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Mapping with a Drone

Drones can be flown manually and can capture straight images from above. But in order to create a survey of an entire area, and for reconstructing 3d and orthographic views, an automatic approach is recommended.

I’m using a DJI Phantom 4 Advanced drone, which can be used along with the DJI GS Pro app on an iPad. My drone is already a bit old, so I recommend getting a new smaller one if you’re interested in working with drones yourselves.

The app have a few capturing options. In our case, we’re using the PhotoMap.

The PhotoMap allows us to define a region/area we wish the drone would capture. Simply drag the edges of the polygon to define the area.

On the “Basic” settings page, it’s important to set the capture mode to “Capture at Equal Dist. Interaval” ->

Next important setting is the Height of the drone’s flight. The lower this number is – the higher the quality of the resulted image/s. Also, the lower the number – the longer it will take the drone to cover the selected area. Between 50-80 meters is a good option.

The projected flight duration is displayed on the second page of the details pane (above the settings). It also includes important details such as the amount of pictures that will be taken ->

On the “Advanced” settings page, it is important to set the overlap ratio for the images. Here, the higher the number will result with a higher quality 3d model. Again, this would also result with longer flight time. Around 85% should be good.