyn and we need to make some decisions in partnership with our architects. An aerial view of the property would help us make our decisions.

So on Saturday afternoon, we went to, clicked the big blue “get started” button, and found ourselves staring at a map. I typed in the address of the property and was shown a satellite map of it.

We then used the mapping tool to highlight the fly zone in blue. We then placed the camera icon over the specific points of interest we wanted to get close up views of.

Then we used the mapping tool to cover the neighboring buildings in a red “no fly zone.”

That produced this map of the mission we wanted:


Then we hit the green continue button, completed a few fields of information, chose which of the “images and video” or “maps and surveys” packages we wanted. We chose the $399 “basic” images and video package. Then we entered our credit card, verified that we owned the property or had permission from the owner to fly over it, and we were done.

A few minutes later we received an email stating that a drone pilot had been engaged and would be flying the job the next day (sunday).

On monday, we got a dropbox folder full of video and images including this edited summary video of the job:

We then shared that dropbox folder with our architects and a few days later we had a decision that we are all happy with.

I know I am biased by our investment in and ownership interest in Dronebase, but this experience was kind of magical. For $399 and a few minutes of work on the computer we got exactly the views we wanted to see. All of our questions and concerns were answered with the footage we purchased.

I can see how drone based services are going to change a lot of things. Hiring a drone pilot is simple, easy, fast, and not particularly expensive. If you have a job you want done on your property or the property of someone you know who will authorize it, go to Dronebase and check it out. It’s a super cool and useful service.


Comments (Archived):

  1. rfreeborn

    I was just looking at some real estate (in a magazine) while on vacation in Newport Beach and was thinking “There is no way someone hired a helicopter for this – it must have been a drone. I’m guessing that people out there are starting nice little side businesses just for things like this”. Little did a know a week later I’d hear about “Uber for drone pictures” i.e. Dronebase.

  2. William Mougayar

    Is the bet that regular people will not buy their own drones for doing stuff that like?I can see Dronebase to be well positioned for professional jobs, but personal drones are becoming easier to operate, and cheaper to buy (the next generation, not the ones you may have tried 1-2 years ago).

    1. fredwilson

      its like our bet on shapeways. most people won’t own 3D printers and drones. at least that’s our bet

      1. William Mougayar

        ah, good analogy re: shapeways/3D. thanks.

        1. David Barnes

          Renting/sharing can become so frictionless in the future, I wonder why we’ll own anything that we don’t use/appreciate every day.”Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

          1. Pat Clark

            Just commented w/ similar thought – didn’t see your reply before adding. Agree 100%. I find myself (and our family) trying to think of ways not to own as many things. Increasingly often, experience and decreeased stress > things and ownership.

          2. David Barnes

            You’re ahead of me then. I have regular conversations with my wife about how we need a bigger house to contain all the stuff. Our home is a cluttered and expensive storage unit for things we rarely use.If we own less stuff will we be happy with smaller homes too?

          3. Pat Clark

            Everyone would be different but I suspect on the whole, most people would be happier with less cluttered home, less non-critial things to keep track of, instruction manuals to read, warranties to stuff in the bottom drawer, things to support, fix, insure, etc.

          4. Sandy

            It’s the best feeling to unclutter a big house. The house actually feels big. Don’t downsize your house, just the stuff.

          5. Jess Bachman

            There is a predatory downside to this. The economics of Rent-a-center are not your friend.

          6. Matt Zagaja

            I think there is a material difference between lease/rental models that maybe exploit less sophisticated consumers versus a lease/rental for a service that a professional developer uses.

          7. Richard

            It all started with rotisserie chicken!

      2. Pat Clark

        Seems like a smart bet. Feels like the entire notion of owning anything is becoming less important everyday (cars, drones, 3-D printers, software (SaaS), etc). Tech making that possible.

      3. LE

        Valuable resources of dronebase include a) labor network [1] b) customer list (developers, architects) and so on. With just “a” many ways going forward to monetize that. With foot in the door of “b” also plenty of opportunity.[1] God knows if I had a vetted database of good trade labor (painters, carpenters, electricians) willing to work for such cheap rates I could make a fortune.

