Drone mapping is a powerful tool that allows you to capture aerial data for creating orthomosaics and 3D models. Here are the steps to create a drone mapping mission using the Pix4D Capture app.

Step 1: Create a Free Account

To get started, create a free account with Pix4D Capture. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices and is compatible with a variety of drones, including DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec models.

Step 2: Adjust Settings

Once you’ve logged in, navigate to the settings menu in the upper left-hand corner. Here, you can select the drone you’ll be using and adjust various preferences. One setting you may want to turn off is “Auto download images,” which automatically sends images to your device upon landing. If you prefer to manually transfer images from your drone’s SD card, disable this feature.

Step 3: Choose Your Flight Type

Back on the main screen, select the type of flight you want to create. For this example, we’ll choose the “Polygon” option, which allows you to define a custom flight area.

Step 4: Set Your Flight Area

The app will automatically drop a polygon in your current location. Move the map to the area where you plan to fly, then tap the center of the screen to drop a flight plan. The default plan will create an up-and-back “lawnmower” pattern for capturing data.

Step 5: Adjust Flight Parameters

To optimize your flight plan, adjust the following parameters:

  • Altitude: Use the slider on the left-hand side to set your flight altitude. For this example, we’ll use 80 meters.
  • Overlap: Tap the settings icon and adjust the front and side overlap to 80%. This ensures sufficient coverage for creating high-quality maps and models.
  • Camera Angle: Ensure the camera angle is set to 90 degrees (nadir) for optimal mapping results.

Step 6: Fine-Tune Your Flight Plan

Review your flight plan and make any necessary adjustments. Drag the green dots to resize the flight area, aiming for a rectangular shape aligned north-south to minimize glint, especially when flying over water. Keep an eye on the estimated flight time, ensuring you have sufficient battery life to complete the mission and return to your takeoff point.

Step 7: Fly Your Mission

When you’re ready to fly, check your flight area for safety, then hit the “Start” button. The app will connect to your drone and initiate the automated mission. For your first few flights, start with a small flight plan to familiarize yourself with the process. It’s also a good idea to take manual control during takeoff and landing.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to create and fly drone mapping missions using Pix4D Capture, capturing valuable aerial data for your environmental and conservation projects.

Need to learn how to fly a drone mapping mission in some other software? We’ve probably got the drone mapping mission guide for you right here. Need another guide? Let us know. 🙂

Happy mapping!