Are you an environmental scientist looking to create orthomosaics of terrain using drones?

DroneLink is a powerful app that supports automated mapping missions, particularly with the DJI Mavic Mini series (Mini 2, Mini SE, and Mini 3). In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps to create a drone mapping mission using DroneLink.

Step 1: Choose Your Platform

DroneLink is available on iOS, Android, and as a desktop website. While some prefer the larger screen of the desktop version for mission planning, others find it more intuitive to use the mobile app. Choose the platform that works best for you.

Step 2: Create a New Mission

In the app, click on the “Create” button (usually a big pink button) to start a new mission. Select “Map” as the mission type and choose a repository to store your mission.

Step 3: Set the Takeoff Location

On the map screen, tap to select a takeoff location for your drone. You can adjust this later if needed.

Step 4: Adjust Mission Settings

On the left-hand side, you’ll find basic settings for your mission. Rename the mission to something meaningful, and optionally add a description. Ensure that the “Action on Finish” setting is set to “Return Home” to have your drone automatically return once the mission is complete.

Step 5: Set Map Parameters

Click on the red dot on the map to bring up the parameters for your mapping mission. Select the camera you’re using (e.g., DJI Mavic Mini 2), set the altitude (e.g., 50 meters for a good balance of coverage and detail), and adjust the front and side overlap (80% is a safe default).

Step 6: Adjust the Mapping Area

Use the tools on the right-hand side to adjust your map view. Unlock the polygon shape by clicking the lock icon, then drag the white points to alter the shape to fit your area of interest. You can add points using the plus (+) signs to create more complex polygons. Drag the blue pin to change the starting point of the mission, and use the compass icon on the green circle to adjust the flight path direction if needed.

Step 7: Review Mission Details

Check the estimated flight time and number of images that will be captured, shown in the bottom-left corner. Ensure that your drone has sufficient battery life to complete the mission. The 3D preview button can help you visualize the mission and check for obstacles.

Step 8: Save and Fly

Your mission is automatically saved. When you’re ready to fly, connect your drone, open the mission you created, and start the mapping process.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a drone mapping mission in DroneLink and generate orthographic maps of your desired terrain. Happy mapping! Looking for how to create a mapping mission in a different software? We’ve got a guide for you, fam: