Disruptive innovation

Driving value from drones – some lessons from the resources sector

Jul 05, 2016

Drones are increasingly transforming the operations of many of the world’s leading resources companies, offering new efficiency savings in areas including planning, exploration and environmental impact assessment.

In fact, the technology is becoming so prevalent that a recent report from leading professional services firm PwC predicts the commercial applications of drone usage within the mining sector is already $4.3B dollars.

But while the value of using drones to monitor infrastructure, staff, vehicles, stockpiles, tailings, pits and the natural environment is understood – the challenge for mining companies remains how to make the data captured through drones easily usable and accessible to a wide range of users across an organisation. 

It’s for this reason that many in the resources sector are starting to explore the role location-based analytics can hold in exploiting the imagery captured through drones.

A new Geographic Information System (GIS) technology app, known as Drone2Map for ArcGIS, takes imagery captured directly from drones and instantly translate it into meaningful business insights. The technology then enables data captured through drones to be easily shared via a mapping platform – ensuring anyone within a resources company can access important information in an easy-to-digest format – anytime, anywhere, via any device.

The outcomes? Staff are able to remotely conduct activities such as monitoring vegetation clearance and vegetation change, inspecting infrastructure and assessing planned and unplanned events – introducing a new level of efficiency and safety standards to the organisation.

It’s an approach that is literally transforming the way mining, resources and engineering firms around the world do business.

For example, leading global engineering firm McKim & Creed Inc. is just one company which has used the approach to drive value from their drones– and they estimate the solution will result in a time and cost savings of 60 per cent compared to conventional techniques.

You can read more about McKim & Creed’s experience in this case study – or you can download a free trial of the Drone2Map app through the ArcGIS Marketplace.
About the author

Alicia Kouparitsas

Senior Marketing Communications Specialist

Esri Australia, Brisbane

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