Features Pricing Structure for Client Access with Volumetrics

Correct me if I’m wrong but currently you can assign all jobs for a client to a client folder and then share that folder. The client can then use a free Explorer account to login and view their jobs. However they can’t do volumetric measurements.

So am I correct that I have to pay $1,000 a year for each client I want to give volumetric measurement capabilities to for their jobs? This is pretty crazy considering I can do the same on Skycatch for $10/month ($120) a year per client user account I create. Especially crazy if many clients only have a one-time job, or very infrequent jobs. This essentially forces me to use Skycatch instead of DroneDeploy or do the calculations myself.

I would suggest rethinking your pricing structure in this regard unless I am misunderstanding how it works?

Also in general the sharing functionality is pretty poor in that you should be able to see a screen of who has access to what, add/remove access and or and/remove client accounts. It seems thus far DD was definitely designed much more so from the perspective of the pilot, and not the pilot’s clients. It would be SO much more useful, if I could have greater flexibility in managing client access including the ability to limit access on a work product level such as a client that just needs an orthomosaic, I don’t need or want to show them the 3D Model.

You guys have made good progress with your capital investment but have a LONG ways to go. Look forward to more improvements and I suggest you work on some more real-world use case stories to base your future feature designs on.


If you load your .obj file into McNeel’s Rhino 6 program you can do volumetric measurements at no cost with a Python script.


We’re all about customer service, and ease of use. We have large, non-technical clients with 100 acre facilities with dozens and dozens of piles and they want to measure themselves. Asking them to use Rhino 6 and Python Script is of course not practical. DroneDeploy just falls short (feature and pricing wise) when evaluating it’s interface, features, and access control flexibility from the perspective of sharing data with end clients.

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If they are that large of an operation maybe they would think about getting their own DroneDeploy account and you just do the flying and the prep? I am testing this scenario with a large developer now, but time will tell. It definitely helps to sit down with them for a couple training sessions. I suspect that as the AI stockpile function gets better that this will become less of an issue, but if your not familiar with materials it would still be hard to classify the stockpiles. That may be the next step in the AI after auto-recognition of the pile to understand the type of material from the RGB… I can dream right?

Same issue / concern here. Want to allow clients to be able to do more than just look at a static view of a map (ie. measure and count) but not have to foot the $1000.00 a year cost for their Pro level account access - especially when we have multiple customers who would use our services. Having to do this makes using Drone Deploy less appealing and less cost effective. Can someone from Drone Deploy comment on this to let us know if there is a better way to go about this? Thanks.

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Are you on the Business Plan now?

Yes. Thank you for looking into this. What is the best way to accomplish this? Is switching to Projects instead of Maps breaking / changing things?

In my opinion the Projects approach is the future. It allows you to use the root level folder for clients, division and regions then the projects are inside and every flight for each project is in one interface and searchable by scrolling or browsing the calendar. Improvements are steadily being made so I encourage people to jump in and make suggestions. If you don’t like it you can always convert back and the project becomes a folder.

Yes, I like the Projects layout but there needs to be a middle ground so clients can use tools and view maps but not pay as much as us who fly and process images. Basically, I want clients to have more than just view only url access to the maps I make. I want them to have tools and annotations but not pay for the Pro level account of $1000.00 a year. There needs to be a lesser cost option because our clients are not utilizing the full account features they should not pay the same amount. We are not going to use Drone Deploy if we cannot collaborate with our clients without so much extra costs. It kills our bottom line. Will someone from Drone Deploy reply to this post please?


We have a Business account where I am the main user. We fly and process maps for projects that can span a few years. We potentially refly these projects every 1-3 weeks. Sometimes the work is just a one time thing. We want clients to be able to track the project progress themselves. We want the client to be able to access our projects and be able to use the tools like measure and annotate. Note that we want to offer this, but some or most clients will not even use these things I suspect.

Just viewing the map via a view only url link is not enough.

Having the client (or us) pay for the Pro account to have full access to the map and tools is not an option. This is about a $1000.00 a year per client. We would consider this access as part of the delilverables for our work so we would have to pay for it and that is not going to happen. Assume 5-10 different clients we would fly for every year. That extra cost cuts the bottom line considerably and makes using Drone Deploy NOT cost effective at all. This is literally a deal breaker for us as we are just instituting the use of Drone Deploy on every drone project moving forward.

Suggestion: There needs to be an option for use of maps and tools at a lower cost. Either a different account level or a purchasable feature set within the Business / Enterprise plans for client access. Clients want access to all current maps shared with them and the use of tools and annotations. Clients DO NOT need the ability to plan, fly, process images, request/process DTMs, GCPs, etc… Sort of like an account with half the functions and a similarly reflected price.

This cannot be the first time this has come up where view-only is not enough yet full access is overkill and over cost. Please seriously consider some option to accomplish this. Thank you. Please contact me to discuss this further if needed.

