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How to Pair Drone Footage with Property Data

November 20, 2018  //  BY Team DataTree

Not that long ago, the only way you could get an accurate overview map of a piece of property was to hire a pilot and use an advanced camera or video recorder to get footage. Now, thanks to the popularity and proliferation of drones, it is much easier to get high-quality and accurate aerial maps that can then be used in a number of different industries.

If you are a drone pilot, you might already have clients from a number of different fields — including mortgage lenders, real estate agents, legal professionals, land professionals and more.

But while the raw footage that your drone captures offers a great aerial map, it is essentially just a marketing tool. In order to up the proverbial ante on the overhead drone footage that you are capturing on properties, you may want to consider overlaying additional data about the property, including Property and Ownership Reports that include info about the characteristics, location, basic tax information and other helpful nuggets of data. Property Valuations can also be overlaid with drone footage to include up to date and reliable appraisal info on the property, and document images that cover virtually every recorded document pertaining to the land, including stand alone mortgages, mortgage assignments and more, can also be useful information to include.

The combination of drone footage along with additional information on the property will provide your clients with an educational and in-depth resource that gives a comprehensive description of the aerial map. It will also help your clients to understand what they are looking at much more easily than a basic overhead shot of an area.

How Exactly Does Drone Mapping Work?

If you are new to the world of drone piloting, there are a number of things to keep in mind prior to flying your first drone mapping project. Safety should always be your number one priority. Try to never fly your drone above people and, as you are getting used to the process, shoot for a smaller area to map — like around 300 feet by 300 feet or so. Most drone pilots will use some sort of app on their smartphone that will allow them to plan their flight — if you are unsure if the satellite images of the area are current and correct, you should walk around the selected area and verify that your proposed flight plan will work and will not end up damaging the drone.

It is also important to select your altitude carefully; in general, the lower your drone flies, the more images it will have to take to complete your aerial survey. Using the aforementioned 300 foot by 300 foot area, flying the drone at 30 feet will take about 10 minutes and should produce about 150 images. If you are up around 90 feet, your flight time will be about 2 minutes and the number of images will be more like 50. Keep in mind that most drone batteries last about 20 minutes; this can also help you to plan your flight. Once the info about the flight is loaded into the app, your drone will take off and automatically complete the survey; if you can possibly review the footage while you are still at the location, you should do so — this way, you won’t have to return over and over to get additional footage. Finally, you will upload the data to finish up creating your aerial survey.

Why Pairing Drone Footage with Maps Makes Sense

As previously mentioned, the number of industries that are starting to use drone mapping is growing. For instance, notes Drone Pilot Ground School, land developers who are considering buying and developing a large area of land will benefit from an up-to-date and accurate aerial map of the area that even the best satellite image could never provide. To make the footage even more useful, you can overlay accurate border and other property information on the imagery; there are a number of different types of software that is designed for land professionals and will augment aerial maps with the additional details and information people in their field will want. This way, when your clients are looking at your aerial footage, they can quickly and easily identify certain areas and get a good grasp of the drone footage.

In order to access the suite of tools that you will need to enhance your drone footage with helpful information, consider using a Land Services Platform. People from a number of industries including the aforementioned mortgage lenders, real estate professionals, land professionals and legal professionals will appreciate the added details your aerial maps include. With this platform, you can utilize four types of searches including Map Search, which will provide both visual and text based representations of the results you are seeking. The Flex Search feature will allow you to search the entire text of public record documents, and the Advanced Search lets you find those proverbial needles in the hay stack of map information. The Integrated Search feature will allow you to search a number of properties at once using owner name, address info and other data. In addition, the Property Valuations data can also be useful property data to access; it can provide info on the market value of the property being surveyed by your drone. In addition, the Ownership reports can help determine who, if anyone, currently owns the property that is being aerially recorded.

Give DataTree’s Property Valuations Platform a Trial Run

As a drone pilot, it goes without saying that you want your footage to stand apart from the competition. By accessing a platform that offers up to date, accurate and comprehensive data about properties, you can rest assured that you are overlaying the best possible property data with your drone footage. A great place to start is with DataTree’s Property Valuations platform — this suite provides you with the specific information you need about the properties you are surveying via drone. The data from DataTree is accurate and has been trusted by other professionals; if you are interested in giving the Property Valuations platform a try, you can sign up for a free trial at any time and help your drone piloting business grow and thrive.


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