        1. Richard

          What’s your guess at the drone operator revenue split?

          1. LE

            I don’t know and wouldn’t want to guess. But if it was me, I would make the operator take as hefty as possible to keep out pain in the ass bystander competitors offering pilots a better deal. (Hogs get slaughtered theory).

          2. Nicholas Osgood

            The standard price on Dronebase’s site for a single property is ~ $399. On the pilot FAQ section, a pilot typically makes a minimum of more than $300. Not too shabby?

      4. Matt Zagaja

        Makes sense. Tons of people have cameras in their phones but it has not destroyed the market for professional photographers and their equipment.

      5. Jay Bregman

        There are probably 2-3M “recreational drones /operators” in the world (DJI sold > 1M last year alone) and 10,000 commercial drones / operators worldwide. However, the US is a black hole currently which should add substantially to the commercial number and validate the thesis. That is, unless there are ways recreational users can become DroneBase users which is something more than Shapeways can do.

  3. jason wright

    that’s very cool.does Dronebase review footage to ‘mask’ anything captured that would be regarded as private information (licence plate numbers, nude sunbathing scenes, et.c)?

  4. kirklove

    1/ Brooklyn!2/ No laws in NYC about drones? Permits needed?3/ The wedding of the century in Paraguay had a drone INSIDE the church to film ha!4/ Why do drone/real estate vids always have the worst elevator muzak?5/ Brooklyn Again!fin

    1. scottythebody

      Drones are pretty much standard in big Eastern European weddings now. The more the better.

      1. kirklove

        it was pretty great, and best of all non-intrusive as opposed to the dozens of photographers up on the altar. The resulting video was pretty amazing, too.

      2. Matt Zagaja

        Interesting. The last wedding I was at had drone photography at the reception but not inside during the ceremony. When we saw the drone over the vineyard we were like “yup this is San Francisco”.

    2. fredwilson

      there are some regulations that drone pilots need to comply with. dronebase helps them do that. but i don’t believe you need a permit to fly a drone in NYC

      1. kirklove

        I’m thinking I need a drone to fly off my roof now then.

        1. Nicholas Osgood

          DroneBase is an approved FAA 333 Exempt commercial drone operator. There are currently only a little over a thousand approved operators in the US.

          1. LE

            See my other comment you need this info on your site somewhere.Second thing (suggestion) is I see an opportunity to fund the drone purchase for someone that wants to be a pilot and can’t afford a good drone (like a college student for example). I would jump at the opportunity to get people into doing this type of thing that can’t. (By “I” I mean “me” I would actually do this given the right individual).

          2. kirklove

            From my very quick (thanks Google!) search, there seems to be no ‘real’ law prohibiting someone from operating a drone in NYC (crazy!) though the police have the discretion to issue a reckless endangerment ticket. Perhaps this has changed. I’d love to know as I had no idea Prosumer drones had improved that much and come down so much in cost.

          3. Jay Bregman

            The reg NYC can use as a local organization is NYC Administrative Code Β§ 10-126 which I pasted into a Google Doc here…. This was what was recently used to cite someone flying near the Manhattan Bridge…However, the FAA maintains that it controls all airspace and so it is possible anyone violating city or state laws / regs will also be subject to federal aviation laws.

          4. Jay Bregman

            DroneBase’s exemption applies to it as an organization, not people or organization it contracts. Having a 333 Exemption is not transitive just like having a commercial airline licence isn’t. I think we all agree the FAA rules need to be updated, sharpish, so services like this and others can really start to flourish.

          5. LE

            Agree I would like to know more about this since that’s exactly what I thought. Of course I would imagine the legal relationship between “pilots” and dronebase is what matters. If they are employees then it would make sense perhaps. If not, say “contractors” then it doesn’t. Since this is an obvious fact it’s hard to believe the parent comment isn’t considering this.

          6. Mario Cantin

            Could they somehow lose the license and therefore jeopardize the business? Is that one of the inherent risks for them?

