Best Drone Mapping Software

As the usage of drones for mapping and 3D modelling will increase, so it appears, the variety of drone mapping software program additionally will increase. So, what’s the greatest drone mapping software program and are any of them free? There are a variety of drone mapping software program, some have been developed for particular industries, while most should not industry-specific. To my data, there is just one software program that’s fully free, but it surely’s solely appropriate for people who find themselves technically proficient in working net functions, I point out it close to the tip of this text.

Drone mapping is a game-changer for surveying, development, farming, forestry administration and plenty of different industries. Drone mapping software program makes it straightforward to show high-resolution aerial photos into extremely detailed maps and 3D fashions of an space of land. Using drones for mapping and 3D fashions of the earth’s terrain is extra environment friendly and cheaper than conventional strategies. In the surveyor’s world, because of this jobs are accomplished sooner with much less manpower wanted on website. Construction engineers can use drone mapping for planning tasks earlier than breaking floor or as a part of an ongoing undertaking. Farmers can get extra correct yield estimates thanks to specific information from drones capturing plant peak over time.

What Is The Best Drone Mapping Software?

That will actually rely on what sort of information you want, the {industry} you might be working in and the kind of 2D digital map or 3D mannequin required for the undertaking. While many of the drone mapping software program offers related deliverables, some have a superb UI, and the information is simple to learn as are the analytics instruments.

As an increasing number of individuals are beginning to use photogrammetry software program, it’s necessary that the software program has been designed and developed in order that most individuals can use and perceive the information with out an enormous quantity of technical data.

There can also be the case of whether or not the applying is a desktop software or a web-based one.

Web-based functions are normally extra highly effective and in a position to course of information a lot sooner, they’re additionally extremely scalable, so customers won’t be constrained by the quantity of knowledge that wants processing. Something else that must be thought of is help and coaching, though you’ll be able to solely discover this out by buying and utilizing the product.

Are There Any Free Drone Mapping Software?

There are, and I point out it close to the tip of this text, though, it’s actually just for individuals who have some programming data.

What Deliverables Can Be Obtained From Drone Mapping Software

There are a variety of digital belongings that may be obtained from utilizing drone mapping and 3D modelling functions. These embody the next:

    • Orthomosaics
    • Point Clouds
    • 3D Models
    • Digital Elevation Models
    • Thermal Maps

With these belongings, customers can extract a lot of information factors which are required for his or her undertaking. Users can purchase correct measurements of an space of land or constructing, get volumetric information for issues like lower fill jobs in development or stockpile information in mining websites. Maps developed from multispectral cameras can be utilized to observe the well being of vegetation and establish points like illness or irrigation issues.

As planning a flight mission and deploying a drone is comparatively straightforward and fast, acquiring maps and 3D fashions is proving much more environment friendly and cheaper than conventional strategies. Data can acquire inside hours, maps will be analysed, important info uncovered, and a plan of motion put into place in file time. Most drone mapping software program additionally comes with options that make it straightforward to share info with shoppers and different events, so each stakeholder is totally knowledgeable on what’s going on.

Drone Mapping Case Studies

There are many industries which are utilising drone expertise for mapping and 3D modelling, from development and agriculture to mining and forestry administration.

Their expertise is even being utilized in catastrophe administration, for instance, Mapware, which is likely one of the software program firms talked about on this record offered mapping information for a property restoration firm within the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Florida 2018.

Initial datasets have been captured and delivered inside 48 hours of the request and over 300GB of photogrammetry information have been offered over a 6-day interval.

Agriculture is likely one of the largest beneficiaries of drone expertise, Trinoo is a precision agriculture firm primarily based in Colombia. With the assistance of Pix4DFields, one of many main mapping software program particularly developed for agriculture, they helped an area sugarcane mill cut back its use of ripening agent by 20% and achieved a 93% accuracy fee and manufacturing forecasting.

Construction is one other {industry} that’s seeing fast progress in utilising drone expertise. Rogers-O’Brien is a development firm primarily based in Dallas Texas, with the usage of drones and the Drone Deploy mapping software program, they’ve improved effectivity and productiveness and in addition diminished labour prices by over 90%.

Best Drone Mapping Software

There are a number of drone mapping software program functions, nonetheless, this isn’t an exhaustive record of the perfect drone mapping software program, however they’re essentially the most well-known.

