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Last updated by Will D. on May 3, 2021


What is SkyeBrowse

SkyeBrowse is software that allows you to create measurable 3D models from drone flights in a much faster and simpler process than previously possible. SkyeBrowse can be used by a beginner drone pilot, and does not require any special survey knowledge or equipment such as RTK, PPK, NTRIP, ground control points, or a ground station. And since the data processing is done automatically in the cloud when the drone lands, you do not need to purchase and download complicated software that requires a powerful desktop computer. In many ways, SkyeBrowse has democratised drone 3D modeling which we at DFH see as a great step for the industry.




How do you make a 3D model using SkyeBrowse?

Simply fly your drone up in the SkyeBrowse App (regular manual flying) and centre it about 20m above an object/area of interest, and in one tap, the drone will begin flying on its own, capturing video as it orbits around the object/area. When done, upload the video to the SkyeBrowse web dashboard for the cloud to process it into a 3D model. The model can be viewed in the SkyeBrowse viewer via your web browser - we recommend using Google Chrome. The flight typically takes under 5 minutes and the processing under 20 minutes, depending on the size of the area.

When the 3D model is ready, you can take distance, height, and area measurements and annotate as needed. You can also extract high res images (individual frames) from any section of the model for closer inspection. You can also export into any open source ESRI compatible point cloud format (.dxf, .obj, .las, .laz, .ply). SkyeBrowse captures the full MISB compliant metadata needed for Esri's Full Motion Video software, and it runs on a CJIS compliant AWS cloud for data security.




The history of drone 3D modelling using images and video

SkyeBrowse uses videogrammetry technology. Most 3D modeling via drone has been done using photogrammetry (an older, more complicated and slower process of capturing and stitching/processing individual images into 3D models). With videogrammetry, many frames are naturally captured in rapid sequence, providing much more usable data than still photographs, and resulting in crisper model edges e.g. building edges and much faster processing time. This means a construction site, for example, can be captured within minutes, so there is minimal interruption to site progress.




What kinds of use cases is SkyeBrowse good for?

Assets

SkyeBrowse is perfect for making3D models of assets such as buildings, roofs, bridges, towers, machinery,utilities, and tanks. Just taking regular drone images of an asset can be problematic because you end up with a whole lot of images in a folder that need to be sorted correctly, and it is often difficult to know exactly what part of the asset each image is of (they can all look similar). SkyeBrowse makes a 3D model that puts all the images into context, and you can extract individual images from anywhere on the model, for high res inspection of specific points on the model.

Areas of interest

Making a 3D map of work sites such as a construction site (weekly materials audit and progress report), land development site, section of a cliff for an erosion study, or documenting a scene for police, fire crews, SES.

1-page case study showing how SkyeBrowse was used to model the roof of a commercial building to quickly and safely audit and measure the existing structures on it (air con, ventilation units etc) for preparing engineering documents and planning a solar panel installation.

Other links and resources

Detailed 63-page whitepaper: drone-based accident Site 3D modelling.

Examples – mapping an accident scene, a storage facility, and a Public Safety use case


quote In this 3-min video, a Police Sergeant used SkyeBrowse to measure and document a car accident scene and commented "every time, the drone has been spot on… and saved me 2-3 days of manual labour" quote



quote 2-min video: modeling a live slope map and elevation heat map of a hazardous materials storage facility so that if a chemical leak occurred, the direction of the HAZMAT runoff could be predicted in advance, rather than have emergency teams standing there waiting to see it: "this saves a lot of time as well as lives." quote



quote In this 23-min video, Garret Bryl (a Public Safety officer) tested SkyeBrowse in action. He said: "Accurate 3D mapping isn't new technology but it's been overpriced, too slow, and overly complicated for Public Safety users. We finally have something that is well suited for the majority of our needs. Barry Moore, Clay Reagan, and myself have been testing SkyBrowse for a couple of months now and in this video we demonstrate just how simple and effective it is." quote

How large can the area of interest be?

SkyeBrowse works best for modeling areas that are up to about 5 acres.

