How to Improve Map Quality with Flight Settings

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This article explains the features you can review & edit within your flight plan to ensure you are effectively capturing imagery for your subject area. If your map was of poor quality, here are a few simple things you can do to improve it.


Adjust Flight Settings

Click on the left-hand sidebar of the app to open your flights settings OR if you are using DroneDeploy on the web, you can click the FLY tab in your project to access the flight settings.

Flight setting access in the DroneDeploy App: 



Flight setting access on DroneDeploy Web: 



Fly Higher

Flying higher gives the camera lens (with a given field of view) more land area to cover in a single image. This grants the drone more chances to cover common unique features in multiple images, which can help map areas with homogeneous imagery (such as tree canopies or agricultural areas). It also enables a higher front lap to be achieved for a given camera. Flying higher is the single most powerful way to improve data quality and increase overlap.


Fly on an Overcast Day

Flying when the sky is overcast allows you to use the clouds as a giant light diffuser. Light diffusers are common in professional photography because they provide soft, even lighting on your subject. This can greatly reduce shadows, blurriness, and glare from reflective surfaces all of which will improve the quality of your map.

This technique is most effective for 3D models and should not be used during sunrise and sunset as this can discolor your images.


Advanced Settings

By clicking on "Advanced" in your flight's settings, and toggling OFF Automatic Settings, you can gain even greater control of the plan: 


Check out our Advanced Flight Settings guide for a review of all settings available there. 


Increase Side Overlap (Sidelap) 

Flying with more overlap between each leg of the flight is the easiest way to get more matched features in the imagery, but it does come at the expense of reducing the area that your drone can cover in one flight.


Increasing Front Overlap (Frontlap) 

This will increase the number of photos taken during each leg by simply making your camera take photos more quickly. Your camera will have a hard limit on how fast it can operate, so after you hit that point you will not see any further improvements.


Starting Waypoint

If you'd like to start your flight from a certain waypoint or are continuing a mission, select the waypoint you would like the drone to start its mapping from. 

The right-hand side of the screen will show your flight lines. The dashed lines will be skipped and the solid lines will be flown:




Max Flight Speed

You can set the maximum speed at which the drone can fly. Please note, the maximum speed does not denote the drone's actual speed. The drone's flight speed can vary depending on your flight parameters, such as the altitude and overlap settings.


Flight Direction

Using the Flight Direction feature allows you to change the direction the drone flies. Changing the flight path can assist when you are mapping a narrow shape so that the drone conserves battery life. It can also assist in flying in and out of the wind. As you modify your flight's rotation, go back to your flight plan to review the changes to ensure they work best for your flight. Be sure to review where your flight is starting so that the path you are taking is clear.


Check your Camera Settings & Quality of Individual Photos

DroneDeploy does attempt to make your camera capture imagery at its absolute best quality. However, ultimately image quality is governed by so many other parameters (some of them listed above), that it is useful for users to check the quality of the individual photos captured as the drone is performing the mission flight. You can toggle the camera settings on to adjust your exposure and focus manually in the DJI GO/FLY App.

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