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A quick and simple way to take measurements, add notes to your maps, and share.

Learn how to create annotations on your DroneDeploy maps to analyze them and share the results.

Overview of the Toolbox

If you look at the sidebar on the right, you can see Annotations and Tools options:


Hover over each icon to view the annotation style. Click the arrow to return to a normal cursor.

Compatible Browsers
Please note that annotations, just like all of DroneDeploy, work best on Google Chrome.

We have labeled them in the image above, and will be discussing each one below:

Before we dig into the different annotation types, it's worth going over the general annotation controls.

Annotation Controls

Here is an example annotation (from the Volume annotation example):

Example annotation using the Volume tool.

Changing Units
To change your preferred units for annotations, please navigate to in your dashboard and navigate to `Units` about halfway down the page.

Location Marker

If you want to take note of a specific point, this is the tool for you. Once selected, you'll be asked to select a point on the map:

Moving it to a location of interest and clicking that location will generate a marker:

A blue marker shows the building. Notice the lat/long, comment box, and color options.

Here, we have selected to annotate the building. When clicking, you will now see the latitude and longitude for that location, a text box in which to add notes, and the annotation controls. Once the comment is saved, you will see your name and the date of the comment. If you click on the images you will also be able to view your photos at native resolution.


If you have assigned a CRS (coordinate reference system) for the project - see Define a Coordinate Reference System (CRS) for New and Existing Projects - you will now see the State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS) coordinates based on the assigned CRS for your project! 





Elevation at a Point

You can also find the elevation of a single point in your map by simply placing a location marker on the point of interest.

Elevation at location marker.

Elevation information
The elevation information is available on all Lite, Individual, Teams, and Enterprise accounts.


Distance Tool

The Distance or line tool will allow you to measure the length of a straight line or a series of lines.

A blue line measuring the length of the object.

Here we measure the length of the field to be 4560.8 feet.

You will be provided horizontal length and surface length. Horizontal length is the horizontal distance between two vertices and surface length is the distance over the processed orthomosaic (including surface objects). 

Elevation Profile

View the elevation profile or cross-section for a single segment of a line drawn with the annotations tool. This is helpful to:

  • Measure the height of certain features
  • Measure the slope of the line segment (height change/distance)
  • See if an area is flat/bumpy/sloped


To use this tool:

  1. Create a line using the distance tool.
  2. Click on the line so you see the cross arrows.
  3. View the elevation profile in the map panel at the left.

Length: a 3D length - hypotenuse if you think of a right triangle. It is the actual length from point A to point B
Horizontal Length: a 2D projection - adjacent side in a right triangle.
Surface length: Includes a surface profile.
Surface Area: Calculation of area beneath the distance profile


Surface Area Calculation

The cross-sectional area calculation is intended to measure a cross-section in order to estimate the amount of the material underneath the 2D distance annotation. 

The calculation is based on the area below or above the surface area line.
The baseline for this calculation is a straight line between point A and point B.



*Note: The cross-section area calculation assumes that either the + or the - is being measured. It will output whichever absolute number is larger. In most cases, the area will be positive.

Exporting the Surface Profile

You can also export the surface profile created by this annotation. 

On the left panel, choose "Export CSV" to download the profile.


Area Measurement

Selecting an area of interest, you can start highlighting the area you care about. Every point you click on will be added to the boundary of the area in question. To close the area, click on the first point, or double-click on your last point.

5.8 acres of weeds

Once complete, we can change the color and add text to remind us of what the area is. Here, the weed-filled area is 5.8 acres, as shown at the top of the note.

Be Aware of Large Annotations
If an annotation is too large, we will be unable to calculate the annotation data. If you run into this issue, please try to simplify your annotation shape.

Surface Area

When you make an area measurement, we calculate both the flat 2D area and the 3D surface area.


Surface Area Tool
This 3D measurement calculation is available to all trial and paid customers. Learn more about our paid subscription plans or start your trial today.

Volume Calculation

Use our volumetric toolbox to analyze the volume of features on your map that have relevant 3D dimensionality. To learn more about volume calculation, please visit our Volume Measurement with Drones documentation.

Volume Toolbox
The volumetric analysis tool is available to all Lite, Individual, Teams and Enterprise customers. Learn more about our paid subscription plans or start your trial today.

Rectangle Annotation

Rectangle is a form of area annotation that can be drawn on 2D maps. Rectangle annotations can be viewed but not created or adjusted in 3D view. Users are able to create rectangles of predefined width and length by specifying the dimensions of horizontal width and length input in the left-hand side sidebar.

We use standard geospatial corrections to calculate the area from the input of horizontal width length. In the case of extra large rectangles, that may result in slight discrepancies in area geometry calculation. The geospatial recalculated area may appear slightly larger than the geometrical calculation of the rectangle area.


Users can rotate any annotation except circles. Rotation logic would identify the centroid of an annotation and rotate around that centroid. For rectangles with fixed length width, changing the dimensions of a rectangle should reset the rotation to the original 0 deg orientation on a map.



Annotations in 3D

All of these annotations are available to use on your 3D Model view as well. 3D Annotations bring you a more efficient and accurate noting in 3D mode for precision, accuracy, and a better experience when annotating your model. Annotations in 3D will snap right onto the 3D surface and draw exactly where your cursor is pointed, allowing you to make the most accurate measurements ever in 3D. This will enable you to precisely measure complex 3D structures such as towers, buildings, and facilities. Learn More.Oct-06-2021_12-17-06__1_.gif

Radius Annotation

The radius annotation is only available in 2D. This can be used to identify areas on your site. This annotation will provide the coordinates of the location along with the area, radius, and perimeter.  Users now can manually change the radius to illustrate specific areas on a map like shading zones, crane operations safety zones, hazardous areas, and many more




Create Issues on Annotations

When you highlight an annotation, you can use the Add Issue button in the left panel to create an Issue. on the measurement. These Issues will be included in the final inspection report.

Note that adding an issue to annotation will change the color to orange. Check out our Inspection Report support document for an example!

Filtering and Sorting Annotations

You can use the Search bar to look for specific annotations by title and use the Filter menu to filter annotations by type.

You can also use the Sort options to organize annotations according to the date created or the date modified.

Changing Annotation Color

If you'd like to change the color of your current annotation, click on the small colored circle in the sidebar to choose a different color:

Select the new color you would like for your marker.


Read more about Copying Annotations and Duplicating Annotations here! 


Sharing Annotations

This section deals with what happens when annotated maps are shared. To learn more about sharing, see our Data Sharing documentation.

Sharing privately

When sharing privately, other users can view, add and reply to existing annotations. This allows you to get external advice on a field, as well as highlight any issues you may find on other users maps. Other users can then create conversations around your data.

Please note that the visibility status of each annotation is currently saved to the map, meaning that if the user A turns off the annotation for stockpile 1 and then the user B goes and views the map, Stockpile 1 will still appear turned off.

Sharing Publicly

When sharing publicly others will be able to view your annotations, but these will be at a read-only level:

Deleting Annotations

To delete an entire annotation (and all conversations therein), click on the trashcan icon on the sidebar:

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