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Capturing drone imagery with Site Scan Flight for ArcGIS

Site Scan for ArcGIS is a complete, end-to-end drone data acquisition and cloud processing platform. It includes two applications: an iPad app called Site Scan Flight for ArcGIS, which allows drone pilots to capture imagery, and a web app called Site Scan Manager for ArcGIS, which is used to manage drone fleets, securely process imagery in a scalable cloud environment, and quickly share high-quality 2D and 3D imagery products with internal and external users. Site Scan Flight comes in two editions—the standard edition is integrated with Site Scan Manager. The limited edition can be used to acquire imagery for use with ArcGIS Drone2Map or ortho mapping in ArcGIS Pro.

To acquire imagery, Site Scan Flight supports a variety of autonomous mission types. Beyond standard missions like Area Survey, Crosshatch, and manual inspection, users can fly vertical scans or perimeter scans for mapping tall structures in 3D; corridor scans for traversing linear features like roads and pipelines; and panorama missions to provide an interactive, top-down view of the site.

During the flight planning stage, users also can load existing GIS data (such as feature layers, orthomosaics, or web scenes containing 3D point clouds and meshes) from their ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online organization to Site Scan Flight in order to provide additional context around the site area.

After completing the company’s preflight checklist, the app automatically conducts aircraft checks and executes the flight. Long flights are automatically split, allowing the user to change the drone’s battery and resume where it left off.

To simplify the post-flight workflow, users with a Site Scan for ArcGIS license have the option to automatically upload images taken during the mission to Site Scan Manager for processing, so data outputs such as the orthomosaic, DEM, and point cloud are available for viewing as soon as possible.

Finally, Site Scan Flight offers advanced capabilities that help produce higher quality data, ensure better in-flight safety, and enable new analytical workflows unavailable in other flight planning applications:

  • Terrain following creates consistent overlap across the dataset and ensures the drone is flying at a safe height above variable terrain.
  • The in-app RTK connection can be used with your RTK drone to enhance the positional accuracy of the drone and captured images.
  • All video flights produce a geospatial video log file that can be loaded into ArcGIS Pro’s multiplexer tool for Full Motion Video analysis.

Explore the following resources to learn more about capturing imagery using Site Scan for ArcGIS.

Note:

Use of the standard edition of Site Scan Flight requires a paid Site Scan for ArcGIS license. An Operator License is required to pilot drone flights and upload flight images to the cloud. (Learn more about Site Scan for ArcGIS roles and permissions. Flight planning only requires an Access license.)

The limited edition of Site Scan Flight can be downloaded for free and used to acquire imagery that can be processed with ArcGIS Drone2Map or ortho mapping in ArcGIS Pro. It requires an ArcGIS Online account, doesn’t connect with the cloud, cannot upload images for automatic processing, and only allows in-app mission planning.

ArcGIS blogs, articles, story maps, and white papers 

Supplemental guidance about concepts, software functionality, and workflows:

Videos

Esri-produced videos that clarify and demonstrate concepts, software functionality, and workflows:

Esri Training 

Authoritative learning resources focusing on key ArcGIS skills:

Technical Support

Documentation for Site Scan Flight is available from the Esri Support Knowledge Base. Highlights include:

Esri Community

Online imagery community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:

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