Are there opportunities in the surveying world for DSP’s?

By | December 20, 2022

Today's show is about providing services to surveyors. Our question for today is from Jamie, who would like to know if its worth providing drone services to surveyors or if it is better to provide services to sites directly.

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Drone Mapping Guide –

01:47 Today's question on providing services to a surveyor or flying for a site job
03:24 Why it is not worth providing services to surveyors and what are the issues in this business model
05:25 Additional insights on surveyor assistance by drone pilots including geo tool usage and accuracy
10:00 What can drone pilots with surveying experience provide services on


You're listening to the ask drone you Podcast you ask we answer your drone Questions whether you're here to turn Your passion into profit when you simply Fly for Fun we're a community of Learners and teachers who aspire to Achieve greatness we are Hey everyone and welcome to another Interesting episode of ask drone you my Name is Paul my name is Rob looking Forward to today's discussion I think That uh it will be a little eye-opening Um Always enjoy getting into subjects like This that are actually a little bit uh I Don't know a little nerve-wracking I Suppose in some ways and maybe hit a Little close to home for us in Particular but I think it'll be good Information thank you for the question If you have a question ask droneu.com we Would absolutely love to hear from you That's why we're here a hundred percent Yeah no we do appreciate those questions Bring them on we love them and uh Today's uh sponsor for this show is Going to be the props flight school Which was built for drone teams and Programs like we could have created Drone you Enterprise but we wanted to Create an educational platform to Support drone teams vis-a-vis managing Multiple Pilots at once where they can Deploy chronological trainings develop

To service numerous industry verticals But no matter which training they deploy All of their pilots will be able to Cross pollinate from one Department to The other as they've created operational Systems admin Administration systems and Communication systems to ensure their Success if you are looking to start a Drone team or program or simply refresh It you've got to check out the props Program Propsfightschool.com powered by droneu Hi Paul I'm Rob this is Jamie Deanna my Question today is regarding partnering With surveyors there is some general Impression in this industry that surveys May be slightly hostile to drone Pilots Or at least some of them as they may see Us as a threat to their service Offerings I've sort of done things in Reverse here since I'm a mortgage guy And I've had a lot of free time on my Hands this year I have not gone out and Hit the streets yet knocking on doors With my binders I've learned first in That I have the drones and have watched Paul's mapping class I think three times Now as well as just self-educating Through Google and YouTube videos and Things of that nature so I am fairly Proficient in gcps and checkpoints and Coordinate systems and skill constraints And all that enough so that I think I Can offer a service to surveyors I use a

P4 Pro with a PPK kit soon to be using a Mavic 3 Enterprise with an rtk game Module My question is Specifically would I'd be more likely to Offer my services to a surveyor to Supplement their service because they May not have a 107 or want to learn Drones or would I be more likely Offering my services on site with a Surveyor signing off on my work for a Fee any thoughts on that would be Greatly appreciated thank you very much Thank you Jamie you really appreciate The question it's a good one you've kind Of got into a lot there that we will do Our best to cover I think the first Thing that Paul and I think about as we Discussed answering your question is When it comes to this Paradigm of Helping surveyors with your drone skills Is is the juice worth the squeeze right And To use a line that we've started using a Lot more that we got from a friend of Ours but um that's a really important Question here and so you mentioned that There might be a little bit of a Hesitancy that's not the word you used From surveyors to get involved with Somebody like yourself I think that's probably true we'll talk A little bit more about that but I think Maybe even a larger issue is the state

Boards and I think they might even be More protective because they see that as Their role right and in some ways it is Their role then the surveyors themselves So there's a lot to consider here and uh To start with the ending we're just not Sure it's going to be worth it well and I think also to your point as we Discussed in pre-show that there might Be a lot better opportunities that are More profitable yeah and that are more Kind of quote unquote worth it because Even if you do get into those types of Jobs if you're working underneath a Surveyor for example you're probably Going to want a more robust aircraft you Know something like the wingtra one Gen 2 where it's a super efficient Methodology of creating georeference Maps Um I think this question came from uh One of the posts inside the droneu Community app where I had provided a Disclaimer of saying like don't offer Surveying Services unless you're a Licensed surveyor you know showcasing The personal experience that we've had Here I mean even of discussing it on the Show of getting you know pushback from Various state boards it's like hey we're Just here talking about it that's uh Unfortunately Uh one of those things that's protected By the First Amendment here because

