Drone Selection

I am new to the Forum.
I would like to do some drone aerial mapping for 24 hectares (59 acres).
I don’t know all the technical terms of a surveyor, but would like
to able to measure distances such as length and width.
Altitude of hills and valleys would be nice, but not necessary.

I did not buy the drone yet. I am wondering if I could get by with the The DJI Mavic Air 2, with 12MP Camera.
From what I read on the Internet, it seems that the minimum for Drone surveying is the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what drone works best with ODM Software?

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Welcome, Daniel!

I’m not sure if the Mavic 2 Air has sufficient flight planning support yet.

Have you looked at the Parrot Anafi line?

Really, any sUAS that you can control with a flight planning software is what you need, provided it doesn’t have a really esoteric sensor that we don’t support yet.

Thanks Saijin,

When selecting the Drone. Are the two steps below correct?

  1. First Flight planning software must be included in the SDK, whether it is DJI or Parrot.

  2. Then verify the 3rd party app(OpenDroneMap) supports the product SDK (DJI or Parrot).

Thanks Again

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More or less! Only we don’t need to support the SDK or even the drone itself. We just need to have good/quality data collection with a sensor that we know the properties of. Unless you’re looking at something really strange, it is probably supported, especially if it isn’t a specialized multispectral sensor rig.

Many folks like Pix4D Capture as a flight planner, so check that for what is currently compatible.

I use ArduPilot stuff, so I use Mission Planner, QGroundControl, and Solex for my stuff.

i run a fleet of dji and parrot drones…
your lowest cost new drone is a…
dji mavic air (original) - $500
parrot anafi is approx $750
dji mavic 2 pro or phantom 4 pro
are your best value at $1500-$2000

amazon or dji store or go down to best buy

your cheapest option is to scope out ebay and craigslist for Pix4dcapture supported drones…i still use a Dji phantom 3 advanced and mavic pro on occassions…
with the advantage of no longer having to bother with firmware upgrades on those old workhorses…ha!



Thanks Saijin, and Drone_File_Drop,

I have been trying study Drone mapping a little every day.
This is what I am understanding so far:

When selecting a Drone, you must make sure it is capable of
flight planning, most often through a mobile phone. Example: Pix4DCapture.

I am a bit confused about the sensor.
Is the sensor part of the drone’s built-in camera sensor? for example the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 camera uses a 1-inch CMOS 20M pxels.

Does another sensor need to be added to do Drone mapping?
Thanks again,

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No, another sensor isn’t needed unless the sensor on the platform doesn’t suit your needs.

Typically, people would look for something like a multi-spectral sensor for things like NDVI, or possibly a thermal sensor for infrastructure assessment.

If you don’t need them, you don’t need to worry about that, nor do you need to think about adding another sensor to the platform at this time.

Im using a fimi x8 2020 with no surveying planner, i do aerial mapping(for training objetives) with way points manual grids , only must program distance between lines and altitude of flight, speed of flight and timer shutting time and you can process the pictures with ODM with a PC with enought RAM , the mapping flight rules( MFR) on my case are 50-10-3-5( 50 m hight 10 m between lines 3 m/sec speed and 5 seconds timer shots) and can do 3-4 Ha with 56 pictures 4k that ODM do goods orthophotos , see the split for newbes thread of this forum . Ask for MFR to the experts of this forums but the air 2 It is a reputed drone for making maps in DIY mode. Do try to calculate the flight time of one battery.