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DJI Announces Their First Venture into Drone Mapping Software: DJI Terra

BY Isabella Lee
28 March 2019

Today, drone hardware giant DJI announced a new venture into the software side of the drone market—DJI Terra, a software tool that transforms drone data into digital 3D models and maps for easy analysis and decision making.

DJI Terra

DJI Terra enables businesses and organizations using DJI drone technology to capture, visualize and analyze aerial images for a wide variety of applications across the public safety, construction, infrastructure, agriculture and film industries.

As an all-in-one mapping and modeling solution, DJI Terra makes it simple and efficient to extract value from drone data…

—Sunny Liao, Director of Enterprise, DJI

DJI as a New Competitor Among Drone Software Providers

DJI is known for dominating the commercial drone market with low-cost, easy-to-use drone hardware such as the Mavic and Phantom series. While their hardware offerings have been numerous, their software offerings have been limited to flight planning and operation management tools.

DJI Terra represents the company’s first step toward establishing itself as a trusted data processing software provider. On their website, DJI touts DJI Terra as “the beginning of next generation mapping solutions.”

How will DJI compete with other companies like DroneDeploy, Pix4D, and 3DR, who for years have focused on software as their primary offering? In this regard, DJI is the new player on the court.

The limited compatibility of DJI Terra may hinder DJI’s ability to truly compete with other software providers just yet. At this time, DJI Terra is only compatible with Phantom 4 Series drones: Phantom 4 RTK, Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, Phantom 4 Pro + V2.0, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced, and Phantom 4.

However, the robust mapping software offers many of the same features as those offered by the competition, such as real-time mapping and tools to facilitate data analysis and communication across teams. Plus, DJI has leveraged its existing strength in flight path planning by integrating three mission planning types into the all-in-one mapping solution.

Let’s take a look at DJI Terra’s complete features and capabilities.

DJI Terra Drone Mapping Software Features

DJI Terra helps commercial drone pilots quickly plan automated flights with several easy-to-use options based on the area or objects they’d like to capture and the type of map or 3D model they’d like to create. It features three mission planning types:

  • Area – Capture a specific area quickly and easily by drawing a custom polygonal flight zone on a map. DJI Terra automatically generates efficient flight path options based on the area selected.
  • Waypoint – Create dynamic custom flight paths through an area or around objects using waypoints and adjustable parameters like aircraft altitude, speed, heading, gimbal pitch, and angle. For more complex missions that require high attention to detail, the 3D Flight Visualization feature enables the design and simulation of missions on existing 3D models.
  • Oblique – Capture a rich data set by automatically flying the same route multiple times. Each flight automatically adjusts the angle of the camera to capture new details, giving an extra crisp 3D model of the object or asset from multiple angles.

With real-time mapping capabilities, DJI Terra allows drone pilots to quickly generate 2D orthomosaic maps as the drone flies, ideal for time-sensitive missions where situational awareness is critical and decisions need to be made in minutes.

DJI Terra’s fast processing capability also creates sharp and realistic representations of any environment through detailed 2D orthomosaics and 3D model reconstructions used for industrial applications like reconstructing vehicle crashes, tracking progress on construction projects or conducting large-scale critical infrastructure inspections on bridges and roadways.

In addition to map and model creation, DJI Terra helps users analyze data and generate instant insights with easy-to-use analysis tools that provide a variety of measurements including linear distance, surface area, and volumetric estimations. To improve team communication and reporting throughout ongoing projects, annotation labels can be edited and shared. For detailed site inspections and accident reconstruction situations, DJI Terra’s photo inspection tool lets users closely examine every photo used to create the model so they can pinpoint and highlight critical elements.

DJI Terra Availability

DJI Terra is available today for purchase through authorized DJI Enterprise resellers worldwide and is compatible with Windows PCs and all current DJI Phantom 4 Series drones. Software license plans are available at two levels: Advanced and Pro. For more information on all the new features and capabilities of DJI Terra, visit www.dji.com/dji-terra.

Share your thoughts on DJI Terra in this thread on our community forum.

Isabella Lee

Digital Marketing Manager

Isabella is a digital marketing expert who creates knock-out strategies for building web presence and online communities. She has held a variety of roles including copy editor, writer, content creator, and marketing manager and has received awards for her work from the American Advertising Federation and the Society of Technical Communication. Isabella has a BA in English from the University of Florida and a MA in Technical Communication from the University of Central Florida, where she graduated magna cum laude. Outside of work, she enjoys playing on her local tennis league, teaching her labradoodle new tricks, and spending time with her husband.

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