SkyeBrowse has a separate feature for modeling larger areas, called WideBrowse, best for areas that are 5-125 acres.


quote 2-min example video of how to model a parked car quote



quote 1-min video example of how to use WideBrowse quote

How accurate is it?

The video below shows a stone tile being measured as 35 inches long, by hand with a tape measure. A drone is flown over and the area is then modelled using SkyeBrowse. The same tile was measured inside the SkyeBrowse viewer to be 100% accurate at 35 inches.

Generally speaking, we find SkyeBrowse to be accurate to within 1cm for horizontal measurements, and 5cm for vertical measurements.




Note in the comparison video above,the other software produced a 2D model (not 3D) that is significantly lower resolution (also note the warped edges of the house) and accurate to about 10cm.

Relative accuracy vs absolute accuracy:
SkyeBrowse models provide relative accuracy – lengths, heights and areas of things inside your 3D model itself. For example if you model a house, you could accurately measure the length of a section of guttering, but you cannot measure the house’s position on the entire earth – this is called absolute accuracy and requires trained surveyors with more complex equipment and processes.

Tip: the best results are achieved by flying lower than 20m altitude, around the middle of the day when the sun is bright and shadows are minimal, and using an ND16 lens filter on your drones camera.
Which drones and devices can SkyeBrowse be used with?

SkyeBrowse only works with DJI drones, using an Apple (iOS) phone or tablet. The SkyeBrowse app is not available for Android devices. The following DJI models are compatible/not compatible as at1/3/21. SkyeBrowse are continuously working on adding more drones to the compatible list so its worth checking in with us if you are not sure.

Compatible

  • Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom / Enterprise / Dual (thermal)
  • Mavic Pro
  • Phantom 4 Pro V2
  • Phantom 4 Pro V1
  • Phantom 4
  • Phantom 3 Pro / Advanced
  • Inspire 2
  • Inspire 1 / Pro
  • Matrice 200 / 210 / 210 RTK V1 / V2
  • Matrice 600

  • The flowing cameras (typically used on a Matrice or Inspire): X5, X5R, X5S, X7.

  • Coming soon: Auel Evo, Evo 2, Evo 2 Pro. 


Not compatible

  • Tello
  • Spark
  • Mavic Mini
  • Mini 2
  • Mavic Air 2

  • DJI Smart Controller / Crystal Sky
  • The DJI Smart Controller runs on Android, so SkyeBrowse is not compatible with the following drones. Note that if you already own one of the below drones, you can use the regular Mavic 2 Controller and an iOS phone/tablet if you have access to one.

  • Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
  • Mavic 2 Enterprise smart controller combo
  • Mavic 2 Enterprise dual smart controller combo

  • Mavic 2 Zoom smart controller combo
  • Mavic 2 Pro smart controller combo
  • Phantom 4 Pro Plus v2

  • H20, H20T (typically used on an M300).
How much does SkyeBrowse cost
Single drone pilot
(one device)
Each additional pilot
(Per additional device)
Enterprise
(multiple devices)
Free trial 14-days
No credit card required
14-days
No credit card required
14-days
No credit card required
Annual
Billed annually
$149/month
Recommended
$129/month $5,490 perpetual
(one time charge)
+ $2,490/year annual maintenance and upgrades
Month to month
Billed monthly
$199/month $179/month
SkyeBrowse
For 0-5 acre areas
WideBrowse
For 5-125 acre areas
Slope Maps, Heatmaps, and other tools
CJIS compliance
Night Ops AI
One Click reports
Download model
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Contact us in case of any technical questions or troubleshooting.
Comparison


Other 3D modelling programs typically:

  • have longer and more complicated workflows
  • require training
  • cap the number of images/frames allowed per map/model
  • become significantly more expensive as you start using more features and storage space
  • remove access to all your models in 90 days if you stop paying the monthly fee

SkyeBrowse

  • A SkyeBrowse mission involves just one tap
  • does not require any training
  • has no limit on the number of frames
  • Is a fixed and transparent price with all features available upfront and free storage
  • Retains access to your models for 12 months (in the cloud) regardless if you are paying or not

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