        2. Cam MacRae

          DJI Phantom 3. Mindblowingly awesome so long as you have a good view of the sky (for GPS).

          1. kirklove

            Yeah, that’s the one I saw on B&H. Shocked by the quality for price.

          2. Cam MacRae

            Phillip Bloom is currently shooting B-roll for CNN’s “The Wonder List with Bill Weir” with a Phantom 3. It is a serious bit of kit. (Also uses an Inspire 1).

          3. Cam MacRae

            omigod! pure gold.

      2. Emily Steed

        “Under existing FAA rules, there are two ways to gain clearance for unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations… Businesses can apply for permission to use drones through what’s known as Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, under which the FAA can grant companies approval to fly drones commercially under certain defined parameters. The FAA has approved only 53 Section 333 applications for roughly 45 companies thus far. Some 600 applications are still pending, stuck in a slow-moving approval pipeline. The FAA’s new policy grants any company or entity that has already cleared the Section 333 approval process a blanket COA to fly below 200 feet. In other words, those companies that are already approved to fly under Section 333 now have blanket approval to fly below 200 feet.” From

        1. Jay Bregman

          Important to note the Section 333 exemptions do not absolve companies or their pilots (however engaged) from general airspace restrictions (described in my post below). In fact, the letter that accompanies the exemption adds restrictions requiring written permission from owners when flying over private property, and prohibits flying over people that are not involved in the flight operation (to name a few)…

          1. Emily Steed

            That is a great point. Thanks for sharing. Fantastic, thoughtful discussion here on the best approach to complying with regs πŸ™‚ Drones have such rapidly changing regs and best practices – is there a drone compliance working group yet to share “lessons learned” to avoid repeating safety and regulatory missteps? For example, there is also the whole issue of inadvertently capturing data (creating hacking vulnerability) that could be used against the USA in an act of war (by recording data that could provide visual details about energy plants and related utilities that could be attacked – see Export Control laws).

      3. Jay Bregman

        Actually (and sadly) most of NYC is currently off limits to drones.The FAA prohibits drone flights within 5 miles of EWR, LGA, JFK which makes most of the city inaccessible, and also regulates flying close to heliports even if they are atop buildings such as hospitals. I pasted a photo from Verifly’s GIS system of the places you can fly according to the FAA rules.At the city level, NYC Regulation Β§10-126 “Avigation in and over the city” prohibits takeoff and landing in “any place within the limits of the city”.…Finally, only five NYC parks permit drone flying (and some are arguably not usable because they contradict the FAA rules).…. None are in Manhattan.Pilots need not only training but an FAA exemption to do commercial operations like the one you requested.Again, I am not saying I agree with all of these regulations – even the FAA wants to change them – but right now you can’t fly a drone in most places in NYC with or without a permit.

      4. Michael del Castillo

        Hi Fred! I just received an email from DroneBase confirming their Section 333 exemption. New York Business Journal is preparing a short, fun piece based on your blog and we’d like to ask you a couple questions. Are you free? How’s best to contact you?

      5. andyrankin

        A giant circle around DC is off limits due to the Flight Restriction Zone. I think most/all DJI units with GPS will no longer take off if you’re inside the zone. It’s ridiculous and ironic, the technology they use to implement this restriction (GPS) could be used much more precisely to prevent people from flying in truly sensitive areas.Is DroneBase doing any lobbying about some of these excessively restrictive zones?

    3. LE

      You raised a good point. And actually the perfect place for this info is on this page on dronebase:…Last I had checked (and thought about this) FAA wasn’t permitting commercial use of drones. Now it appears they are (although I didn’t do a full search). Dronebase should add this to their site.

        1. LE

          Interesting I see what you are doing you call the “verisign for robots” I’m probably one of the few people here at AVC that is actually familiar with and deals with Verisign as they operate the shared registry system.

