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Drone pilots, this company will pay you cash for aerial imagery

Each tile on the Hivemapper Studio map has a price. You can map one tile and earn a little, or map a few thousand and earn far more!

Courtesy: Hivemapper

Since maps are expensive to produce, the companies that make them cannot update them as frequently as they would like to. But if the general public were to be mobilized to become a part of map creation, continually updating a more dynamic and accurate global map could become a painless process.

This is the vision that set out geospatial startup Hivemapper on a quest to build an intelligent, global decentralized mapping network with the help of drone pilots and dashcam users. And now, the mapmaker has decided to provide a financial incentive to drone operators who capture aerial 3D imagery for its mapping platform Hivemapper Studio.

How does Hivemapper Studio work?

What Hivemapper Studio does is that it breaks the world up into hexagon-shaped tiles — 0.1 sq km per tile. Each tile has a price, and some areas are more valuable than others. Preferred locations are displayed as gold tiles on the map and can fetch you $2 per tile. Silver tiles are priced at $0.50 each.

Hivemapper Studio

Once you have selected the tiles that you would like to map, Hivemapper Studio generates automated flight paths for your drone to follow. This step is important because not only does it simplify the data collection process for drone pilots, but it also ensures contiguous coverage of the area with high-quality data.

Upload the aerial footage onto the platform and you get to earn the financial reward associated with it, besides seeing your Hivemapper username displayed on the map, practically marking your ownership of the same.

Now, it should be noted that map pricing is dynamic. Events like hurricanes, fires, and construction may create opportunities to earn more. For example, if a hurricane is expected in a region, insurance companies and first responders could put up an urgent request for an updated map, pushing up the price per tile in that region.

Courtesy: Hivemapper

The good news is that Hivemapper has not put any cap on how many tiles you can map – it could be 1 tile or 100,000 tiles, totally depending on your ease and flexibility. Beta users, who have clocked more than 1,000 tiles on the map, call the platform ‘Pokemon Go for Pilots’ – because that’s how fun it is!

Hivemapper is operational in more than 80 countries across the globe and you can explore which areas need to be mapped by clicking here. The company says its collectors have inventoried nearly 9,000 sq km around the world, and the scale of the map is growing 50 percent month over month.

As Ariel Seidman, Founder and CEO of Hivemapper, explains, “It is as simple as mapping the world while you move about it – whether that is in your car on your morning commute or while you’re flying your drone. A crowdsourced map breaks us free from Big Tech control and the traditional way of mapping, to better serve and benefit everyone, particularly digitally-enabled companies that need accurate data to safely, sustainably and efficiently run their business.”


Ishveena Singh is a versatile journalist and writer with a passion for drones and location technologies. In the last 12 years, she has worked with both mainstream media organizations (Miami Herald International, Times of India, Microsoft MSN) and dedicated geospatial technology media (Geospatial World, Geoawesomeness).

With a deep understanding of content marketing and social media, Ishveena also helps private companies (DJI, Aerodyne Group, Terra Drone Corporation) to generate qualified leads through useful and timely content.

When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find Ishveena on road trips, eating her way through life, or binge-watching TV shows. Connect with her today on LinkedIn and Twitter

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