Let me tell you a story... (sit back, relax, grab another can... this is good, trust me!)
My wife is a Farm Girl; grew up on the farm and married a City Boy. I now absolutely LOVE the farm. Everything about agriculture intrigues me and I am an absolute sponge anytime I get a chance to sit down with an agronomist and just talk dirt... or that damned sclerotinia!
Sometimes, when we head to the farm for a weekend, it is because I have a couple jobs nearby where I need to collect a huge amount of aerial data using our fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones.
I have spent hours upon hours trying to get imagery to upload through the LTE connection hotspot broadcasting from my iPhone, while sitting around after dinner at the farm (it's actually a miracle that we even get LTE where we are - about 2 miles in any direction and it just disappears completely...!).
I can't really complain about this though because I can come home to Winnipeg and have super-ultra mega-lightening-zip upload speeds and can upload at about a million times the rate on the farm!!
So this is the problem!
Farmers and agronomists who use drones or UAVs for agriculture (or more specifically precision agriculture) are often limited to what they can do with the data they collect. It is way too slow to try and upload data to an online processing server; and most people do not possess a top-of-the-line computer with Pix4D software...
I've heard many stories where people are just giving up on drones because it's just "too complicated..."
It is not the drone, and it's not the workflow to process data that is complicated... its having to figure out whose house, or which library you can tap into in order to upload your imagery!
The false solution...
Some may argue "well, you can process the data on your computer and bypass the whole uploading thing."
Yes. This is true. If you have a very high-end computer with some very expensive software that allows you to stitch your imagery on your own computer, yes, this is true! But this is not usually how it goes.
I've dealt with several clients who don't have an email address, let alone a Core i7 with 500GB SSD and... you get the idea.
The real solution!
I love this idea. Hopefully you love it also...
There is a company called Snail Mail Data (snailmaildata.ag) who services all of rural Canada, from BC to Halifax... and they process your data for you!
You use your own drone, and your own sensors (RGB and NIR).
You buy a "packet" from SMD that comes with a flash drive and a postage-paid envelope which is enough for 160 acres of imagery, taken from 400ft at a max of 80% overlap. All you have to do is put the data from your flights on the flash drive, drop it in the envelope, and drop it at a post office.
They take your data, process it, and then send it back to you in a few different formats (basically any format you could need). They also upload it to an interactive website where you can manipulate the data in various ways (like drawing shapes and calculating areas and volume measurements) even without an amazing internet connection!
The cool thing is that they GUARANTEE that your data will be back to you, fully processed, wherever you are in Canada... within 9 days of you sending it, OR ITS FREE!!
The average time for returned data is actually 6 days!
So here's the kicker...!
Snail Mail Data is actually a subsidiary of M3 Aerial Productions Inc. and you can now find them in a link in our Services section! Based right here in Manitoba, we are doing everything we can to provide the best experiences for our clients! Please let us know if you have any questions!
If you are interested in checking out the pricing structure of Snail Mail Data, please click the link below!
More information about snailmaildata
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