Mapping Necker Island from the skies

After years of walking, running, cycling, buggying, swimming, kitesurfing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding and dancing on and around Necker Island, I thought I knew every inch of the place. But I’ve got some new perspectives recently.

A while ago I was thrilled to welcome Chris Anderson, co-founder of 3D Robotics, to Necker with six drones to see the island in a new way and discuss the future of drone technology for good. As an investor in the company, which develops personal drones and the technology and software around them –I’m excited by the possibilities they present. You can see what we captured in the video below.

This summer, I welcomed 500Below and founder Bill Kimberlin to the island, and they produced this stunning bird’s eye view video of our little paradise from the skies. As well as stunning shots of the scenery, ocean, wildlife and buildings, you also get an interesting view of the people living and visiting here. 

I was also eager to see another use of drones to map the island in a completely new way. Christian Sanz, Skycatch founder, used his COMMANDER app to create an orthomap and 3D point cloud of the island in a matter of minutes. It was beautiful seeing Necker Island rendered in 3D, a viewpoint I had never experienced before.

As drones become increasingly affordable and advanced, their potential for positive change grows, whether for conservation, health, farming or disaster relief. They’re increasingly affordable and relatively easy to use, which gives many more people access to useful, real-time information about the world around them. They can also be very useful for adventure and sport – we’re even using them for tennis training at Virgin Active now. We may even use them to help with future construction projects on Necker. 

I’m sure drones will continue to shape the world around us in new ways as they become even more advanced. What do you think will be the most positive use of drones in the years to come?


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