          1. Jay Bregman

            And before that pioneered transactional security and trust in the Internet…happy to chat anytime. JB

    4. Jay Bregman

      The use of drones for commercial use (exchange of money or money in-kind) is prohibited by the FAA in the United States, unless the pilot has a specific exemption from the FAA. There are only 1,000 exceptions which have been granted and pilots also need a Certificate of Authorization for each flight over 200 feet. The Pilot in Fred’s case would have had to satisfy all these requirements or would have been breaking the law – it’s unclear whether Fred or DroneBase could be liable for facilitating the transaction but in aviation law generally it is a requirement that people renting planes for example have a positive obligation to check whether the person has a pilots license. I am not saying these rules are right – there is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which will make the process easier – but it’s just a notice at this point and is at least 18-24 months from becoming law.

  5. LIAD

    Drones as a service. Awesome.What’s with the permission from building owner and no fly zones. What gives?

    1. fredwilson


      1. LIAD

        Bandit drones as a service. Awesome.

    2. markslater

      this seems fraught with future issues…..if i owned that balcony next to that property – i’d be pissed right now that 20,000 people just saw it.I had to stop a guy flying a drone over my 6 years track meet last week. very creepy.I could list over a 100 black swan events that drones could cause.

  6. awaldstein

    Made me think of drones as a public service, deployed ahead of emergency services.Part of the city fleet for public safety.

    1. William Mougayar

      That’s definitely part of the target segment of drone applications. Also, in remote areas, search and rescue are way cheaper instead of sending a helicopter.

      1. awaldstein

        Here’s the rub–that remote location is right around the corner wherever you are.Been meeting with a company that has a fail safe wireless network that provides insta alerts with location for accidents. Basically after a crash, it auto alerts 911.The backstory is that except for certain cars and excluding amazingly Tesla to my knowledge, you can go out for a drive, crash and die without anyone finding you in time. Happens all the time. Doesn’t have to be in Wisconsin in the winter.Democratizing access to real time alert systems saves lives and provides a huge public service. Also save huge amounts of dollars from a medical perspective. And is a great business model to boot.Super cool that the consumer side of this can also tell where your kids are and whether they are texting and driving at the same time!

        1. LE

          Democratizing access to real time alert systems saves lives and provides a huge public service. Also save huge amounts of dollars from a medical perspective.Of course you know that there is something called “medic alert” as in “press the life saving button” for an older person (such as your mom or my mom) should she “fall and not be able to get up”.However I was just thinking last night actually that they need a medic alert with an accelerometer. That way if mom fell and was incapacitated someone could be notified even if she was knocked unconscious. (This is actually a somewhat frequent occurrence I believe.)Noting also what happened to Dave Goldberg of Survey Monkey and the treadmill. [1] Had he had one of these devices it’s possible he would have been found earlier and not died.Good idea for a kickstarter project for someone. Seems trivial to make this type of product.[1] Similar accident happened to me by the way which is why I always use the kill cord now religiously.

          1. Richard

            They exist

    2. fredwilson

      two comments on this already in this thread!!!!

    3. LE

      Power is still a problem therefore you need to have a human that takes the drone to the site in order to operate it. They don’t fly for that long so you can’t (currently at least) easily dispatch them from long distances unless you are the US Military and you have a whopper of a budget. Plus the bigger they are the more dangerous. A hobbyist was killed in Brooklyn a year or two ago doing stunts in the park. I’d post the link but it’s not really something you want to see. (He was an expert btw..) Was a heli and not a quad but still moving blades are dangerous no question about that.I had to dive out of the way to avoid getting hit because of a broken plastic gear in a heli that I owned. Not something that ever happened before and I’ve been doing this on and off since the mid 80’s (back when it actually took real skill). Safety is a big concern.

  7. scottythebody

    Pretty cool! Not going to happen for us in Austria anytime soon, though. Drones are banned from flying anywhere in the city of Vienna due to privacy concerns. We don’t even get street view on Google Maps, so this is a long way off for us.

