The Aerial Imaging Ecosystem
ABI Research’s study of the drone ecosystem found that across all markets, the value of the platform was only a fraction of the total revenue, with most coming from application services; these include data services (capture, analysis, storage, presentation, etc.), modeling services, operator services, licensing/permitting services, legal/liability services, and industry-specific applications. The primacy of data has led many entrants in the industry to become platform-agnostic. One company, Ceres Imaging, which specializes in providing aerial imaging solutions for agriculture, intended to use drones but shifted to hiring manned aircraft and satellite imagery. As platforms, they don’t suffer from an average drone’s short lifetime and enjoy a more accepting regulatory environment.
The largest entrant into the application services market is Airbus, which in 2017 set up Airbus Aerial, a platform-agnostic aerial imaging service provider that ut...
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