8000 Hectares Project Help needed

I am planning on mapping my town which is 8000 Hectares. This is not a joke i have talked to the authorities and they gave green light for this. Now the logistical problem remains and i am hoping if someone help me in how i would go about doing this.
Drone: DJI Phantom 3 Advanced
Flight height: 300m
Images: 5019
Area: 7891 ha
(I am going to render it locally)
(optimal speed to use would be nice to know)

Please message me a KMZ polygon of your town’s extents. I am assuming you get about 11-12 minutes per flight?

Hello @LuMa,

What an exciting project. Here is a support document, Mapping Large Areas with DJI, as well as a blog post “How To Map Large Areas” that you might find useful.

I’d be curious to see your final results! Feel free to keep us updated on how it goes.


Do you have any recommendations as how to process all these photos. I might use WebODM but I don’t think My computer is powerful enough.

This is way out there, but I can almost guarantee you are going to have to plan this missions in Google Earth Pro to use DroneDeploy. I am assuming you are using a Phantom 4 Pro? It will take 190 batteries. Your choice if you want to fly multi-battery missions or not. I would not recommend fly more than two flight at a time, maybe three. Lipo batteries are sensitive once they get in hot environments so depending on the ambient temperature and the temperature of the drone you will have a decision to make. I would be happy to create the KMZ files for you.

8000ha is for fixed wing planes or UAVs, not multicopters.


This map is 6434ha.


Here is a basic 100ac ~40.5ha) grid. This is about what the drone will fly in one shot at specific settings. It should give you an idea of what it’s going to take. I turned the KMZ into a DXF via QGIS. Brought that into CAD and did some simple offsets. I can then put this DXF back into QGIS, trace the area for the flight that day, and export the KML


Settings were 330ft (~100m) with 65/70 overlaps. I think for this project you could bring the overlaps down a little cover more ground, but I wouldn’t go much beyond this if you are looking for any accuracy.

Could you send over KML files with these settings and in the 1 batter area from the picture above

On holiday weekend in the states, but I’ll shoot you something early this week.

That would be great thank you in advance

Ambitious project. I have just completed a survey of 1500ha of a tropical limestone massive, flown at 360m above ground to have at least 150m clearance to the highest peaks 80/90 % overlap. Depending on the topography of your target area you might have to re-consider either flight altitude or overlap to make sure that you get sufficient coverage of any prominent features.
It will take you a long time to photograph all this and you will be challenged with very different light conditions and, as was my case, changing landcover should this project spread out over a longer period. You will need a ton of ground control points and a lot of patience to process all this data. I didn’t bother with artificial targets as it is not feasible over such a large area and at such a great height. Use whatever the local topography has to offer and take a lot of notes and photos of each feature that you’re using as GCPs. At 300m your resolution will perhaps end up in the 10cm range but and 8000 ha 10cm orthophoto will be gigantic. I ended up doing 0.5m to 1m. It very much depends on what you want and what your machine can handle.
I am using Photoscan Pro but I have also hear good things about Reality Capture, if you can afford a license. You will have to process your photos in multiple chunks and then align and merge them to one coherent model. Your machine will dictate how much you can process at a time but I found it most practical to process each surveyed sector individually and then adding chunks as new data came in.

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Some questions has popped up for me and i was wondering if anyone had answers for them.

What post-processing program should i use?
How do i make it into a complete map even if i photograph in smaller pieces?
How do i embed the map into a website?

I would prioritize quality over storage and time as i have 2 TB free and lots of time.

What post-processing program should i use?

Agisoft Photoscan Pro or Reality Capture are both very good platform to process your data. But there are other packages out there. Reality Capture is supposedly very good at processing large projects. It does, however require a machine with a GPU that supports CUDA - like NVIDIA does.
Photoscan is much more humble in its requirements. I run it on a 10 year old iMac (as a secondary processing station for smaller projects) with 12GB RAM and it still produces results on projects with hundreds of 20MP TIFs. Slow but it gets there.

How do i make it into a complete map even if i photograph in smaller pieces?

Photoscan offers processing projects in smaller chunks which you can then align and merge into one coherent model. But I am not sure if it can handle a large project like yours if you don’t have sufficient GPU power and RAM available.

In any case, you will need plenty of time for processing. 2TB is surely more tan enough to store your project.

My computer is running a Nvidia GTX 970 4GB and 8GB ram (I know it’s a bit low) but do you think my PC can handle it?

You might run into trouble on the RAM end and I would advise you to invest in some more RAM if you can. A powerful GPU would speed things up but it also should be OK if you don’t but have a lot of time.

What kind of ground resolution are you looking for?

Nothing specific just a high quality map

Are you going to set out ground control points?

I use a P3 ADV and I don’t think it is high res enough for the hight I’m flying at
Plus at the scale of this and the low skill level of me I don’t really think I will do it