Drone Deploy

One of the main drone photogrammetry platforms, Drone Deploy provides a strong set of instruments for drone mapping and 3D modelling. Data is processed of their cloud-based servers and from the ensuing deliverables, events can extract an enormous variety of information factors. The software could be very straightforward to make use of and comes with a lot of options which incorporates its progressive Live Map HD characteristic. This permits customers to map a whole lot of acres of land in real-time with out the necessity for an web connection. It’s particularly helpful for agronomists as they will simply analyse the well being of crops every time the necessity arises and take fast motion as quickly as a problem is recognized. However, this characteristic is barely obtainable on iOS gadgets and DJI drones which are newer than the Phantom 4 Pro.

The app itself is suitable with most new DJI drones and Skydio 12, nonetheless, customers can add picture information from different drones for processing so long as the picture metadata meets sure necessities.

Drone Deploy used to have a free plan that gave you restricted entry to its options, nonetheless, they’ve discontinued it and now have three paid subscription plans. Each plan comes with a 30-day free trial, so greater than sufficient time to completely check out the software program and you’ll pay month-to-month or lower your expenses go for the annual plan.


Pix4D is a Swiss firm which were growing software program options for drone photogrammetry for a variety of years. A singular side of Pix4D is that they’ve completely different mapping instruments focused in the direction of completely different industries. They have the Pix4DMapper, which is essentially the most feature-rich mapping and evaluation software and appropriate for all industries. However, there are additionally mapping instruments for agriculture, development, emergency response and inspection. It’s a strong set of photogrammetry instruments that present highly effective mapping and 3D modelling options and even enable firms to construct their very own customised photogrammetry instruments through their Pix4DEngine software.

Pix4D have an important help system, they supply a lot of useful sources within the type of eBooks, PDF experiences, webinars, weblog posts and an lively group discussion board.

As for pricing, there’s a month-to-month and annual subscription plan for every of their instruments (there isn’t a pan for the whole software program suite) they usually do supply a 14-day free trial.

Propeller Aero

Propeller Aero are an Australian firm specialising in software program options for drone photogrammetry. Founded in 2014, the corporate has grown quickly over the previous few years and their highly effective mapping and 3D modelling software program has been utilised by small and huge firms all over the world. They have a cloud-based processing platform that simply transforms drone picture information into correct maps and offers a lot of analytics instruments to extract the information that’s required.

While Propeller Aero works with many drones, they do suggest two drones particularly, the fixed-wing Wingtra One drone or the DJI Phantom 4 RTK.

They have two plans you’ll be able to select from, an annual credit pack that provides you full entry to their processing platform or the Drones Unlimited plan during which get both the Wingtra-One or DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone in addition to entry to their whole platform.

Propeller Aero even have a number of different merchandise that may assist with mapping accuracy, productiveness and the sharing of knowledge amongst crew members.

Precision Hawk

Precisions Hawk are one of many oldest firms on this record, what began out as a solution to hold birds out of a winery by means of the usage of drones has now was one of many main drone service suppliers within the nation. Their Precision Analytics software program has advanced through the years from a easy mapping software to a classy photogrammetry software that has makes use of in lots of industries however is particularly fitted to the agricultural and utility sector.

Precision Hawk additionally offers consulting and drone-related companies, firms can rent them out to hold out mapping or inspection jobs or rent folks from their database of authorized drone professionals.

They used to supply a free mapping software referred to as Precision Mapper, nonetheless, that has since been discontinued and their principal mapping and 3D analytics software referred to as Precision Analytics is a paid software and pricing is offered upon request.

Maps Made Easy

This is an internet drone mapping software that could be very straightforward to make use of and comes with a number of options. The app can produce high-quality maps and picture information from most high-end drones will be processed with out trouble, though they do suggest DJI drones, particularly the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.

This is likely one of the easier mapping apps on this record and is an effective alternative for small to medium-sized jobs. It’s a very good mapping answer for drone pilots seeking to get into offering a drone mapping service and it has a versatile and inexpensive pricing system.

