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.
If you've got a DJI Inspire, Phantom 4, or Phantom 3 (Advanced or Professional), download the free Skycatch flight app to your iOS device for flight planning made easy! For more information or to download the app, visit the iTunes store here.
A good rule of thumb is 75% overlap and 60% side lap. For a typical 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.