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We Standardised and Scaled Data Capture through BIRDI

November 11, 2018

NSW Government

The rapid adoption of drone technology across many industries has caused the drone sector to expand quickly across NSW and Australia.A proactive approach to drone adoption across NSW Government will create jobs and investment in NSW, advance a burgeoning industry and make NSW the leading state for drones. As the industry expands, innovation will continue to unlock the potential application of drones to improve the efficiency of various government services.

The project was implemented and led by NSW Government presented a possible ‘Whole of Government’ solution and demonstrated per agency opportunities. BIRDI implemented the full project with Telstra as the funding partner.

"A centralised platform such as BIRDI allows for streamlined access to a large pool of licensed and experienced RPAS pilots across NSW which allowed jobs to be flown quickly and professionally around the State."

Jeffrey Hoskin, NSW Government

Our client's problem:

The NSW Government’s operating model for data acquisition is shifting from high-cost/low-volume devices and processes to low-cost/high-volume devices and processes. The NSW Government notes there is a high degree of duplication of effort collecting data that is not shared effectively or analysed efficiently.

NSW Government identified that drones provide the capability for large scale low cost/high volume data acquisition and that they are pivotal to the success of their Smart State NSW program of work.To facilitate large scale data acquisition NSW Government recognises the importance of a ‘Whole of Government’ approach to ensure all agencies comply with; aviation regulations, ensure safe and secure data storage and sharing as well as reducing the risk to employees and contractors by maintaining, monitoring and tracking high level compliance of all operations.

The NSW Government acknowledges the opportunity presented by the BIRDI platform to capture low-cost/high-volume data via drone technology as the move to low cost/ high volume data capture devices, such as drones, places greater emphasis on data management, coordination and safety policies, and less emphasis on manual, high cost acquisition operations.

BIRDI's Solution

The NSW Government engaged BIRDI to trial the BIRDI platform and consider the feasibility of a ‘Whole of Government’ approach to the aviation regulation, compliance and data storage associated with mass data acquisition by drones.

NSW Government Departments requested four jobs on the BIRDI platform that were spread across NSW. The BIRDI platform matched the job request with local drone operators and handled the aviation regulation, compliance, insurance and data storage associated with each job.NSW Government Departments were able to download the data once the job was complete. From job request to data download the BIRDI platform provided a streamlined process.

The BIRDI platform ensures full compliance with aviation regulations, coordinated data storage and centralised management, as well as clear operational procedures for internal employees and outsourced providers. At an agency level there’s a reduction of duplication of effort and expenditure delivering benefits to the NSW Government and its citizens.


NSW Government identified that they can significantly lower the cost of data capture and increase the amount of data captured by using the BIRDI platform.The BIRDI platform provided the NSW Government with:

  • Data storage: The ability to easily store a large amount of data (over 46GB and over 6,000 images)
  • Standardisation of data sets: The ability to download the raw data to process and stitch with internal system.
  • Standardisation of formats for 3D models: The ability to standardise and stitch the data via the BIRDI platform to generate 2D and 3D models.
  • Coordination across government agencies: The ability to share the aerial data across NSW Government agencies and private sectors via a link.

The BIRDI trial made clear that high volume data capture across NSW would be possible on the BIRDI platform. BIRDI was able to recommend that the standardisation of data outputs (i.e. flight path, flight height, image resolution) and drone flight requirements would significantly lower the cost of high volume data capture.

Figure 1: Shot 1 – 35m
Figure 2: Shot 2 – 35m
Figure 3: Shot 1 –  75m
Figure 4: Shot 2 – 75m