  8. drhoten

    I love this. While a personal use case, it really illustrates how drones could be used for rapid deployment in public device or emergency situations.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, the public service potential for drones is huge

  9. pointsnfigures

    There is the spooky side of drones (spying etc) and the really cool side of drones. I see huge potential for drones in farming. Your example of real estate is another. But, wait until the equipment on drones get really really sophisticated-or if drones become microscopic with really sophisticated equipment. Hard to imagine where it could go.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Or until some group uses drones to carry a bomb. Then the government get’s involved and drones are locked down.

  10. scottythebody

    Isn’t the pilot part rather temporary? True drones should not be remote controlled, but fly autonomously based on directives.

    1. fredwilson

      just like uber drivers

      1. BillMcNeely

        In that case I hope my day job takes off!

      2. scottythebody


      3. LE

        With drones power is an issue. In theory sure a drone could takeoff and be controlled from a central command (put that on the wish list). However unless powered by hobby fuel (like my RC Helis of old) flight time is impacted greatly. Gas RC is also way nosier than electric. Kind of like a baby weed wacker. Much more fun and cooler than electric though. Not to mention that you could refuel in-flight (10 years from now that is..)

  11. Twain Twain

    Apple’s new HQ from a drone’s view. Drones give a completely different perspective from 2D blueprints and mini-3D architects models in Autocad:*

  12. David Barnes

    Wow!You don’t need to be biased to find this magical.

  13. JLM

    .No brainer for real estate. Having built high rise office buildings back in the day, I would be using this for planning, regulatory approvals, and marketing. The real estate use case is a lay down.As to the business, there is not much of a moat here.The production, post production, graphics is pretty tame stuff.The pricing is very attractive if you are working on any substantial size projects.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Brandon G. Donnelly

      Blimp photography used to be standard for capturing the views of a future development. Cost was over $10k.

      1. JLM

        .I was in the real estate development business for a long time. I must have missed the blimp phase.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Brandon G. Donnelly

          Sorry balloons

    2. LE

      I would be using this for planning, regulatory approvals, and marketing.Hah! You left out the most important item – “financing”.The pricing is very attractive if you are working on any substantial size projects.Per my other comment they aren’t taking advantage of the fact in their pricing (easy to change of course) that different customers will easily pay more for a different differentiated product or service. Right now their pricing does not really give an end purchaser a good reason to choose one package over another.The pricing (such as “pro” and “business”) needs to target a specific group of customers with more than technical type jargon (which is what they do now).All of this is easily fixable marketing tweaks.

    3. markslater

      especially high end properties for sale no?

      1. JLM

        .I think something like this sets the tone and the higher the quality, the higher the tone.When I was building high rises I used to have 3-6 projector marketing shows which all could be subsumed by PowerPoint today. PP hadn’t been invented. Yes, there was such a time.I would put them in a building across from the site and then throw back the blackout curtains and look at the site. We leased a lot of space doing that. It was expensive for its time but not really given the magnitude of the investment.I would have it ready to go BEFORE we broke ground and I would let any broker in town use it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. fredwilson

      I agree on the issue of moat or lack thereof. I do think there’s an opportunity to build a national brand in a market that is currently serviced by regional operators. And the “self serve” nature of the purchase is key to building that national brand quickly.And, what is the difference between a lay down and a lay up?

      1. JLM

        .A lay down is when you “lay down” your weapons and surrender to the greater wisdom of an idea.Most every city has several companies who have been doing helicopter video for years and they already have the market share, market presence, marketing, customers, pre-production, post production, archiving capabilities in place all that is being done is changing out the camera platform.The “on demand” feature is a big thing. You can order 24/7.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. PhilipSugar

          Here is the pain.Always has and always will be.When you take costs and reduce them by a factor of ten, it is so painful to be the incumbent.You know you just have to strip down, but it is so tough to take off all of those clothes when you have become fat.

        2. Jay Bregman

          Drones are 10% of the cost of a helicopter….

          1. JLM

            .Much, much less actually plus they can fly places helicopters cannot.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  14. Chimpwithcans

    Super cool…Do they offer delivery services? I’m thinking on site from bottom of the building site to the top, or from one side of a mining property to the other?

