Mapping a Large railway track


I would be going to map a long railway track which is around a 100 to 150kms.
The client requirement is very basic they need:

  1. Single Orthomap of the complete railway track with latitudes and longitudes.
  2. 4k Video of the complete railway track.


  1. DroneDeploy only supports around 3000 images per map right. But my project would go around 15 to 20,000 images. So How I include everything in a single map?
  2. How can I add the latitudes and longitudes on the ortho map?
  3. The client would not be using any software but will be just viewing to identity on which point to place their equipment on the track and on which point the track is straight or has turn. How should I deliver this? In a pdf format or a .TIFF or any better option the community has?
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Hey @pankajrathi95, congratulations on the project. With this I am assuming you are abiding by regulations for maximum AGL and VLOS. I would suggest using Litchi to fly in 2km sections with you stationed in the middle of each. Each 2km section would be it’s own project inside of a folder with the client’s or overall project’s name. I recommend this because I am doing a similar type of project and the DroneDeploy system (1) does not have an efficient corridor mapping flight pattern and (2) has considerable trouble with processing and outputting long linear missions and (3) In our scenario it also allows us to easily update sections.

Next I would recommend installing QGIS desktop and doing 15-20 minutes of YouTube in order to learn how to combine multiple orthomosaics to create a master map. This will allow you to (1) keep a high resolution organized map for updating and (2) maintain geographic information so that the master ortho is also a GeoTiff. You obviously aren’t going to fly the entire project in one sitting so this will allow you to deliver sections Just-In-Time.

I would suggest sharing in a PDF format. I would also suggest that you recommend that the client consider purchasing a copy of Bluebeam Revu. Not very expensive and for facilities management of this type could be a huge tool for their organization. They would be able to open both PDF’s and GeoTiffs. Better functionality being that they can scale the maps and mark them up with accurate measurements and notes.

Another alternative that I sometimes use with clients is Google Earth. You can create super-overlays by which you will be sharing KML files with the client that can be opened on any computer with Google Earth. This can be a better option for larger project in which the client might need to reference more geography around the subject that would not be efficient to fly.

With such a large project I assume that the client is quite professional and should consider having a person on staff that can operate QGIS. This allows them to operate their own small GIS operation in order to maintain their facilities. It is really VERY easy to use for these purposes… and much much easier for you to supply the data. My philosophy anyways. Make the effort to teach them a little and make your life easier.

Good to know that Bluebeam Revu is reasonably priced

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Thanks for the detailed reply @MichaelL, I would try using Litchi for my flight plan. I had a small question to be answered. Once I give out PDF will the client be able to easily location the curves across the project?

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Yes It will expensive. Mapping itself would take around 10 to 15days.

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Thanks for the details on your railway mapping project. It will be interesting to learn how it turns out.


Thanks for catching that T! I did mean “Not very expensive” with regards to Bluebeam Revu.

Litchi and you can map out all the individual missions in advance in Google Earth with heights and then load them and run them in the field and share them rack in Google Earth and link the videos as well.