Project Design Plan Overlays

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Use Project Design Plan overlays within DroneDeploy to check progress against plan drawings, spot health and safety issues, annotate delivery route planning, and many other use cases.

The Project Design Plan Overlays tool allows you to easily import, overlay, and view design plans and utility maps on all maps of your DroneDeploy project. This lets you quickly check progress against plan drawings, grading vs. actual elevation, spotting health and safety issues, annotating delivery route planning, and many other use cases.

You can orient and overlay design plans, like CAD drawings, on top of your latest drone map within a given project allowing you to automatically overlay the same file on all maps in that specific project. Viewing design plans in the context of the latest drone map helps customers to share a project with larger construction teams and trust that everyone will always have access to the most recent data.

Overlays Availability
The overlays feature is available to customers on DroneDeploy's Individual, Advanced, Teams, and Enterprise subscriptions. For a high-level view of all of the overlays we offer, check out this page.

How to Add Overlays to Your DroneDeploy Map

Overlay PDF and PNG files
Currently, the Project Design Plan Overlays tool support PNG and vector PDF files.

1) Add Your PDF Drawing or PNG Image

Click the “Add” button under the "Layers", select a single page PDF document or PNG image with a transparent background, and then drag the two markers to align the image using recognizable features on the map.


Select "Drawing" from the Overlay options:


Choose "Select File" to import a file from your computer.

Don’t have a PDF of your plan?
AutoCAD and other CAD software can export your plan or drawings as transparent PDFs for import into DroneDeploy. Only vectorized PDFs are supported at this time.

2) Align Your Design Plan Overlay

Drag the two markers to align the image using recognizable features on the map, or to existing overlays.

3) Add Any Additional Overlays (if necessary)

You are able to add multiple plans to the same map and show or hide different layers.

4) Design Plan Overlay Complete

Use the left panel to toggle through your overlays. Choose to have them all displayed "on" or click into the overlays tap to toggle on individual layers.

A final overlay over the map.


Viewing overlays in the Elevation mode can provide many insights.

A Note on Resolution
When you upload a PDF file, we rasterize it at a low resolution only for the purposes of positioning the overlay. Our map viewer doesn’t allow rotating PDFs, so we must do it this way. Once you have completed positioning, we run an overlay conversion job in the background that rasterizes it at a much higher resolution. While the overlay conversion job is running, the app continues to display the temporary low-resolution version mentioned above. Once the overlay conversion job succeeds, you will see the high-resolution version.

5) Explore Design Plans Overlay within your Project

Once the design plans overlay has been added to a map within a project, it will automatically appear on all maps within the project, including any that may be created in the future.

See Scaling Issues?
If you see scaling issues with your design file in DroneDeploy, it is most likely due to the coordinate system the file has been created in. You will need to respecify the EPSG code and transform the data in order for this to be corrected.

6) Export your Overlay!

You can now generate a raster orthomosaic with the overlay included. To do so, please make sure that the overlay is enabled on your map data page. Then create your export to receive the date with the overlay included.

Want to change the display color of the Overlay?

Some overlays can be difficult to see depending on the map itself. Users can now change the color of the Overlay within DroneDeploy!

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