    1. Nicholas Osgood

      Right now, DroneBase does not offer delivery services. There have only been a select few companies that have been granted FAA permission to test drone delivery at the moment.

  15. Twain Twain

    This is on my wishlist: DJI Phantom 2 V3 with H3-3D Zenmuse Gimbal.Drones would also be great for these use cases as well as search & rescue emergency services:(1.) Seeing what’s up ahead if you’re driving or traveling (hiking) through mountainous and forested areas.(2.) Sports events and music concerts to get a 360 view of the action.(3.) Parents to whizz small items to their kids they may have forgotten to take to school with them.

    1. William Mougayar

      Wait til the Plexidrone ships from Canada πŸ™‚ [I supported their crowdfunding campaign, and waiting for my unit soon]

      1. Twain Twain

        Ha! Yours is the Ti-fighter to my X-wing!!!

  16. LIAD

    Pilots time. Drone costs. Expenses (parking, repairs, payment fees) Post production costs.Big bang for your Buck.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      I was thinking something similar but from the perspective of crappy pay for drone pilots.

      1. LE

        Yup exactly. No spreadsheet even needed. $399 gross. And that’s today it will almost certainly drop.They need to:- Review the job- Get to the portal (job site)- Do the shoot- Edit the shoot- Upload it – Pay the vig to dronebase.- Expenses of tolls, transportation, depreciation.Would be surprised if they even end up with $50 per hour which sounds like a great deal however it’s part time work nobody is going to keep busy 40 hours a week (and also the $50 is probably not even the number..)The simplicity of the set price of $399 is good but it’s also bad for both dronebase and the labor. They need to be able to take advantage and add extras that bring in extra profit and make it harder to compare pricing with competition. It’s the extras that will make the money for both parties. It’s the way anyone makes money on this level. Get foot in the door, charge a premium once the vendor gains the confidence of the buyer and has a reliable source of supply.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Liability insurance seems prudent too if you are flying over other people’s property.Given the asshole type interactions between drone pilots and aerial water tankers fighting fires out in the west I’m pretty sure permits are going to be required soon too.

          1. LE

            Yup I forgot that. Great point. However I would imagine many of the guys doing this don’t have that and/or perhaps dronebase has a master policy. In fact dronebase definitely needs coverage they will be sued only a matter of when something happens.Impossible for me to believe that any regular P&C company will cover drones, something they don’t know about. [1] Insurance companies don’t offer coverage (other than some specialty companies) for things they can’t predict.[1] When I started doing what I do I had to be listed as a “Patent Agent”.

        2. Nicholas Osgood

          The pilots do not have to do post production. DroneBase does that in-house. The pilots get notified when a job is in their “area” that they designate. They fly, then upload, then get paid. Seems pretty simple?

  17. JLM

    .Here is a homegrown Austin, Texas firm that has been at it for a while.This is a good view of downtown ATX. I used it to look at the buildings I built.…The panorama really makes a great impact. You get an incredible view of the central business district from the W Hotel.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      What’s interesting in looking at their web page (they also operate helicopters) is to guestimate to what extent the market will be enlarged by drones vs. the business they will loose that will be done by drones (operated by competitors). High bar of entry for having a pilot and a heli to do photography vs. being able to use a drone. Noting also they talk about starting off with a cheap foreign made drone (that overheated) which essentially is what their competitors will also be able to do.

  18. Alexander Hughes

    It sounds / looks like this definitely violated the FAA’s requirement that commercial drones are not flown within 500ft of people/structures without their consent. I can’t seen how Dronebase is possibly allowing their pilots to operate in urban settings like NYC or at least not verifying that they are operating legally.

    1. Erin

      Yeah I mean it was really cool to see and I totally get why it’s useful, but … IS there a 500 ft law? I would definitely not want drones hovering over my house. I’m excited -slash-nervous about this.

      1. Richard

        Falls under invasion of privacy law. Supreme Court already told us that a pilots naked eye does not invade your privacy. But a drone at 100 ft could raise additional issues?

