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Posted by on Sep 17, 2015

Explore the world through a drone’s eyes.

Explore the world through a drone’s eyes.

Thanks to today’s technology, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your living room chair to explore the beauty this world has to offer. With various websites devoted to bringing you spectacular photos, panoramas and videos from all over the world, you can literally “travel the world” online. And now you can experience the world from an even loftier place!

With the ever-growing popularity of drone photography and videography and the portability of these small UAVs, more and more flyers are taking their drones to famous locations and sharing their beautiful imagery with the rest of the world online.

Here are just a few of the emerging aerial photography and videography websites that will let you explore the world – famous landmarks and all, from the sky:

Created originally by UAV manufacturer DJI as a showcase for some of the top imagery created with their latest products, it has grown into a worldwide “portfolio” from aerial artists around the globe. I’ve posted several pieces that I’ve shot around the SF Bay Area and other places I’ve traveled, and can be found by name if you visit the site.

While it does feature a lot of great photos, panoramas and videos, the site is currently being reworked so some features such as the Map aren’t fully populated. DJI has informed me that a relaunch will happen sometime in the near future and will feature an enhanced user experience. Stay tuned…

I first learned about Dronestagram through the social media sites a little over a year ago. There wasn’t a whole lot published to it at the time, but I could see where the concept was heading.

While it’s a fun play on words, it’s really designed as both a community for hobbyist aerial drone photographers and explorers alike. There is something from just about every country and continent – and some amazing work too.

When you load the world map, it will show you large Dronestagram logos all over it. As you zoom into a region on the map the logos will spread out and new ones appear – the larger logos indicate there is a higher concentration of images and videos in that region of the map.

Once you drill down to a specific area you want to explore, the detailed map will direct you to locations the aerial imagery was shot from. When you click on one a pop up with description and thumbnail appear; double-click it and the full size image or video will come to the foreground and you can view it and read a more detailed description and stats about the image and how it was taken. And you can chose to view more from the photographer that posted it, or more from that location/region.

They also have a Twitter account and a dedicated Facebook page for your “daily fix” of aerial photos.

I ran into their Head of Marketing and Development, Guillaume Jarret at InterDrone 2015 last week and he assured me there are still big plans for growth at Dronestagram. I’ve only posted a handful of images and videos into it just to see how well it worked and after over a year now, I can see that Dronestagram is here to stay, so I’ll be updating my channel soon.

Travel By Drone

Probably the best planned site with the easiest navigation for exploration would be Travel By Drone. Since the site is based on delivering only aerial videos hosted on YouTube and Vimeo, and are approved for quality and content, your experience as a viewer will be justly rewarded as you explore the globe.

The map is going to direct you first to the location you’re logging in from, but you can either enter a city, country or region in the search box or click and zoom/drag around on the map window. As you move within the map window, small numbered dots and pins will appear. The numbers represent how many pins are concentrated in the different locations.

Drilling down on the map to a region of interest, you’ll see the various locations that have been pinned with an aerial video.

Once you select a pinned spot, you’ll see the aerial video player pop up. Social media tabs are on each video so you can easily share with your friends and family if you find a particularly moving video!

And TravelByDrone’s posting policy is the strictest I’ve seen yet – which means you’re going to get the best quality imagery.

We want to keep TravelByDrone a peaceful and enjoyable place to explore. Below is a list of characteristics for which videos may not be approved:

  1. Military related footage
  2. Lack of or poor editing
  3. Jumpy, roller-coaster like or low quality footage
  4. Too long – keep videos in the 2-3 minute range
  5. Overly promotional in nature
  6. Political, religious or other personal message
  7. Animated intros or endings beyond 5-10 seconds in length are annoying

For a share request to be validated, the video needs to be taken by a drone (not of a drone), be of high quality and clearly show the area in which the drone flies. We love gimbals.

But it’s really easy to post videos to if you’re an aerial shooter – just sign up and and start uploading. All submissions are either approved or rejected within 24-48 hours and you get an email notification.

So go on! Enjoy your magnificent world… from the sky!