DroneDeploy is a powerful tool for turning your drone into a data-capturing powerhouse. One of the great features of DroneDeploy is the ability to create missions on iOS, Android, and desktop devices, with seamless syncing across all platforms. Here are the steps to create a mapping mission using DroneDeploy.

Step 1: Create an Account

To get started, create a free DroneDeploy account. While paid accounts are available, a free account is sufficient for mission planning and mapping.

Step 2: Create a New Project

Tap on the “Project” button, which will automatically take you to your drone’s current location. For this example, we’ll create a mission near a reef. Tap on “Create Project,” enter a name for your project (e.g., “Double Island”), and then tap “Continue.”

Step 3: Select “Maps and Models”

On the left-hand side, tap on “Maps and Models.” This is the best option for mapping mission planning, but we’ll need to make a few adjustments.

Step 4: Set Flight Time and Altitude

Check the estimated flight time in the top-left corner. Aim for a mission around 15 minutes, which allows time to reach the start of the mission and return to the launch point. Next, change the altitude from the default 60 meters to 80 meters.

Step 5: Turn Off “Enhanced 3D”

Disable the “Enhanced 3D” option, as the cross-hatch flight pattern it creates can sometimes cause issues when stitching photos together. Turning this off will also reduce the flight time, allowing you to cover a larger area.

Step 6: Adjust Overlap Settings

Tap on the “Advanced” settings and change the automatic overlap settings. Set both the front overlap and side lap values to 80%. This is an easy-to-remember value that works well with the 80-meter altitude we set earlier.

Step 7: Adjust the Flight Area

Now that the settings are optimized, you can adjust the flight area by dragging the white handles. Aim for a roughly rectangular shape with a north-south flight line orientation. This “lawnmower” pattern is ideal for mapping missions. Zoom out to get a better view of the area you want to cover, and keep an eye on the estimated flight time as you make adjustments.

Step 8: Connect Your Drone and Fly

When you’re ready to fly, tap the “Connect Drone” button in the bottom-right corner. DroneDeploy will connect to your drone and perform a series of checks (GPS, battery, etc.). Once connected, manually take off and reach the desired altitude, then press “Play” to start the mission.

If you need to recall your drone during the mission, simply switch your drone out of automatic flight mode (e.g., to Sport mode or ATTI mode), then immediately back to GPS mode, and fly it manually back home.

By following these steps, you can quickly and easily create mapping missions using DroneDeploy with your DJI drone.

Looking to build a drone mapping mission in a different software than DroneDeploy? Our drone mapping mission overview guide has you sorted.

Happy mapping!