Altitude Angel provides a global free Drone Safety Map to help drone pilots better understand the risk of flying in a particular area. The map is frequently updated and details:
- Over 18,000,000 ground hazards
- Controlled airspace, airports & aerodromes (US only at present)
- Weather observations (current and forecast)
- Regulatory/Legal information
I’m a developer or manufacturer. Can I integrate your data?
Yes. Altitude Angel offers a secure API for vendor/developer integration. In addition, we have many more features available via our API that are not present in our map. Please reach out to us for details and to obtain your credentials to access our API.
Tell me more about Ground Hazards.
Drone operators need to have a good awareness of all the potential hazards around them before they fly. Often, there is so much emphasis on understanding aerial restrictions that drone operators aren’t focused on potential ground hazards.
Not all ground hazards are obvious.
Altiude Angel has mapped approximately 18,000,000 ground hazards globally, each is of specific interest to a drone operator. Uniquely, each hazard has been tagged with metadata to help operators understand the nature of the risk by flying over or near such a hazard. For example, one category of hazards is ‘healthcare’. At first glance you might think flying your drone in the vicinity isn’t going to cause any problems and provided that you are compliant with local aviation laws, you could be right. But what about the potential privacy impact? If your drone has a camera, people might not appreciate being filmed entering or leaving the building.
All ground hazards are pinpointed with their exact coordinates, and depending on the category of hazard, there are either ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ geofenced boundaries around them.
Other categories represent much greater risk to the operator or the drone themselves, such as power station infrastructure and even – where data is available – the path of individual power lines.
In total, there are over 80 categories of ground hazards, and we’re adding to them all the time.
Tell me about regulations and legal data.
At Altitude Angel, we believe passionately in supporting drone operators to have fun and fly safe. If you’re a commercial operator, we provide you with the necessary tools to help complete your pre-flight due diligence, which in many territories is now a legal requirement.
Altitude Angel is building a database of ‘drone regulations’. As you can appreciate, this is a very complex landscape, but we firmly believe that the drones themselves should be able to do more to help operators fly within the law, in much the same way that many commercial trucks are speed-limited.
That’s why our databse of drone regulations is being updated almost daily, with specific rulesets for different categories of operator, drone weight, payload and more.
All of our drone regulatory data is available via our API, so it’s easy for your drone or drone control app to determine – for example – what the maximum flight altitude is in any given location on Earth.
Our goal is to help vendors and developers build solutions which are automatically more compliant with local and national laws without really having to focus on trying to solve this particularly challenging subject themselves.
This feature is still in beta and we advise everyone to check the local aviation authority for up to date regulations before they fly (we provide a link for you to do this directly).
Tell me about controlled airspace, airports and aerodrome data
Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of controlled airspace, airports and aerodrome data into our US map. The US map features all classes of controlled airspace as well as geofenced borders around airports and aerodromes as specifically applicable to drone operators.
Although available via our API today, we do not currently show TFRs and NOTAMs on our public map, however we will be adding this feature shortly.
In its default mode, the map only shows controlled airspace that extends below 500 ft, however you can toggle the display mode to show what we call ‘upper airspace’ – that is airspace that starts at or above 500ft.
Tell me about weather and environmental data.
Our map shows up-to-date atmospheric weather for the location and current moment as well as +1 hour forecast. We find the immediate forecasting is very useful for drone operators who are about to make a flight and need to know about adverse weather.
Our weather data specifically calls out predicted wind gusts and direction as well as the liklihood of rain, and the dew point – all important factors in considering whether you should fly in a given place at a given time.
For drone manufacturers and app developers, it is possible to inform your users or have the drone take ‘return to home’ or ‘land’ action in the event that, for example, wind speed is gusting or is predicted to gust above the capability described in the design specifications for your drone.
We also have ‘solar weather’ available in our API, which enables developers or manufacturers to determine the liklihood of their control link with the drone being reduced or worse, interrupted, by solar activity.
Do you have terrain data?
Yes we do; again this is available via our API and is therefore suitable only for developers, manufacturers and integrators at this time. It is globally available, but we have much higher resolution data for Europe and the US.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a list of common questions we get in reference to our Drone Safety Map. If your question isn’t listed below, please login to your account and send us a support ticket – we generally reply the same day.
I can’t see any ground hazards. Where are they?
Ground Hazards are only visible at ‘zoom level 16’ and above. This means you have to be zoomed-in to the map to, for example, a specific region in a town, rather than being able to view all the hazards at once in a whole city. There is so much hazard data that it wouldn’t be readable if we were to plot it all at once on a map and, as a drone operator, you’re often restricted to flights within visual line of sight anyway.
I can’t see controlled airspace, airports & aerodromes. Why?
Firstly, at this time, we only display this data in the US. For similar reasons to the answer for ground hazards above, we don’t show all of the controlled airspace data at the same time when you zoom out to view all of the US at once – it would look very messy! Try zooming-in to about the level of a State boundary, and you should be able to turn on this map layer.
Where do you get your data?
Altitude Angel is a global company and our map caters for a global audience. Each layer on our map represents a different class of data and for each of these classes, we often have multiple sources; often one source per country but in many cases we combine multiple sources.
We have a policy to seek to obtain our source data from the ‘most authoritative’ sources in each country, and we prefer government or government-sponsored sources over commercial sources, but it is not uncommon for us to have both. We enable developers, integrators and manufacturers to distinguish between data sources and allow them to choose which source they prefer to accept as ‘authoritative’ for their scenario.
You’re missing [some data]. Can I give it to you?
People sometimes ask us why a specific hazard they know about isn’t shown on our map. Altitude Angel ‘learns’ about the environment primarily from our data ingest processes, which regularly run to ensure we have extracted the most relevant data from our multiple sources every few hours.
We use a sophisticated and evolving ‘ruleset’ for deciding which hazards to display and how they should be tagged. If the hazard you are searching for isn’t specifically listed, it might be that it is either miscategorised in our source data or more likely, it isn’t present in the source data. In some rare occasions, we may simple have not been able to read that item or found an error with it which meant we had to omit it until our staff can validate it.
We are working on a mechanism that enables individuals to submit local hazards to our database, however we do have very high standards of data quality and we are working on a peer-review system to verify authenticity of data submitted.
If you are a commercial supplier, or you have a bulk data set to contribute, please contact us and we can discuss its relevance and suitability to Altitude Angel’s community of drone operators.