UgCS and ATLAS used in Malawi reforestation project

June 9, 2021 - Riga, Latvia - Wells for Zoë, an Irish NGO, has been partnering with SPH Engineering since 2020 to use UgCS and ATLAS for ‘Indigenous Trees’ project in Malawi (2020-2021 season planting). The growth of 1'745'185 total seedlings planted and 1'476'165 total seeds planted directly has been monitored with UAVs while collected data is stored and processed with ATLAS.

The NGO uses UgCS to flight-plan drone mapping missions (from their office in Germany) of community reforestation areas in Malawi. The great thing about this is, that GPS-Polygons can be sent via messenger by Malawian STAFF working on the ground from the reforestation areas where the action is happening. Then missions can be planned with correct settings for needed flight altitude/GSD Resolution, camera settings, flight speed in the office. These missions are then transferred directly to the smartphone of Malawian drone pilots which makes it very easy for them to control the drone and they can in turn concentrate on the work of the community planters on the ground while relying on the planned missions. All photos and videos are then processed and evaluated while all data is presented on the pump & plantations map (click on Area of Interest Enyezini for example).

NGO uses UgCS to flight-plan drone mapping missions of community reforestation areas in Malawi
Images taken with an UAV during UgCS automatic photogrammetry flight © Wells for Zoë

‘We believe that transparency matters and that NGOs and charities should be held accountable for their work with donated money. UgCS enables us to do just that in an efficient way,’ Kevin Dalferth, CTO and Volunteer at Wells for Zoë, comments.

UgCS to flight-plan drone mapping missions
Photogrammetry survey missions planned with UgCS © Wells for Zoë

As individual young seedlings or planting holes can be quite difficult to be visible in a photogrammetric map they are evaluated using ATLAS to detect, count, and keep track of survival rates. The NGO hopes that this will eliminate the necessity to send ground personnel to the areas multiple times a year to take exemplary photos of individual seedlings as planting proof.

ATLAS to detect, count, and keep track of seedlings or planting holes visible on a photogrammetric map
Training of ATLAS AI algorithm - Storage and AI processing of planting hole maps in ATLAS © Wells for Zoë

ATLAS to detect, count, and keep track of seedlings or planting holes visible on a photogrammetric map
Result of ATLAS auto detection - Storage and AI processing of planting hole maps in ATLAS © Wells for Zoë


About Wells for Zoë
Wells for Zoë is an Irish voluntary organization, founded in 2005 and working mainly in Northern Malawi, focused on enabling the rural poor to access clean, safe, drinking water. Working with women’s self-help clusters, a package including preschool, Girl Child and adult education, and Climate Smart Agriculture including planting indigenous trees and fruit trees, this bottom-up approach has a sustainable and life-changing impact on communities. Discover more about our Planting indigenous Trees project in Northern Malawi where we planted ca. 3 million varied species indigenous trees in the 2020/2021 Season in multiple areas.

About SPH Engineering | ATLAS
SPH Engineering ( is a multiproduct drone software company and UAV integration services provider. Founded in 2013 in Latvia (EU) as a UAV mission planning and flight control start-up, the company has evolved from a developer of a single flagship product (UgCS) to a market leader of multiple drone solutions. Today, the company boasts a rich global customer, reseller and educational partner network in 150+ countries, while over 45% of partners are located in North America. To provide high-quality solutions for UAV professionals, SPH Engineering's team advances four key product lines: UgCS - mission planning and flight control software, UgCS Integrated Systems - airborne integrated systems with sensors from diverse manufacturers, Drone Show Software - only commercially available software to manage drone swarm flights and ATLAS - AI platform to process and analyze geospatial data.