  19. Brandon G. Donnelly

    What’s the plan for the development site? πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      Multi family residential. We plan to use a “passive house” design and construction technique…

      1. Brandon G. Donnelly

        Nice work!Would love to learn more if you care to share.I’m in the

  20. JimHirshfield

    Leave it to an investor to drone on about one of his portfolio companies.But seriously, that user experience was so easy, you must be flying high.OK, that’s it, I’m grounded. Have a nice day. Out.

    1. JamesHRH

      Come on, I am hovering over my keyboard, awaiting the next pun…

  21. leigh

    We are renovating our house and have to get topo maps and a bunch of other stuff. We are using http://www.firstbasesolutio… which i think is a very similar thing. I like the idea of dronebase but their costs aren’t competitive (the end cost is the same, but our landscape architect is involved and it’s in Canadian dollars). Unless maybe it’s not the same thing?

  22. JLM

    Armed drones? Why not? You knew this was coming, right?…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      Must consider environmental impact of all of this!!!

  23. aminTorres

    This is awesome. I just booked a pro package over a land in the Dom. Rep. I want to purchase… The interface was so easy to use, cannot wait.

    1. Nicholas Osgood

      This is awesome!

  24. Supratim Dasgupta

    Isnt 399 too steep? For that price I can have someone in NY do a site visit and take pictures and also facetime me from the location. How much does the drone cost? 1000USD?I would say 39.99 would get me thinking to use the service. 3.99 would be disruptive and i will use it over and over again.But I am super frugal.

  25. Steve Orell

    Wow that was really cool. How are you really so optimistic that drones won’t be strangled out of existence by regulation though?…at least in the short term. Are Dronebase pilots accredited in any way? I saw the no fly zones but the pilot seemed to be over other buildings and roads. Is there something I’m missing in thinking it is only a matter of time until a drone fails, falls from the sky, lands on someone’s head, and invokes something that prohibits any sort of reasonable low cost drone use?

    1. LE

      Dronebase pilots accredited in any way?Probably something that dronebase has to get out in front of and setup guidelines and industry certification so politicians can say “this is being handled” (same as with happens with attorneys and realtors for example)

      1. Jay Bregman

        The FAA is already doing this and has a proposal for allowing commercial use including pilot tests – 18-24 months to implement barring any exceptional event. Until then Section 333 exemptions are the only option – but they currently may be superseded by local laws.

        1. Jay Bregman

          I should add currently any commercial drone pilot working in the US needs a regular Pilot’s license.

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      These are good questions. I know that there have been problems with pilots seeing drones upon landing at NYC airports (a drone in an airplane engine is something nobody wants so I’m sure regulation is forthcoming), but I believe those are rogue amateurs.

      1. Jay Bregman

        If there is no way to identify who is who then whether they are professionals or “rogues” doesn’t really matter. It makes sense that pilots and drones are identified so they can access the correct level of privilege (like flying or landing in a particular area, undertaking a commercial mission, or so they know that what they do with this technology is not completely anonymous and dangerous.

      1. Jay Bregman

        Depends on what you mean by “regulated”. We can do this through code or law – and with drones we believe it makes more sense to do it through code, though this is a tough global problem to solve. But I agree the trust level for drones is low and that needs to be fixed before someone gets seriously hurt.

  26. Sam

    My understanding is that drone flights are restricted within five miles of an airport, and my assumption is that the surveyed site is within 5 miles of La Guardia. Is there an FAA approvals process that goes with a mission like this? I looked on Dronebase site briefly and could not find out more about this.

  27. Jim Peterson

    Morning. For a person with a bias against salesmanship- you are a master. This is a great presentation.

