Agriculture Field Maps

Hi. Been flying a lot of fields (barley, wheat, oilseed rape) for farmer. In the UK fields tend to be relatively small. Sooo, I have a lot of very large GeoTIFF orthomosaics. I’m looking for the best way to present them to the farmer - was thinking that if there’s a way to resize geotiffs without losing the georeferencing info I could use QGIS to load different layers at different zoom levels. Is there something like IrfanView that will preserve the geolocation data within the image?

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Small fields and large GeoTiffs? Could you expand a little?

Are you flying several fields at a time?

External content besides the field?

Stitching all the fields together makes them big?

All assumptions of course.

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Sorry MichaelL, yes, a bit more detail would help my question :slight_smile:
Most of the fields are flown individually - a few smaller ones that join might be flown together.
The 1" to 1pixel ortho’s that I download out of DD can be between 400 and 800 MB big. I’d like to present them in QGIS so we can see all the farm as a whole (with the georeferenced field maps out of DD in their correct position) unless there’s an easier option to give access to the maps so the client can see the maps altogether (Google Maps style). Problem is, I have circa 3 dozen + of these images and loading them all into QGIS at full resolution grinds the computers to a halt (fairly modest hardware). I think QGIS can load different layers at different zoom levels so I was thinking I could load low res images at the ‘whole farm’ level and load the higher res ones as we zoom in to a specific field.
But, how do I resize the DroneDeploy oputput GeoTiff’s whilst preserving the GIS data (location etc).

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Thanks for the extra detail, that helps a lot. Yes, you can resize GeoTiffs in QGIS. It is in the Raster menu under Projections and then Warp.

Not knowing your clientele this may be a silly question, but why not just have them access the DroneDeploy site? While they will not be able to use the mobile app per se, they can access a simple link to the website whether it be on a PC or a tablet. Along these lines you could create a Google doc or some sort of spreadsheet as a live document that contains all of the individual links in an organized manner. This is the way I typically handle clients that do not want a DroneDeploy account of their own and simply want to view maps.

Outside of that I think you are on a good track with Google Earth. The downside to it is that you can only load so big of a file as a superoverlay so the resolution will suffer a little bit.

In my opinion I would do a hybrid scenario where they use QGIS in the “office” and DroneDeploy in the field. If you are willing to do just a little bit of training it will put them on a path that will be much more beneficial to them going into the future. QGIS is a super powerful, but free piece of software that they could eventually use for analysis and planning moving forward. Once they become proficient at it they basically have all the capabilities of GIS, CAD and eventually a way to get information into GPS machine control at their fingertips.

With that in mind I would encourage them to invest in a pro-level account. This is a business and big money to them so I don’t think $1,200 a year would be that big of an expense considering how it is going to transform the analysis and response to their fields.

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I’ve been saving my geotiffs to jpeg, that makes their size about ten times smaller, without changing the quality much. Just a thought.

Hi Krystian
I want to preserve the geo location data.

Regards, Edward

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Have you looked into QGIS yet?

@kgsurveyor, You can georeference your JPEGs in QGIS as well. I would suggest that anyone who is doing mapping, especially on the survey side, learn QGIS.

All georeference information stays with the jpg in the form of jpw file. Just rename *.tfw to *jpw. Jpg drops right in the same location, but its about 1/10 of the tiff file size. Below is an example of one of my mosaic, original tiff file 1.4 GB, jpg 260 MB (at 95% quality).


Nice find! Thanks for sharing. Have you tried bringing these into Google Earth Pro? I know it has to be a TFW for CAD.

No problem, I use civil 3d, and it takes jpg with jpw, it doesn’t have to be tfw.

What version of Civil 3D. What is the command to load a JPEG/JPW? MAPIINSERT? It doesn’t see the JPW when I tried to load it.

I use mapiinsert in Civil3d 2015, it is using jpw as a world file!

Cool, thanks for verifying. I don’t have any issues with large GeoTiffs (I don’t tile them) in Civil 3D or Carlson Civil, but will load up a new set of data and see what happens.

Wow. That’s interesting. So…if I convert the tiff’s into jpg’s using IrfanView’s batch convert, then simply rename the associated .tfw file to ‘jfw’?
It can’t be as simple as that can it?

MichaelL, yes, I’m using QGIS. I love it. And I agree with your sentiment about using uit for mapping.


That’s what I would do. I use tiffs or jpg for orthomosaic on my end, but when I send them to my clients, I just send jpeg associated with jpw. You’ll just need to fine tune the jpg conversion quality setting. I use 90 or 95%. The quality difference between tiff and jpg is barley noticeable to me, especially at 95%. Just be sure they georeference correctly before sending.


I’m giving that a try now. My client is not technically savvy enough to use QGIS. I’d like some way to present them to him so he simply has to open Google Earth or some other ‘simple’ application and the maps will be displayed for him

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Hi kgsurveyor. I have a tiled output from DroneDeploy (rather than one big ortho) and I did the bulk convert of the image files and a rename of the filetype. When I add them to QGIS they all appear stacked one on top of the other - like a deck of cards.

I think there is misunderstanding. The big orthophoto needs to be saved to jpg (from tiff), that will shrink the size of it, without changing the quality much.

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Sounds like the batch process might have killed the georeferencing of the tiles. I just did the same thing in QGIS and it preserved everything. ACDSee did as well.