Developer Preview

Hivemapper is previewing a set of robust APIs empowering developers to build spatially aware applications for drones. We are currently building Hivemapper's Developer APIs in close collaboration with our industry leading partners.

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Unlike mobile apps, building drone products remains hard and cumbersome. Mobile apps engineers across Android and iOS have instant access to feature rich and simple mapping APIs. None of this data and mapping infrastructure exists for the drone ecosystem. Hivemapper's Developer APIs will change that.

We will provide you with a warchest of APIs to infuse your apps with rich 3D geospatial data. This document previews the initial set of APIs we will provide. Today, these APIs power our own service: map for drones on the web and Fly with Hivemapper app for DJI Phantom/Inspire. We will never ask you to use something that we don't use ourselves.

Embed Hivemapper

Today, most mission planning products use Google or Bing. These are good maps — for cars. Hivemapper was built from scratch for drones. Developers can quickly infuse their mission planning apps and websites with Hivemapper’s 3D map for drones. The core map answers many typical questions:

  • Can I fly safely in this area at 200 ft?
  • How far away am I from the no-fly zone?
  • How tall is the structures that I will be photographing?

Flight Planning

Today’s flight planning requires plotting waypoints on maps and trying to determine a safe height to fly at. This is both tedious and error prone. Flight planning with Hivemapper is simple, fast, and accurate. Below are some complex flight paths developers can request from this flexible API:

  • Orbit around a structure.
  • Survey the perimeter of this building.
  • Safe and fast return to home path.
  • Follow a power line at a constant elevation -like you see below.

Verify Flight Plans

Given a set of waypoints, this powerful API verifies whether the path is safe to fly. It accounts for terrain, no-fly zones, vegetation, and man-made structures like power lines and buildings.

  • Terrain elevation - so you don't fly into a hill.
  • Vegetation - trees, bushes, etc.
  • No-Fly Zones - airports, military bases, etc.
  • Structures like buildings and powerlines.

  • If the path is unsafe, a set of alternative obstruction-free routes are suggested.

    Intelligent Altitude

    Altitude retrieved from a drone’s telemetry data is relative to the launch point, which is only really useful in flat regions. But what if there are hills and valleys? Even small variations of a few feet can throw off your drone’s entire mission.

    This API provides access to terrain elevation allowing you to easily calculate the drone’s true altitude above ground. Intelligent Altitudes provides resolution of 3–6 ft across 60% of the US, and 10–15 ft in the remaining areas.

    Avoid 3D Obstacles

    Traditional sense & avoid will prevent you from crashing, but without a map your drone cannot intelligently redirect itself. Sensors also have limited range and are influenced by extrinsic factors, like weather and time of day. Like self-driving cars that operate with the assistance of a highly precise digital map drones require a 3D map of the earth for full autonomy.

    This API enables your application to make real-time navigation decisions by providing all static 3D obstructions in your area.