  28. Jay Bregman

    I agree the concept is great and needed because imaging is the primary use case and most people have enough problems flying the drone rather than getting the pictures you want (or sorting / editing them). However, I am concerned that it appears from the photos that flying the drone to take those pictures was not in line with current regulations. Unless it was far into Brooklyn this would fall within the 5 mile exclusion zones of the three major NYC airports (which is legitimate to keep airspace segregated) and even if not, flying over people as one would have to do to take these pictures is also prohibited. I am not saying we should not celebrate new services like DB but I do think we need someone to sort through these regulations and get exceptions to take pictures or do other tasks. The FAA allows such exceptions from any tower but this is beyond the reach of most recreational or commercial users. We need to put trust in the market so services like these can prosper. Disclosure: this is part of what we are doing in my new startup Verifly, and I think we would be natural partners for services like DroneBase or anyone looking to do useful things with drones that wants a drop-in compliance, trust, and, authorization layer.

  29. Emily Steed

    Great post. You made it easy to follow how this works. Thanks for posting. Drones are fascinating. They open the door to fantastic new opportunities – including commercially and for very cool new global search and rescue strategies. Drones also raise rapidly changing legal and safety challenges. An effective compliance process is important to help management stay on top of safely and lawfully deploying drones. This is a short article with some interesting ideas to strengthen drone safety and regulatory compliance – thought you may be interested in case you had not seen this.

  30. Cam MacRae

    BOOM BAAAAABY!(Although not within city limits πŸ˜‰ )

  31. Richard

    Dronebase should market to wedding / event photographers, biggest hurdle is costs of marketing

    1. Dave Brown – That is what we have done. We launched at the beginning of the month.

  32. Susan Rubinsky

    That is freaking awesome.

  33. awaldstein

    If you are going to use these for decisions and mapping they really need to be in 3D so there is depth.The company we purchased to build the RLD stereoscopic theater system was used for mapping and spy planes.From spy satellites to Avatar was not such a big leap.

  34. Stephen Voris

    On the pedestrian-safety end of things, I wonder how effective airbags might be. Velocity after a 200-foot drop is about on par with highway speeds, after all.

  35. Mario Cantin

    A bit off a personal question. If it’s off-base to ask, I assume you simply won’t answer. You say that you do real estate development as a hobby. Now, hobbies are activities typically done to relax and provide pleasure. Yet, every real estate developer I’ve come in contact with, in one way or another, has expressed that it requires a serious appetite for risk and some have mentioned that it makes their stomach turn at times.Does it relax you?

  36. howardlindzon

    Cant wait to use drones to mess with the neighbors i dislike …

  37. gary macgregor

    I’m not sure that bumping luminescence (or something) to remove the dirt is helpful. I’m not sure that walking around a property takes more than “a few minutes “. Perhaps there is a better application example.

  38. Marcus Detry

    Wow – that’s super cool. Congrats to Dronebase team on making the process so simple.

  39. Thor Snilsberg

    Returned home to Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with the family after a relatively off the grid week upstate. Catching up on emails and was impressed with Dronebase’s service and pleased to see your investing in my long-time nabe. Next time your visiting in person I’d recommend the pizza at Speedy Romeo,… or the new dumpling shop on Lafayette,

  40. Prokofy

    The Ukrainian army needs more drones so that they can shoot at the Russians better and avoid their own civilians. They have some but the Russians shoot them down.I spend some time looking at both the Russian and Ukrainian drone footage to try to geolocate armor and troops and see if the area has been built up with military presence or the civilian areas devastated. And it’s hard to get used to reading the drone view after years of looking down on Google Maps and Google Earth and walking around in Google Street View.What I don’t understand about this story is why there is this check to see if you are the property owner.Why isn’t a drone view considered the same kind of public domain as the front of a building that Google Street View captures?It’s not as if they are looking in your window.

  41. John Pepper

    Thanks to this blog I am now approved as a Qualified Dronebase Pilot. I submitted this video I took and edited the other day as evidence I have skills to perform the basics (basics in droning aren’t really basic at all).

  42. Twain Twain

    Sandwiches and cupcakes.

  43. Mario Cantin

    Ha ha! Probably not much.Wife: “You cheated on me with my sister you pig!!”Husband: “Yeah you tell me! Sorry about that by the way … but … we had a drone at our wedding, remember?”Wife: Ah yeah right, I forgot. Well we’re all good then. I love you Sweetie”Somehow, I don’t think so… πŸ™‚