Frequently asked questions

What does ArcGIS Drone2Map do?

ArcGIS Drone2Map is a stand-alone desktop application that takes collected individual drone images and turns them into 2D and 3D products that can be then analyzed or shared to the greater ArcGIS platform.

What is ArcGIS Drone2Map? Is it an app, an ArcGIS Desktop extension, or something else?

It is a stand-alone 64-bit Windows desktop app that can run alongside ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. It also shares a similar UI design to ArcGIS Pro for ease of use.

How do I try the software?

To request an ArcGIS Drone2Map evaluation, contact your account representative.

Does ArcGIS Drone2Map work only with a specific type of drone?

ArcGIS Drone2Map is designed to work only with drone platforms and intended to be generic regardless of drone model. There are two important details:

  1. The drone must collect latitude, longitude, and altitude. Most commercially available drones automatically add this information to the image metadata (the EXIF header of each image file), and this is read by Drone2Map.
  2. Drone2Map must also have information about the camera—specifically, the lens focal length and sensor size.

    Nearly all modern cameras are supported in an existing system camera database, and this database is updated frequently, so any new cameras not currently in the database should be supported within a short time frame. If your camera is not included in the database, Drone2Map will attempt to create the required information from information in the EXIF header. You can also manually edit the camera model or provide your own parameters for any cameras that don't already have values in the database by using the Edit Camera pane.

Can ArcGIS Drone2Map be used to process multispectral imagery and create special imagery analysis products such as an NDVI for the agricultural markets?

Yes, most popular multispectral cameras are supported, including support for radiometric calibration for some cameras by using reflectance panels. For more information see: radiometric calibration. After the imagery is processed, it can be converted into various agricultural and soil indices to assess crop health, such as NDVI, SAVI, and more.

How will the resulting imagery products be stored so I can share them on ArcGIS Online? Will it be expensive?

The imagery products created by ArcGIS Drone2Map are stored locally on your computer and may be shared as hosted tile and imagery layers (for 2D products) or scene layers (for 3D products) on ArcGIS Online. They are inexpensive to store. For example, the tile layer of the sample dataset, Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, requires 85 MB of storage, at a monthly cost of less than $0.01. For information about credit usage, see ArcGIS Online credit usage.

How do I share 3D files created by ArcGIS Drone2Map?

ArcGIS Drone2Map produces a file type called a scene layer package (*.slpk) that can be consumed as a local file by other ArcGIS applications such as ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Earth. It can be shared through the internet through ArcGIS Online.

Do I need ArcGIS Pro to process files from Drone2Map?

No. ArcGIS Drone2Map is designed to produce GIS-ready products that can be published directly into an ArcGIS Online account. ArcGIS Pro adds additional visualization and analytical capabilities to get the most out of your drone data, but it is not required.

Can I use ArcGIS Drone2Map with ArcGIS Enterprise?

Yes, you can use ArcGIS Enterprise as your licensing portal and your sharing portal. Note that your configuration will depend on the version of ArcGIS Enterprise. The Standard and Advanced licenses are fully supported on ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1 and later, but if you are running ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9 or earlier, you may need to run through additional steps.

What is the workflow for using Drone2Map in a disconnected environment?

Similar to ArcGIS Pro, you can check out the license while connected before taking it offline into the field. Once back in the office, you must check in the license for connected use.


Authorization for offline use is set to expire when either a) your current Drone2Map license expires, or b) your ArcGIS Online organization account expires.

What is the recommended software for mission planning with Drone2Map?

Most commercial drone manufacturers include a mission planning application with their hardware offerings. These are typically adequate for Drone2Map missions, but you may want to consider Esri's free flight planning app, ArcGIS Flight, which allows direct connection to your ArcGIS Online account, to plan flights based on custom GIS data layers.

Does Drone2Map scale?

Yes, Drone2Map is a 64-bit multithreaded app and will scale vertically, leveraging multiple cores, additional memory, and powerful graphics cards.

Are additional vertical coordinate systems supported in Drone2Map?

Drone2Map supports all the same vertical coordinate systems as ArcGIS Pro which includes most popular EGM, NAVD and AGL systems.


Some vertical coordinate systems require the additional installation of ArcGIS Coordinate System Data to support select coordinate transformations.

Is there a limit on image size in Drone2Map?

Drone2Map projects have an individual image limit of 75 megapixels. Combined project imagery size is limited to 100 gigapixels on a standard license and 300 gigapixels on an advanced license. For larger image volumes, contact your Esri account representative.

Will Drone2Map work from a command line interface?

No, a command line interface is currently not available.

Can multiple users share one Drone2Map license?

When you buy a Drone2Map subscription, you get a license entitlement for Drone2Map and an ArcGIS Online named user credential. The license entitlement can only be assigned to one named user at a time, and thus, a single license entitlement cannot be shared. Note, however, that the license entitlement can be revoked from one named user and assigned to another at any time during the duration of the subscription. Also, note that sharing a single named user credential with multiple users is prohibited.

Is a named user allowed to access Drone2Map on multiple machines?

Named users can sign in to any machine with Drone2Map installed. However, they may only sign in to one machine at a time.

What training is available for Drone2Map?

Tutorials can be accessed through the resources tab in Drone2Map and the training and lessons topic. Additional Esri training courses will be available in the future.

Are offline maps available in Drone2Map?

Offline basemaps are not available in Drone2Map. It is recommended that you use Tile Package Kreator from Esri Labs to create offline basemaps for use in Drone2Map.

Can Drone2Map calculate the volume of excavated areas?

Yes. Drone2Map can be used to determine the volume removed from an open pit mine, or the future volume remaining in a collecting pond, above the current level. The volumes are reported as negative values, but the calculations are still valid.

How is Drone2Map licensed?

Drone2Map requires a Named User license, authenticating either through ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS at the Creator or GIS Professional level. The license can be checked out while you are online to authorize offline use.