Drone Mapping: Keypoints and Reminders

This article will provide you with some notes and reminders when performing a mapping survey using a drone. 

Best Practices: 

  • Flying higher means fewer photos are needed to capture an area. Doing this, however, decreases your accuracy.
  • Use front overlap of 80%, and side overlap of 70%. These settings will give the best results for most surfaces.
  • It is recommended to capture more than what you need, as it is easy to delete data. If you capture too little - you will need to re-fly.

  • Ensure that you have full terrain coverage when using terrain following. This means that everything has to be covered - mapping area/ area of interest, take off/landing area, and everything in between.
  • If you are not using Flight1, ensure that altitude optimization is turned ON, and distortion correction is OFF


  • If flying with RTK, confirm that the solution is “fixed” before takeoff. 
  • If using PPK, ensure your base logging file begins 5 minutes before your flight and continues 5 minutes after your flight.


  • Always ensure that the SD card has adequate space before flying. 

  • Photogrammetry will NOT work at night.

  • Best capture conditions are in bright constant conditions. Ideally, an overcast day. Moving shadows will create issues in captures - try to avoid sunrise/sunset if possible

Drone Camera Settings :


  • Camera Ratio 3:2

  • Gimbal Angle: 90

  • Shutter Priority: Disabled

  • Distortion Correction: Disabled
  • White balance: Set to conditions
  • Metering mode: Average


  • Altitude optimization: ON
  • Exposure program: Manual / Auto ISO
  • Metering Mode: Average
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • White balance: Auto
  • Shutter speed: Auto
  • Aperture priority: 5.6
  • Exposure value: 0

  • First waypoint: Infinity

  • Camera trigger: Distance Based



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