Payment model

I am a small time drone operator living in a part of the world with “no-fly” conditions some 8 months per year spelled darkness and temperature. I did my last gig a week ago, and the next one will be in may if I’m lucky.

I have found Dronedeploy being the premiere service for me, but the pricing model is effectively excluding operators such as I. I am not having any opinion regarding the level, it is the model I’m after.

I simply cannot afford paying for the service 12-months-a-year and only use the service 4 out of the 12 months. No bucks flowing in during the winter (no-fly period) but the same cost.

I have tried a couple of competitors to DD over the years. A couple of them are using a ticket-based system. That is: You are buying tickets (or credits) you are using whenever you like. When I have used the tickets, I have to buy new ones. This method is simple and in not excluding us on the simpler side of the fence, so to speak.

I have a secret to share, but don’t tell anyone: I am using fake e-mail addresses to create fake trial accounts in where I can get my captures processed. I would not mind paying for the service if I could buy tickets rather than a 12-month-subscription. This would also make it easier when creating the invoice to the customer. You know EXACTLY how many credits the processing took.

If you like my thoughts or having other solutions to the problem: please make a comment below.

This has always been a weakness of DroneDeploy and I don’t see them changing any time soon. It does exclude a pretty good customer base, but there are options out there. I would recommend Carlson PhotoCapture as a pay as you go model.

Tried Carlson a few weeks ago. Feels so sad to start the learning process over again… But i guess you are right, Michael. If a BIG customer asks for something it will probably be delivered quite fast, but if a smaller customer ask for something it will take time.
And of course: DD will not earn that much money…
So I guess this is a dead end.

And I didn’t even bother to mention what we were talking about in another thread: Visualization of the base plane.

At least I tried… :slight_smile:

1 Like

@KRWaara Have you looked at our monthly plans? We offer Business and Pro plans that you can turn on and off when needed.

Is all the data still accessible when “off”?

Good question. Afaik the data gets locked. It is as if DD is confiscating stuff I’ve already paid for once. In my eyes: My property.

@MichaelL and @KRWaara I hear you guys. Your data will begin to self-delete after 90 days. If you resubscribe anytime before those 90 days expire, all of your data will persist. We recommend exporting out any needed files if you plan on going longer than 90 days without resubscribing. Additionally, if you keep your original source images, you can always regenerate your maps when you resubscribe. The data expiry policy was put in place in order to reduce some of our data storage costs, which ultimately is another factor that can help us keep our subscription prices lower.

The only snag with that, is that you’re likely to get clobbered with the fair use restriction if you start re-processing all of your maps when you’re back online.

It might be a better option, to charge a nominal monthly fee to retain access to the processed maps out of season. Enough to cover the storage costs you’re incurring, plus a bit extra for providing the facility.

That would be a nice solution that would solve a lot of my problems not affording the subscription during my eight “no - fly” months. I might also be able to fiddle with my stuff already there… Det

I think you probably know that storage costs are pratically nothing. It’s data bandwidth that costs the money. I am also an occasional operator who likes Drone Deploy but cannot justify the very high fees.

1 Like

If you search around, you can find alternatives that let you buy a month at a time only when you need it, and others that are open source (free). There are tradeoffs with each selection. Some, like DD, require little user input. Others are designed for you to tweak the processing pipeline, which can be a benefit if you are willing to spend the time to learn how to customize your output for individual purposes, or a drawback if you just want to roll with automatic settings that give the best results for general cases. You will undoubtedly find that you need to pick one and become comfortable with it until your circumstances change. Regards… Bob R.


@Yoda: Thanks for input. Then there are two of us. Strange that nobody else is here discussing. :slight_smile:

@modbuilder. Hi Bob. Thanks for your input.
Any links to share?
So far I’ve only found one actor mature enough to fill my needs AND with a ticket based system.: Carlson software at
I had my first encounter with the process a few days ago. Looks nice so far is all I can say at the moment.
Last summer I tried ALTIZURE which was a Chinese service. They refunded my credits and are off the market now.
Mapsmadeeasy (MME)… Well: Rather impolite customer support. Like a small dog with a big dog attitude. Ok quality. Volume calculation seem to be fixed to Triangulated mode, but gives the same-ish result as DroneDeploy on the same pile.
MME have an App that claims to support terrain awareness, but not for Android, and they very impolitely explained to me that Android in NEVER EVER going to be supported.
Basically: F**k off with your stupid questions regarding support for Android.
This is my experience so far regarding services on the net. I bet there are more out there, so if you have a link or two I would appreciate it a lot.

Talking about Terrain awareness: DroneDeploy are claiming to support Terrain awareness, but it didn’t work in my part of the world. The reply told me that it’s not supported in Sweden, where I live. A ticket was created but no solution so far.


1 Like

My vote for the best bet of a scalable solution that has some decent analysis and cloud sharing functionality.

Totally why we immediately left them in the dust after our testing.

PM sent with contact email for discussion

Map Made Easy’s processor does use triangulation only, which is the most common anyway. In my testing, the accuracy of the model is good. It’s a great solution for those with limited jobs that are not using ground control.

The Map Pilot app does have the best terrain aware platform that I have used. Works offline and consistently well. Regarding an Android version, there is no excuse for them to be rude, but they’ve been asked a bazillion times and they have repeatedly said that they are a small shop and it is not going to happen. But people keep asking and probably didn’t search to find out it’s been asked so many times before. Again, no excuse for rudeness.

Carlson Photo capture seems like a good solution and they seem to be adding more functionality to it all the time.

Measure Ground Control may also be something to look at. Processing is on their cloud using Pix4D.