Vancouver-based Spexi Geospatial has some news – and it’s big.

The company has announced a plan, and a platform, to capture high-resolution aerial data of the earth with drones. Drone pilots will be able to fly to earn crypto currency – or even dollars.

The long-term goal? Well, picture crystal-clear data sets of cities, infrastructure, and even rural settings. With each individual pilot capturing data from different locations, Spexigon will assemble it over time to form a global jigsaw puzzle – and sell parts of that dataset to clients.

We’ll get into more details shortly, but Spexi’s plan has some strong backers – including InDro Robotics.


News release


News of Spexigon came in the form of an announcement. The company revealed it had secured $5.5 million USD in seed funding “to pursue our vision of collecting Earth’s most important data with drones.” The funding round was led by Blockchange Ventures, with other investing by InDro Robotics, Protocol Labs, Alliance DAO, FJ Labs, Dapper Labs, Vinny Lingham, Adam Jackson, and CyLon Ventures.

The same team that built Spexi – an easy-to use system for automated flight and data acquisition – is developing Spexigon. This brief video gives a “big picture” look at how it will work when it’s rolled out next year.

“Fly to earn”


A big part of what makes Spexigon’s plan so intriguing is what you might call incentivised crowd-sourcing. Anyone with a drone can download the forthcoming Spexigon app and fly an automated flight. The images will be uploaded to Spexigon to build the database – and the pilot will be rewarded.

“With our new Fly-to-Earn model, people who own consumer drones will be able to earn $SPEXI tokens and dollars while building a high resolution base layer of the earth,” reads the Spexigon announcement. “It is our hope that soon any organization or individual will be able to use the imagery collected by the Spexigon platform to make better decisions.”


Business model


You could think of this over time as like Google Earth, only with really sharp aerial imagery. Every time a pilot carries out a flight for Spexigon, that map will continue to fill in, building Spexigon’s database. Clients will purchase imagery online.

“This new base layer will enable governments and organizations of all sizes to make better decisions about real world assets like buildings, utilities, infrastructure, risk and natural resources, without requiring people on the ground,” continues the announcement.

“By using Spexigon, organizations that require high-resolution aerial imagery will no longer need to own their own drones or hire their own pilots. Instead, they’ll use our web and mobile app to search for and purchase imagery. Data buyers will then be able to use a variety of internal and external tools to put the imagery to use.”


For pilots


Spexigon says it will have online training when it launches. Pilots will learn how to use the app to carry out their flights – which, obviously, the pilots will monitor. Depending on the location, pilots can earn crypto currency or actual dollars. Some locations, obviously, will have greater value to Spexigon and its clients than others.

“The app will contain a map of the earth overlaid with hexagonal zones called ‘Spexigons’. Spexigons that are open and ready to fly will be easily visible so pilots can choose an area close to them and begin collecting imagery,” says the company.

“To ensure that imagery is captured in a safe, standardized, and repeatable way, our app controls each pilot’s drone automatically while they supervise the flight. Although our app will do the flying, pilots will always be in command and will have the ability to take back manual control at any time if need arises.”

Spexigon is now starting to build the app, and already has a small community emerging. You can join its Telegram channel here – and there’s also a Discord channel.

As for those ‘Spexigons’, the image below gives you an idea what those pieces of the puzzle might look like.


InDro’s take


Since InDro Robotics is one of the backers of Spexigon, we obviously feel the plan is a good one.

It comes from the outstanding team that built Spexi from scratch into a user-friendly, automated system for capturing and crunching aerial data. We also believe drone pilots will embrace this unique “fly to earn” model – a global first.

“The Spexi team has already created an excellent and proven Software as a Solution product and clearly has the expertise in this space,” says InDro Robotics CEO Philip Reece. “I’m genuinely excited about the potential for Spexigon to become the ‘go-to’ database of high-quality aerial imagery from around the world.”

So are the rest of us.