Define a Coordinate Reference System (CRS) for New and Existing Projects

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Please note which subscription types have access to the features below. 


In this article, we will explore:


Define CRS when creating a new project: 

1. Create a new project 

2. View the recommended CRS for your project (it will default to the “most likely” location)

3. Click the drop-down and select from the other options or add your own EPSG code




4. If you do not see the EPSG code within the drop-down list you can add the correct one by selecting “Other EPSG Code” in the drop-down list. 






Define a Project Level Custom-Grid (Open Beta)

Open beta available to Advanced, Teams & Enterprise subscriptions 


You can now set a custom CRS in project settings for the entire project in DroneDeploy. Traditionally, you could only process a single map in custom coordinates in DroneDeploy (by processing GCP coordinates in both a published CRS and a custom CRS).

Now you can save time defining your custom CRS in DroneDeploy simply by uploading a calibration file. Trimble .JXL files are supported at this time. 


Location annotations, Imports, and Exports will default to your custom CRS, which is now set as the Project-CRS.

How to add a Custom-Grid to your project: 


  1. In project settings, from the Coordinate System dropdown choose Upload Custom Grid



  1. Select Choose Files 


  1. Select .JXL for upload.



  1. Confirm Upload 

  1. Your Project-CRS is now set to the custom grid defined in your calibration file!


FAQs and Limitations 

  • As of 7/18, if processing with GCPs, GCPs must still be provided in the traditional 6-column .csv template in both published and custom coordinates.
    • In the near future, we will add support to provide GCPs in custom coordinates ONLY, if a calibration file has been used to define the project custom CRS.
  • As of July 2023, we only support Trimble .JXL calibration files.
    • Trimble is the most popular manufacturer of survey equipment in North America.
    • We intend to release support for TopCon .GC3 and Leica .LOK by October release.


  • Multiple custom-CRS are supported within a single project, but only one may be set as the “Project CRS”
    • This allows for generating exports in many unique custom-CRS from one map


Define a Coordinate Reference System for existing projects:

There are two ways to update the CRS for an existing project 

1. Update the CRS in the project settings. Project settings can be located by clicking on the gear icon at the top right of the project. 



2. When uploading Ground Control Points to your project the system will update the project to the defined local CRS.

More information about Ground Control Points here





Can I view the State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS) coordinates based on the assigned CRS (coordinate reference system) for a project?
Yes! Please see more information on our Annotations page


What happens to current projects? 

Nothing will change at the project level until a customer manually goes in and defines the CRS or it will be automatically updated in the next GCP upload


Can you still specify your own EPSG codes? 

Yes, but it has to be an existing code. Only Teams and Enterprise subscriptions can add custom codes.


What happens with a new GCP upload?

When a new GCP upload occurs and there is not a CRS set, we will update the CRS for the project to the selected local CRS automatically.

If there is a new GCP upload and a CRS is set, then it will use the one that is set for the project. 


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