The ArcGIS platform provides several options for creating products from drone imagery. This workflow focuses on using ArcGIS Drone2Map. Alternatively, you can use the ortho mapping capability in ArcGIS Pro Advanced, or if your organization is seeking a software-as-a-service (SaaS) capability, refer to Site Scan for ArcGIS.
Consumer drones with quality cameras have enabled dramatic growth in the ability for GIS professionals, land managers, and many others to capture their own imagery, when and where required, and process it to create accurate geospatial products.
Users generally need to process the individual, overlapping image frames acquired by drones to create a variety of 2D and 3D products, including orthorectified imagery (orthomosaics), digital surface models (DSMs) and digital terrain models (DTMs), point clouds, and textured meshes. These data products are then used for visualization or analysis, and may need to be shared with colleagues or the public.
ArcGIS Drone2Map offers an intuitive, workflow-focused interface for creating products from single frame drone images (assuming adequate overlap). Most modern consumer cameras are fully supported, simplifying the process of bringing your imagery into the application. You can optionally add ground control points to ensure horizontal and vertical accuracy. The resulting products can be published as web-accessible services through ArcGIS Online.
Supported workflows for creating products include:
- Generating 2D products—orthorectified mosaics and digital surface models
- Generating 3D productions—3D points clouds and textured meshes
Explore the following resources to learn more about using Drone2Map to generate 2D and 3D products from drone imagery. (Not sure where to start? Look for the star by Esri's most helpful resources.)
To use this workflow, you'll need ArcGIS Drone2Map. You'll need an ArcGIS Online subscription account to log in, which you can also use to publish data products. If you (optionally) want to use mosaic datasets to manage collections of imagery products that you create, you'll need ArcGIS Desktop Standard or Desktop Advanced.
Reference material for ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Enterprise:
- Read an overview of Drone2Map.
- Get answers to frequently asked questions about Drone2Map.
- Change processing options (like spatial resolution or the coordinate system) of output orthomosaics.
- Configure Drone2Map for offline use.
- Define and save custom processing templates so you can do things like create both 2D and 3D products simultaneously.
- Publish 2D products or 3D products as web-accessible services through ArcGIS Online or your ArcGIS Enterprise portal.
- Use batch processing to process very large image collections as a series of sub-projects.
Esri-produced videos that clarify and demonstrate concepts, software functionality, and workflows:
Guided, hands-on lessons based on real-world problems:
- In this step-by-step lesson, use Drone2Map to create a 3D representation of an office building development from drone imagery and publish your results.
Authoritative learning resources focusing on key ArcGIS skills:
- Watch Streamline Imagery Workflows with ArcGIS Drone2Map (1-hr Training Seminar) to see presenters use Drone2Map to create orthomosaics, point clouds, and 3D meshes from drone-captured imagery, then share and work with these products in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro.
- Learn about best practices to capture and validate your drone imagery in Getting Started with Drone2Map (2.25-hr web course).
- Learn how to create orthomosaics and digital surface models from drone imagery in Creating 2D Products Using Drone2Map (2-hr web course). *
- Learn how to create 3D point clouds, texture meshes, and 3D PDFs in Creating 3D Products Using ArcGIS Drone2Map (2-hr web course). *
Online places for the Esri community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:
- See what the imagery community is saying about ArcGIS Drone2Map.
* Esri's top picks