Smart Uploader

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How does it work? 

Native functionality that takes a user's complete set of aerial data and automatically sorts it into the appropriate plans for upload and processing in DroneDeploy. Virtually eliminates the need for users to manually sort their imagery into categories such as map plans, Panos, videos, photo plans, etc. before uploading and processing it in DroneDeploy. 

This is the only Smart Uploader in the reality capture industry! 

  • Automatic media sorting using the plan detection algorithm
  • All aerial data to be uploaded is sorted and summarized by plan type for easy visualization and user confirmation
  • Fly multiple plans and automatically upload all that are flown into a project



1. Drag and drop all the files and the Smart Uploader will sort them into the plans automatically.

Supported plan types: 

- Vertical plans

- Map Plans (and Map Plans with GCP files - see Processing GCPs with Smart Uploader

- Progress photo 

- Progress video 

- Panoramas

- Walkthrough files (.INSV files)

- Preprocessed 3D (.LAS files)


After the media is sorted, review the data and the user can select which media (plans) to upload. See more on merging plans, changing plan type, and resuming upload below. 


*Note locations of the video are automatically selected as being at the center of the project. After the upload video markers will be placed according to the location




2. Click upload and continue. Working plans will be uploaded in a parallel thread. 



Merging Plans: 

As of Q1 2023, we now allow users to merge data sets created by the image sorting algorithm.

This way, we give full flexibility to correct errors in plan detection.


Users can merge the following data sets

Plan 1

Plan 2

Resulting plan







Photo Group




Photo Group











Photo Group



Photo Group

Photo Group

Photo Group


*Note, video plans, walkthrough plans, 3D scans, and preprocessed plans cannot be merged.


How to Merge Plans: 

1. Select your files for upload

2. Once uploaded click the three horizontal dots next to the capture date and select "Merge with". 

3. Select the data set you would like to merge and rename the map (optional). 

4. Select Start Upload 



How to Change Plan Type:

1. After choosing the file, the user can change the suggested processing type. For example, a Photo Plan to a Map Plan or a Map Plan to a Facade.

2. The change option is in the three dots menu on the right side of every row once you have uploaded your data.


3. To change the upload type select any photo-based upload, click the three dots, and change the upload type.





How to Resume Upload (Map Plans and Facades ONLY):

You can now pause and resume uploading later map plans and facade plans with Smart Uploader! 


1. When uploading map or facade data you can select the cancel "x" button: 



2. Select Resume Later from the pop-up window: 



3. The Resume Upload card will populate in the UPLOAD tab of the project:





Smart Uploader Demo Video: 






Contact if you have any questions about Smart Uploader (check out our FAQ below!) and/or major bugs to report to the team. 



Are GCPs included in the Smart Uploader?

Yes! Ground Control Points are now available to upload via Smart Uploader. For a full guide and demo video, please visit Processing GCPs with the Smart Uploader.



How many projects can you upload at a time?

Just one project at this time.


Will users still be able to use the legacy uploader?

Yes, users will be able to choose whether to use the Smart Uploader or the Legacy Uploader on the Upload tab


What happens if you have multiple photo plans in one upload? Does it create the breakout of folders?

If the plan is flown using DroneDeploy, yes. TBD on non-DroneDeploy flights


What is out of scope for v1?

1. Upload recovery- users must keep their tab alive for the duration of their upload

2. Smart 360 Walkthrough detection - .mp4 files will be assumed to be individual Progress Video Plans. Walkthroughs are not included in v1. Please uploaded from the Walkthrough app or camera SD card. 


Merging plans FAQ: 

What Plan types can I merge?

Maps, Panos, Photo Groups, Facades


Can I merge plans from different locations?

We don’t recommend merging the plans from different locations, as it may result in processing errors. However, we don’t prevent users from merging any plan with any other.


Can I merge plans from different dates?

Yes, you can combine the data from different dates. The resulting plan will have a later date.

Can I merge plans that already have GCPs?

No, once the GCPs have been added to the plan, we can not merge additional images as it may cause inaccuracies in the processing phase.

Can I add more files after the merge operations?

Yes, after merging the plan, users can add more images, which would be reprocessed by a sorting algorithm. After the processing is done, user will need to perform the merge operation again.

Can I split the plans?

As of today, only merge functionality is available. Splitting is not permitted.




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