We're not making threats against anyone So it's still protected that said I Think Rob's point on is the juice worth The squeeze is extremely important to Focus on because if you have existing Relationships with a surveyor and you Can offer quote unquote surveyor Assistant Services where you're working Directly under them and they they are The licensure they are the ones signing Off Etc I think that that's still Reasonable we see surveyors do that all The time and I think we've even seen Some drone you alumni offer surveyor Assisted services and being very clear On what they do and what they can't do What they can provide what they can't Provide because it's important for Pilots to know under a lot of surveying Law and again it varies state by state You cannot claim accuracies you cannot Claim you know a GSD Etc And it's important to know how to Utilize certain GPS or geo-referencing Tools even more important to know how to You know adequately input those tools Into your data products and even more Important to understand your quality Reports and how to visualize and discern The quote unquote true accuracy because I you know when we teach the mapping Class on exercise five where we're Talking about how to export polylines And whatnot which by the way pix4d has

Added some additional outputs on those Polylines like dxf files and whatnot but That said if you actually take that Exercise which when you measure the Scale constraints they come out almost Perfectly I mean within 1 100th of a Foot but if you take that map and you Throw it into esri arcgis qjis Global Mapper or any other surveying software You'll find it's off six seven feet on The latitude on not all only you know Left and right but you know North and South so that's then vertical some right Yeah no it is and the important thing to Know is on that exercise pix4d will show You a great geo-referencing accuracy but When you take it into a third-party app You realize that that's really not Valuable which is why in the mapping Class we teach all the time to truly Discern accuracy you've got to put the Map or the data product in a third-party Software even if you have checkpoints All that you're really measuring is the Delta between the known points and the Checkpoints and if they were shot with The same device you can still input lots Of error into the map Now I've so you can see how complex this Gets 100 and what you don't know may Sink you too a hundred percent just just FYI we've actually trained a lot of Surveyors and Um I always tell them look the most

Important aspect of geo-referencing your Maps and models is going to be how you Utilize your ground control points and Depending on the type of aircraft and GPS system that you're using there are Meth various methodologies in offering That so Um it's complex and again as Rob started The show with the juice may not be worth The squeeze and I'll continue with the Disclaimer that you can't offer Surveying services Without being a licensed surveyor and They will come after you Um although we know a lot of the Surveying laws quite outdated too I mean You look at certain States and they're Like the stitching of images is quote Unquote surveying it's like so everyone Shooting a Pano or a panorama on their IPhone is now a surveyor that's no That's clearly not yeah that's not a Survey so right that said I just I Personally I would recommend you stay Away from it I just you know there are So many arguments that we could make uh Regulatory wise but looking at the Nitty-gritty business decisions it's a High uh cost input the ability to get Jobs is difficult while they are high Paying you can get many other High-paying jobs that have nothing to do With surveying and I mean we're seeing Big companies to start to realize the

Impacts of regulatory restrictions on This and we're seeing you know Construction companies just saying no Geo-referencing at all none at all we Just want to use the ortho as Essentially a frame in a time lapse but And so what you've been learning though Jamie can still be helpful in that realm Yeah I mean maybe you don't need to go To the depths of geo-referencing but Everything that you're learning can give You a head start on doing that kind of Work as well a hundred percent and so we Definitely wanted to talk a little bit About an end on what can you do with This knowledge and experience that You've been working towards and we had The opportunities podcast we just did I Think it was the last one but there's Other things that can be done with this Knowledge that he has such as totally Working with engineering companies Working with construction companies Working with Architects Um public works like there's so many Opportunities General Contractors yeah Roofing contractors sorry to interrupt You no no I interrupted you Um no no it's it's important because There are so many industry verticals That utilize orthomosaics that have Nothing to do with drawing property Lines or Discerning legal boundaries at All and in my eyes if you're doing

Either one of those things that can get You into a into some trouble so yeah Unless again you know somebody in the Business or you just you make a contact And you know you decide to to go for it And you go to maybe some conferences or Some thing and you talk to people you Might be able to convince somebody that You can help them because you probably Could yeah right we're not saying that You can't it's just that some of those Barriers might be bigger than they're Worth uh to to try to get over But uh we we have the roofing class that If you're a member by the way a journey Member you get a substantial discount on That that we partnered with a fantastic Roofing company out of Ohio very Successful 50 year old company to create This class to teach you how to do Commercial roofing inspections and There's some some mapping knowledge that Goes into that that's really important So there's a lot of things that you can Do there there really are and honestly I Think that there's a lot more recurring Revenue jobs that are going to be much More worth the quote-unquote squeeze Than trying to do this stuff and I will Say thank you for bringing this question In because I think it's something that Um a lot of Pilots need to know as this Is where YouTube has really driven Pilots into trouble of you know knowing

