Shapefile boundary import issues on desktop

H folks,

I’m a little confused here. Drone Deploys support pages regarding shapefile import are leaving me hanging. I’m trying to flight plan ahead of time using a shapefile. DD’s pages direct you to a website about the shapefile import option.

First, they describe how to make a kmz and/or shapefile and then they jump to the “APP”. Is this the term for an app on a mobile device, or a standalone program in Windows, or just an add-in to the website itself?) The writeup makes no mention of “where” this work is being done and the screenshots look nothing like what I’ve got to work with.

I DID go through a process to download the app but who knows where it is! THERE IS a shapefile upload button there now. I use to upload the zipped shapefile. It says “processing the file” for a few seconds, and then I see the name of the zipped file there…but nothing happens. The default square flight plan stays on the screen but no boundary appears.

Sidenote: the DD help page says all you need to have zipped up to make a complete shapefile are three files: an .shp, .shx, and a .prj. However, you do not NEED a .prj for data in unprojected WGS84 data and you DO need a .DBF file. To see if I was wrong, I removed the dbf from the zip file and tried importing again but DD indicated it “could not process the file”)

dd - no dbf wth

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Hey Hawk, thanks for the detail. I think this is the page you probably came from right? It’s pretty clear on how to get the import app downloaded, but you are right about the DBF/PRJ file requirements. There is no mention of the DBF, but the PRJ is required when data comes from another CRS and does not hurt when from WGS84 so it is all inclusive. I explained the same trouble several months ago with support and they still haven’t updated the document. That said I would stick with KML files for flight planning. The SHP was included by the developer when the app was created, but IMHO is not necessary for the information being brought in. Where shapefiles are of value are on map overlays, but that is a whole different discussion. You can see the sample file below for configuration, but again it is a linework import and not just a flight perimeter.

Sample File

Thanks, MichaelL. My confusion about the app is I thought the desktop method was being discussed. The term “app” suggests mobile device to me but since the type of device is not mentioned and the screenshots look different than what I’m seeing, I couldn’t figure it out.

I will try the kml method even though the shapefile method should have worked.

Did you see that the “import shapefile” option is shown in my screenshot and that there is a shapefile listed there? It has not done anything to change what I see on the screen. No shapefile has been shown.

As I read your reply further, am I understanding you correctly that flight perimeters are not allowed?

I have 300+ acres to fly on Monday, weather and God permitting, and was hoping to created flight plans at home. To me, that would show value at this time.

Thanks for your help.

It’s easy to get stuck on old terminology for software so I can see how it is confusing. Back in the day everything was programs when the term never should have been used because programs make applications. There are desktop and mobile applications, but the correct term is web-app which works across all platforms so when DroneDeploy calls it their App Market it makes sense to them, but maybe not to others. The KML-Shapefile Import web-app is on both platforms and further confusion may set in when we can talk about this kind of import for both flight planning and data analysis overlays once the map has been processed. They both have had their issue, but the correct formatting has been at the root of both. Shapefiles are fine if you know how to use the software to create them and a subset of DroneDeploy users will, but for flight planning there is no reason to use “shapefiles” or complicated GIS software when everyone knows how to use Google Earth. Let me know if I can assist.