Community Spotlight: Michael Lambert


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If you’ve been a member of the DroneDeploy forum for a bit, the name Michael Lambert or @MichaelL might be a familiar one to you. For April’s Community Spotlight, we’d like to shed light on Michael, our first Industry Expert in construction.

You’ll often find Michael chiming in and helping anyone and everyone in our community, even if it’s in a field where he is not an expert in. His hunger for knowledge and open willingness to assist anyone in this space has quickly made him an admired and respected member.

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What is your background and current role?
I have a background in AutoCAD, land-surveying, and construction design. I was initially hired by Chasco Constructors to do AutoCAD and to build their survey program. Throughout my time there I also eventually became involved in IT too because of my experience of always being the “computer guy” and developing a knowledge for systems and networking. Now I’m the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Manager.

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How did you become involved in the drone industry?
I was part of the RC community for a long time and have always been into photography. When you combine that with my surveying background and the fact that as part of VDC I manage all the GPS equipment used by our surveyors and controlled machines, drones were a natural progression. I had been following the tech for some time and it was an easy decision that it was time for us (Chasco) to give it a serious look.

How did your company decide that drone were a viable solution and worth the investment?
We needed final approval from stakeholders and it was difficult to show how valuable drones could be without any practical experience. The first target for my ROI was survey labor hours. I knew that with surveying being such a time intensive task that it would be the biggest initial benefit. We spent about 3 months on the monthly Pro Plan while I crunched the numbers to prove this point and once the final proposal was made it took another 3 or 4 months for approval to move to an Enterprise Plan. Patience is a virtue.

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What was your biggest challenge when introducing drones to your company?
The nature of construction is an old-school business so the introduction of technology is usually met with a generous amount of skepticism. There’s a lot of manual labor involved so anytime you introduce a new solution that’s supposed to decrease labor and improve efficiencies there are high expectations to succeed. It took awhile for people to understand that what drones can do is far beyond just taking pictures.

What advice do you have for beginners?
Get a drone and start flying recreationally so you’re comfortable handling one. If you’re planning on adding one to your company or team, start analyzing your business process well before you make the pitch and see where the drone data will touch your workflow. You’ll want to introduce this technology in a way that will disrupt the workflow as little as possible so that your teammates feel comfortable from the start and are willing to buy in. Talk to others and find the pain-points and make it a priority to address them.

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What is something you wish you knew as you added drones to your company?
When you get into something like this, you don’t know what you don’t know. With the sheer amount of information that is available you may not have any idea of what exactly to do with it until you have seen it a few times. I underestimated how scalable the data was and how it could be tailored to so many different environments.

Well said, Michael! Thank you for all your contributions to our community. If you’d like to connect with Michael outside of the forums, look him up on LinkedIn or send an email to michael@chasco.com with DroneDeploy in the subject line.


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A big thank you to DroneDeploy for being such a great partner. You’ve always been willing to work with us to dial in the systems with our needs and have allowed us to participate in your vision. If anyone needs to contact me please feel free to do so because helping others in this technology is how we’re going to move forward.


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@MichaelL, I don’t think we have all the words to share and express our gratitude. You are such an integral part of this community and I cannot thank you enough for dedicating your time to helping us, and more importantly, other pilots out there. :smiley:


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Have a nice day!
How do I sell the 2D 3D result produced by the program? What’s the value for her? How do I create a Live Map?


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Hi @Gaben,

I’m not authorized to share advice or suggestions on how to sell anything, but I suggest taking a look at Getting Started with Live Map and our Live Map support page for details.

Cheers,
Christina


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@Gaben
That’s a pretty wide open question. What do you want to sell, what is interesting to you and what are capable of producing? Do you have a business plan? That’s where I would start.


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Dear Sir / Madam!

First of all, thank you for receiving a reply to the letter. I’m honored to see you. In my small town there is a thermal spa (called Hagymatikum). In September, it will be expanded to reach 10 billion HUF and 2 years of construction. The area itself is 5 hectares. I have prepared the 2D, 3D plan for the program. I tested the free option. Which was very good. I want to document the construction process every week. I think I can do that. My question would be what can I recommend to architect builder, what options can I choose? how would I be able to facilitate their work? I look forward to an honorable answer again. I wish you a nice day! :slight_smile:


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How do I create a Live Map? What is the exact process? Please help. Thanks.


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Hi @Gaben,

I shared two articles above in a previous comment that details how to get started with Live Map. Here they are again:

  1. Getting Started with Live Map
  2. Live Map

In regards to what can be recommended to an architect, I am sure @MichaelL will be of more use than me there. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Christina


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A few ideas that I jotted down on how to display the information to the client.

2D Orthomosaics - 2D and Elevation Map (Tiff or KML)
Contour Map (DXF)
3D Model via OBJ
Point Cloud (varies)
Videography
Cloud Services (Paying for an Editable License)
or
Full Site Package