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This post has been integrated into this existing thread. The bigger we can make this thread the more exposure. Thank you.

End client functionality is an issue with most platforms I’ve worked with. I’ve been involved with Software Development for over 25 years prior to starting a Drone Services Company and to me this has been a GLARING oversight in my opinion that reflects a software design process that is not adequately gathering use case scenarios from possibly the most important user segment (operators of businesses doing consistent, relatively high volume job loads serving multiple Fortune 1000 companies.)

Because the job volume can vary HUGELY between end clients, it makes no sense to me that a client wanting to view and use tools for one job a year would need to pay the same price as a client with 100 jobs a year. It just doesn’t make any sense.

In addition, the platform is also poorly designed from the standpoint of being able to select options to customize what is available to the end client to view. It is completely reasonable to include line item charges for a job for work products. An orthomosaic should be a less expensive work product than a 3D model. Yet Drone Deploy provides viewing for both without being able to “turn off” the 3D model viewing for clients that didn’t pay for it.

Come on Drone Deploy, THINK! Or more accurately… listen more carefully to what your users NEED!


Functionality being removed from DroneDeploy without advanced notice to your customer base (I’m in the UK) is unprofessional to say the least. The ability to share maps and for my customers to annotate (distance, location, area, volume, count) themselves was a great selling point for my business and the customers made great use of it.
Some bright spark at DD must have calculated they’d make more money by removing this facility forgetting it’s their current customers supporting their business. Are there are customers happy this has been removed?
I’m very disappointed that DD management has done this and wonder what they’ll try next…
I hope DroneDeploy reverses this decision ASAP.

I’m another Pro plan user who was leveraging the ability to let clients access their maps, view the underlying images and add their own annotations - who now has to figure out how to not lose clients because of DD changes made that break this functionality. I understand that DD may not want to continue to give away this capability for free. However, I also agree with other posters in this thread that the idea of requiring a client to pay for another Pro plan to get editing access to mappings that I fly and create for them is a total non-starter. — To be more specific with an example, I have a client interested in inspecting for roof damage and needed repairs several times a year in a townhome community. They are willing to pay to have the images taken and processed into a DD mapping. But they inspect the composite mapping and drill down to view the underlying raw images themselves, and then add annotations to the mapping for issues found. They use their own people resources to do this, and don’t want to pay me to do it. With the original DD paradigm this worked fine. But no longer. I could possibly sell them on an additional charge (or cost paid by them directly to DD) if there was a way for them to regain this capability for a nominal fee. Otherwise I’m afraid this pilot project which I had plans to replicate for other clients may be lost… :frowning:


This requirement of having to pay DD extra so my client can make annotations May end up costing me a client. They’ve stated that they may buy their own account and simply have me fly the job. That’s well and fine until they realize as I do that they don’t really need me. Anyone with a drone can fly the job. At this point, I’ve become the middle man and very expendable. DD May be gaining one client and losing another simultaneously.
Don’t think I’ll ever point a client towards the 2 week free demo again.

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Hate to disagree, but allot of people don’t want the liability or the hassle of getting licensed. If you are doing more than making a simple map then no I don’t think anyone can. If they want to do their own takeoffs and annotations the let’em have at it. Find yourself another client when they are ready to fly. I assume you have more than one…

My big issue is, DD wants to double charge. They charge me for the Business subscription, then they want either me or the client to pay in order to see what I’ve done, and or make annotations of numerous stockpiles. Pix4D doesn’t limit you in that manner.

I am having the same issue with Drone Deploy and sharing my maps with clients. I don’t understand why DD thinks our clients want to pay for an account to measure data they already paid us (drone pilot) to gather for them.

Pix4d has solved this problem by allowing shared maps (non users) to make measurements that do not save to the account. Wish Drone deploy would give us something similar. I am on enterprise account and my clients can’t even spot check an elevation.

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I am considering building an app with the main purpose being.

Client dashboard.

  • clients can view data - Ortho / 3d
  • make measurements (that do not save)

is this something other DD users would find useful? or has anyone heard if DD is considering doing something similar, I see alot of complaints about this.

I agree with you both and it’s being solved for enterprise account, but I don’t know where it will go after that. Personally with our clients I would prefer that their markups be retained, but each user would have their “layer”. This is similar to Plangrid where each user can markup and tag whatever they want using their account, but not everyone else sees them unless they are formally published. The publisher has the permissions to do so.

@jmason702 is looking into a product called IndShine that may be worth a look. I took a quick look as well and it looks very promising. I do not know about the 3D aspect and volumetrics, but once I get there I will share and I think J wouldn’t mind chiming in.

I hate to say it, but if you don’t process really big maps or a large quantity of maps you might look into Carlson PhotoCapture. They are a pay as needed philosophy and have very good client collaboration tools.