What you don't know essentially the Black Swan as we call it or not knowing Or you don't know what you don't know is The Black Swan and with a lot of videos On YouTube of like here's how to do a Drone map drone to play single grid here We go it's like no no no no no no no you Know so so um be careful greatly Appreciate the question Um just recommend staying away from it Frankly and uh yeah I mean that's that's Really all I've got on it so it's gonna Be really interesting to see too if the Surveying Community evolves especially With the infrastructure Bill and Everything that's going on it could Really Um it could really turbo or boost the Implementation of drones in surveying And the regulatory mess that's around it So I think it's something needs to be Clarified yeah absolutely and I'm sure That will happen in time Um but also we've seem to have gotten a Sense that's a very vague statement but Nonetheless That surveying companies are going to Trend towards using internal people yeah Right which also makes it a little bit Difficult to break into unless you're Looking for a career change Jamie and You want to go become a surveyor So a lot of school work to become a Surveyor yeah school work and yeah

Working for the man for a while and all That good stuff yeah yes so Um I think obviously this particular Caller sees the opportunity though Because mortgage surveys are a very big Deal all over the country true Um so uh so yeah Um I hope that we provided a good Message and provided good uh valuable Specific feedback as to there are other Opportunities out there that pay more That offer more recurring Revenue you Know it's very hard to break into it's Expensive to break into because if You're going to be doing these large Surveys you're typically going to need a Drone that can you know map anywhere From a thousand to say 5 000 acres and And geo-reference it without throwing Out a lot of control points you know Again drones like the wingtra which we Just added to our don't crash course List well it's in progress in editing Right now but um yeah on all honesty There's much better opportunities out There I would say save yourself the Headache there was one very hard lesson That I had to learn with my dad who was A lawyer and sued all sorts of companies Mostly suing unions on pension and labor Liability but one hard lesson I had to Learn with him because growing up in a Household of lawyers it's like oh you Don't get what you want Sue and and my

Dad was like that's the one thing I Don't want you to get out of this family The one thing I want you to understand Is is it worth it is it worth the Headache is it worth the stress is it Worth the money to prove your ego right Because in most examples it will not be Worth it Um and I think that that's really Important to understand because as the Son of a lawyer we have been taught to Avoid lawsuits at all costs because they Just simply are not worth it I know we Live in a very litigious Society but I Think that that's something to remember If you do run into problems with Surveying boards I recommend that you Reach out to The Institute of justice as They are aggregating a lot of state Level cases to go in front of the Federal courts to decide this once and For all because as we've seen with a lot Of uh government kind of things They're always pushing the limits of What they can actually do and oftentimes We see that they push those limits and Say come and stop me and prove it in Court and then we'll stop doing it which I really really think kind of goes Against the grain for what America Stands for but we are obviously not on Moral High ground and there's no point In really even bringing it up other than To say that I think everyone surveying

Boards States and Pilots could really Benefit from clarification On how they could work together because I think there's a great opportunity here And I think a lot of people are missing Out on Economic Opportunity across a variety of States so if you do run into problems Institute of Justice they will help you Out they're very very very very very Helpful very useful and I hope that we Provided good information here so yeah Me as well thank you again for the Question ask droneu.com Is where Jamie asked his question and of Course we would love to hear from you as Well whatever's on your mind Um don't forget there's probably a lot Of other people that are thinking the Same thing and just don't feel Comfortable sending the question in so Be the one that does definitely and we Appreciate everyone uh who are drone new Members the the engagement in the app is On fire and it took a little while for The transition off of Facebook onto our App but we were adamant about protecting People's data and protecting our pilots And their businesses as a whole and I'm So excited to see how it's flourished so Yeah me too if you're not a drone you Remember that is one huge benefit so it Really is yeah we'd love to join love You have you join us definitely well

We'll see you next time and thank you Again for joining us for another episode Of ask drone you Foreign [Music]