Mapware recently made a big change to our pricing plan. Going forward, we are offering customers a simple, one-time processing fee of 2¢ per megapixel (MP). We won’t charge for anything else—including cloud storage, ingress, egress, or exports.
We’re particularly proud of this new plan. But you may wonder why it’s such a big deal, especially if (like the author) you were born into this world knowing nothing about cloud pricing. In this blog, we hope to provide some context.
First thing’s first: flight planning. As a drone pilot for a photogrammetry project, you may be asked by the client to estimate the cost of processing their site through Mapware. You may wonder how to figure that out when we charge by megapixel. Luckily, if you know the number and resolution of your photos, this is easy to do:
Example: If you take 500 drone photos with a 20 MP camera, you’ll have 10,000 megapixels in photos. At 2¢ per megapixel, processing those images in Mapware will cost you $200.
After processing those images, the only time you’ll need to pay again is if you process another set of images through Mapware.
By the way, many cloud service providers don’t charge you for ingress – the process of uploading your data to our cloud. But it’s worth mentioning that we don’t, either. Getting your first set of high-resolution source images into Mapware is free. So is getting the second set, and the third, and so on.
Now imagine your project drags on longer than expected. Maybe poor weather postpones your drone flights, or local traffic delays the arrival of field personnel, or onsite equipment breaks down, or wireless internet connections are spotty, or poor-quality drone images force you to take reshoots. Whatever the case, your data must sit in the cloud a bit longer.
Under a subscription-based cloud-storage plan, time is money—and you would have to pay for every additional week, month, or year that you need to store your data. But under Mapware’s plan, you don’t pay a cent for storage. Your cost is still $200.
In theory, you could keep your data on Mapware’s servers indefinitely, for free. But eventually, you will probably want to transfer it to another part of the internet. Removing data from cloud storage is called egress, and many cloud-service companies charge you for this. But again, Mapware won’t make you pay to retrieve your data. It’s already yours.
Not only can you retrieve your data for free, but you can retrieve it as many times as you want, and in every format that Mapware supports. This means you can export your data as a dense point cloud, digital elevation model, orthomosaic, or 3D texture mesh without having to pay for each additional file format.
So, over the course of your project: you’ve uploaded one image set (for free), processed it (for $200), stored images and models, and other important files on our cloud for longer than expected (for free), and finally transferred it all off our cloud in whatever formats you need (for free). In the end, you’ve still only paid $200.
Under Mapware’s new pricing plan, you pay 2¢ per megapixel only when you decide to process your data through our photogrammetry pipeline. That’s it. You can upload your data to our cloud for free. You can keep your data on our servers for as long as you like, for free. And you can transfer or download it for free. There are no additional charges, no hidden fees, and no complex rules to puzzle over. This is rare, both from other photogrammetry service providers and general cloud-storage providers like AWS and Azure.
Hopefully, now you understand our enthusiasm.