Drone Mapping Step-by-Step Guide
1 hour

Are you ready for autonomy?

If you're already confident flying your drone, our drone mapping step-by-step quick start guide is for you.

We'll have you flying an autonomous mapping mission in no time!

Drone Mapping Step-by-Step Guide


Make sure that you follow all local regulations and safety guidelines

Choose a mission planning app

There are many to choose from, but here’s our top three:

Pix4D Capture
Autel Explorer

Create your mission plan

Double check your parameters:

  • Remember the rule of 80s - 80m altitude, 80% overlap, 80% sidelap (note that some projects may have variations in these specifications, but if in doubt, this is the one to stick to);
  • Fly high enough to clear trees and other obstructions;
  • Plan enough time to return home safely;
  • Create a single grid, not a cross grid or perimeter captures;
  • Try to keep to a rectangular area of coverage where possible;
  • Orient the camera nadir (directly down);
  • Make sure you can take off and land close to the survey site;
  • Close to midday flights are best over land to minimise shadows;
  • Mid morning and mid afternoon flights are best if there’s water (rivers, lakes, creeks, ocean). Avoid the middle of the day otherwise you’ll get a strong sun reflection in the middle of your photos;
  • Keep your flight area small so that you have plenty of time to get used to how it works and not run out of battery!

Happy flying!

Have a great, safe flight!

Upload to GeoNadir

For the best place to store, process, and manage your drone mapping data, upload to your free GeoNadir account.

Further Training

Ebook Learn to capture drone mapping data
Drone Mapping eBook
3 hours

incl GST


incl GST

Two people with a remote controller to learn drone mapping
Drone Mapping Course: Capture and Analyse Data
Approx 16 hours

incl GST


incl GST


Regarding licensing – Check with your local aviation regulator, however Remote Pilot Licences are often not required for flying drones that weigh under 2kg. If flying in the USA commercially and providing advice on property boundaries and other certified mapping services then also take care to find out if you need a surveyor’s license.

Our drone mapping ebook focusses on some of the theory behind the decisions you make regarding when, where, and how to fly. It’s a great companion to this drone mapping step-by-step quick start guide!

Our drone mapping course extensively covers data capture, pre-processing, field survey, and an introduction to GIS for drone mapping. It’s great to give you a more in depth knowledge and understanding about all aspects of drone mapping beyond this simple step-by-step getting started guide.