Agisoft Metashape

This is a desktop software and works with each Mac and Windows working techniques. This is a feature-rich photogrammetry software program that processes aerial, floor and satellite tv for pc photos into extremely correct digital belongings within the type of level clouds, orthomosaics, digital floor/terrain fashions, and textured 3D fashions.

It can course of picture information from various kinds of cameras together with multispectral and thermal that are helpful within the industries like agriculture and power. This is an all-in-one photogrammetry software program that’s appropriate for GIS professionals who need to add extremely correct drone mapping to their service.

There are two variations of this software program, an expert one with all of the options included and a typical model with a restricted set of options.

Site Scan For ArcGIS

Site Scan for ArcGIS offers an entire finish to finish answer for drone mapping and 3D modelling. It consists of a cell flight planning app that enables customers to plan flight missions and handle their fleet of drones and a web-based software for picture processing. This photogrammetry software is appropriate for a number of industries and permits customers to course of, annotate, analyse and share the information with shoppers, colleagues and stakeholders. The web-based software can course of picture information from most high-end drones, though the flight planning app is barely suitable with a choose few DJI drones.

ArcGIS even have one other mapping software referred to as Drone2Map, it’s not as feature-rich as Site Scan however can nonetheless course of photos that lead to professional-grade maps and 3D fashions. It must be famous that this mapping software is powered by the Pix4DEngine.

DJI Terra

A best-of drone record wouldn’t be full with out a DJI product, the DJI Terra is an internet mapping and 3D modelling software program that can be utilized to extract worthwhile information for a number of industries. It’s straightforward to make use of and might course of picture information from RGB, multispectral, thermal cameras and the Zenmuse L1 lidar machine. It produces a variety of outputs like 2D orthomosaics, level clouds, 3D reconstruction and has a variety of research instruments that may enable customers to make sense of the information and share them with colleagues and shoppers. With the DJI Terra, drone pilots can create 2D maps and 3D fashions in real-time, permitting customers to make well-informed data-driven selections extra rapidly.

The DJI Terra has 4 licenses, nonetheless, solely the DJI Terra for Agriculture will be bought from DJI instantly, whereas the Pro, Electricity and Cluster model will be bought from DJI authorised sellers.

This is a Windows-based software program and pricing for one 12 months’s license prices $300 (for the DJI Terra Agriculture) with free updates and help.


Founded in 2013, Skywatch is a San Francisco primarily based tech firm that mixes {hardware}, software program and AI to deliver correct aerial mapping information for the development, mining and power {industry}. With proprietary patent-pending photogrammetry expertise powered by the highly effective NVIDIA TX2 GPU, their Edge1 photogrammetry software can course of picture information at unimaginable velocity with out compromising on information integrity. They have developed a system that requires no GCP’s, which leads to sooner information acquisition while sustaining survey-grade accuracy. This is a powerful photogrammetry software program that’s utilizing progressive AI expertise to energy drone mapping and offering some unimaginable outcomes to lots of their shoppers all over the world.

This is an progressive software program firm which have developed a really highly effective cloud-based photogrammetry software that processes aerial picture information at unimaginable velocity because of their use of superior algorithms, AI and automation expertise. The use of parallel processing structure and servers that may course of trillions of knowledge factors per second implies that customers of this software can course of big quantities of knowledge at lightning velocity.

Open Drone Map

I discussed this web-based drone mapping software program close to the start of this text, it’s an open-source drone mapping software that’s maintained and supported by a rising group of builders. It might not be as flashy as a number of the different drone mapping functions, but it surely does assist you to course of aerial photos from most drones so long as they’re within the appropriate format and geotagged with their coordinates. The deliverables embody orthomosiacs, textured 3D fashions, level clouds and digital elevation fashions. The software may course of information from various kinds of cameras and means that you can extract a variety of knowledge. If you might be technically minded and have some data of any coding language, customers can obtain the supply code totally free and set up the software program your self. Or you’ll be able to pay a one-time charge and set up the app in your PC, that is the best choice as you additionally get one-year technical help.

Final Thoughts

The use of drones for photogrammetry is a quick and environment friendly solution to create 2D maps and 3D fashions. It’s additionally a less expensive methodology of mapping and measuring the bodily world than utilizing manned plane, satellites and land-based tools. As this methodology of photogrammetry turns into an increasing number of standard, so will the vary of software program functions for mapping and 3D modelling.