New To Mapping With Drone. Scale On A Map

I am retired and have been thinking about getting my Part 107 equivalent (Already an instrument rated pilot) and doing part-time work with drones. I find flying them enjoyable and relaxing.

I recently purchased an E2P and fell into a project to make a map using a trial of DroneDeploy. It is certainly a good site but I can’t justify the cost while I am just learning and I heard about this.

I assume the easiest way to get the program for a PC is to pay for the Windows installer which would serve as a donation to the project as well.

I want to create a map of an area that I already shot with the E2P. Is 80 percent front and 75 side overlap for an area with grass and trees appropriate? (Nadir gimbal)

I don’t need the kind of accuracy necessitating ground control points. But, what I would like to know is how to include a scale in feet on my map?

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Welcome to the ODM community Andrew :slight_smile:

The metric and imperial scales are at the lower left on the orthophoto, DSM and DTM

So, they are automatically placed during processing. What is the best way to learn how to use the software? Is there a YouTube channel or videos?

I gather one can do quite a lot with the software… 2D, 3D, and point clouds.

Yes, the scale is placed there automatically. So long as your GPS errors are reasonable, it will be quite close to reality. You can check the Quality Report to see how the absolute and relative errors look.

The Missing Guide goes into a lot of detail about the various parameters for processing

It’s always good to start off using the default values, and progress from there.

Also, if you are having difficulties, ask here on the forum.


I did my first map. For some reason, it did not come out as a rectangle. How can I crop it? How can I turn it into a pdf with a scale that I can give to someone else? The tiff has no scale. I can crop the tiff in PS. There is another tiff file which I can’t seem to open in PS.

Can you post a screen grab of it here?

It should have the scale on it, as in my image above. It will only be a rectangle if that is the area you imaged. Cropping can be done in any image manipulation software, such as GIMP.

It could be made into a pdf file in any pdf creation software


Apologies in advance, but this:

sounds like a great way to ruin this:

I think you’ll want to have a look into learning a GIS application (e.g., QGIS, ArcMap, or ArcGIS). That sort of tool will allow you to load an orthophoto, add scales and legends, and do many more of the tasks you’d want to do in producing a nice map.

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I think I understand the scale question. Here are the orthophoto in WebODM viewer (includes scale)

and exported TIF (no scale).

I believe a GIS application will give you the full suite of cropping, labeling, and general dressing-up that you seek.

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Which one is the easiest to learn? I just found QGIS…did not know it was free. Seems like a monster to learn.

How do you export from the screen? So, there is no way to crop within WebODM?

Hello, I’m also a boomer, and I started learning to map 2 years ago with a low cost drone, fimi x8, first you have to do a flight schedule to get the aerial photos, use mission planner or qground control for it (I think You already know this phase because you ask about the mapping).
Then with webodm you get the orthophoto, loading the file with many photos of the flight of your drone (I also suppose that you reached this phase).
The pros and academics of this forum use ground control points with precise coordinates to georeference the resulting orthophoto, with expensive devices with gps and topographic stations, we boomers use tricks, patience and a sense of humor and with the help of qgis we can get quite close to a pro, look at this link How to georeference orthophotos with QGIS without ground control points for poor drone pilots with low cost drones.
Finally with the help of Holy Google Search you can search for videos and how to cut the raster layer of your orthophoto with QGIS and finally how to make maps with QGIS .
Welcome to this group of Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.

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GIS/mapping software is a universe unto itself, and I would hesitate to say any of them are easy to learn. Probably they’re all fairly similar in that respect. There should be some good tutorials and youtube videos to get you started though, and I saw a helpful post with some defined steps on your other message thread. QGIS is free and widely used, so it’s a pretty low-risk point of entry.

There is no cropping capability after you run your processing task, but it is possible to create a boundary file and include it with your processing job, so that all of the processing outputs are cropped. It’s not trivial, but it’s discussed here if you want to have a go - Is there a way to trim the model

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I export from the 2D map view, using the top-right “layers” icon:

Then Export / GeoTIFF:

I find this site quite useful when I need a boundary file:

You do need to watch out for errors in the basemap imagery though, it can be some metres out, which is particularly important when attempting to draw a boundary around a small area.

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