How do people deal with collecting high resolution imagery in steep terrain?

I fly in steep terrain and collect photos to create orthomosaics and DSM for forestry surveys.
Steep terrain posses risk for collision and lost resolution as the ground falls away.

how do people deal with this and are there any apps to create 3D flight plans at will account for changing terrain elevation.

More than one flight if it is more than 100ft. I still have not tried the terrain follow feature, but note to that is that your home point needs to be on the high side… Which it should be for visibility.

Michaels right - multiple tiered flights stepping up or down the slope flying parallel to the face of the slope with your home point on the high side of the slope to optimize resolution. You can upload the images as one map.

there must be a better way! If we can import shape files, could DroneDeploy not build a function to import a DEM and build the flight plan off of that?

That’s what terrain-following is. Have you tried it? Like I said, just make sure that you’re starting at a high or at least midpoint that won’t interfere on the high side.

I have not tried it! is this a DJI tool or a tool in the drone deploy app?

Sorry, just realized it not in the app market. You might need to request access.

Hi @corey,

You can request to be a part of our beta program via our Terrain Following (beta) support page.


I normally use the DD app, but I have one quarry with a 500-ft. elevation change where I have been using Map Pilot (Maps Made Easy) with the $10 Terrain Awareness add-in. Accuracy varies (probably due to the GPS quality on the drone) so you have to plan with enough clearance at steep slopes. Only issue is that you have to have an Internet connection to download the data at the time of the flight - marginal at best on this site so I burn a few percent battery while it downloads. Processing still done in DD.

I have tried the DD terrain beta, but was not successful with battery changes (this is a 4 battery site) where it wants to start over each time. It also requires an Internet connection at time of flight.