The rise of drone technology is changing the face of many industries and services, from crop inspection or fire reconnaissance to emergency medical response and aid drop off. Unmanned aircraft built by Altavian are now using what3words to route their drones to specific locations via a unique 3 word address.

Eyes in the sky

Altavian are a group of geospatial, aerospace and software engineers. They build unmanned aircraft that are being used by Fortune 500 companies and research organisations. Their drones can fly in the most challenging conditions and land anywhere, from rocky mountainsides to the middle of the ocean.

Altavian are part of a growing data revolution. By capturing 3D data with incredible detail and accuracy, they’re helping individuals and organisations improve their world, from agriculture and construction to wildlife management and emergency aid.

A 3 word flight plan

A key challenge for drone operators is in communicating a location in a simple, error-free way. GPS is traditionally used but the complex numeric strings can easily be mistyped or heard incorrectly. Human error can mean a drone ends up 20 or 30 metres off course, simply down to a mistake in entering coordinates.

That’s where what3words comes in. Altavian drones can now be routed using a 3 word address. And explaining to a team that a drone needs to fly urgently to ///milkman.claim.highlight is far more reliable and easier to do than typing 18.537637, -72.301550.

Using Flare, Altavian’s drone command software, a 3 word address can be used to set waypoints, destinations or specify a landing zone. In reality, that means aid can be delivered straight to where it’s needed, farmers can accurately dust crops in a particular field and emergency teams can scan a specific area for survivors.