Good flight planning is a critical part in producing high quality data outputs. Based on the type of terrain you are flying over, the proper flight path can make all the difference.
A good rule of thumb is 75% overlap and 60% side lap. For sites such as construction & mining, it will sufficiently capture enough data to produce accurate results. However, there are situations where you should increase the overlap to at least 85%:
- Area with dense trees or vegetation
- Snow, sand, grassy areas with very little textures
High accuracy results = high overlap between images
Altitude and Speed
Generally, recommended settings for mission planning would be 3 - 8 meters/second ground speed at an altitude of 60 - 120 meters. However, sometimes it's beneficial to fly the mission at a higher altitude so each photo has less distortion and contains a larger area:
- Agricultural fields with repeating patterns
- large solar panel installations
For sites with significant changes in terrain elevation, flying at a fixed altitude above the ground will produce the most consistent output. When that's not possible, multiple flight paths should not differ by more than 10 meters.
- Angle your camera directly towards the ground (nadir photos) to get good results
- Oblique images should be captured so that the object of interest is in the center of your photos. Do not point the camera towards the horizon.