Greatest mapping drones: flat maps, 3D mapping and extra


The easiest drones for mapping are some highly effective business machines. Customized-built, high-end drones will be configured precisely the way you want them, which is nice, however we’re right here at present to indicate you some off-the-shelf machines that may enable you to out. Listed below are a number of the greatest consumer-level mapping drones.

We’d additionally prefer to level out that mapping, for drones, is a various subject. Some could also be seeking to map an space of the bottom, like a conventional map, whereas others could also be going vertical with 3D mapping of a constructing or construction. All of those drones can seize photographs of the bottom and might both sew them collectively themselves or make the most of a third-party service to sort out the mapping, the identical goes for 3D mapping a constructing, however extra possible than not you’ll want third celebration software program, comparable to Pix4D.

Jonathan Feist, Drone PilotJonathan Feist

Why belief Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a younger age; whereas I’ve had few alternatives on the helm of manned plane, the hours on my fleet of drones proceed to develop. I take pleasure in placing cameras into the sky, silky easy aerial imagery makes me pleased. My aim is to assist all pilots take pleasure in flight legally and safely.


The perfect mapping drones

DJI Matrice 300 sequence: Versatile inspection drone

The DJI Matrice 300 is likely one of the most succesful drones round. The payload choices, and accessible mounts, permit for versatility for a lot of flight wants, together with mapping, inspection and extra. As a high-end business plane, this is probably not the very best answer for an off-the-cuff pilot seeking to simply get some mapping photographs of their yard, whereas knowledgeable pilot can make the most of RTK and extra to simply produce extremely correct maps of a giant space.

Thermal imaging takes your mapping to new locations, permitting you to seize RGB picture and infrared scans. The M300 presents sufficient flight time to cowl lots of floor, and the twin operator setup means you’re not losing time transitioning from pilot to photographer. Higher but, interact a number of the self-piloted mapping instruments to mechanically seize an space.

Ought to I purchase the DJI Matrice 300 RTK?

We are saying once more, the Matrice 300 is designed and priced for people that plan to make use of the drone to make a dwelling. There are sooner drones on the market if it’s worthwhile to cowl bigger swaths of earth, however the RTK precision and highly effective payload choices make the M300 a viable answer for a lot of duties past simply mapping.



  • Highly effective business unit
  • A number of payloads
  • A number of payload configurations
  • Twin-operator setup
  • Protected and dependable


  • Greatest flown with two operators
  • Extra equipment than mounts


DJI Matrice 300 RTK

DJI Matrice 300 RTK

  • Versatile business platform
  • Exact and dependable

Superior inspection drone

The DJI Matrice 300 RTK packs multi-direction impediment avoidance, superior airspace consciousness and a number of payloads for business drone operations.

Yuneec H520: Dependable hexacopter

Yuneec H520 Demo at InterDrone 2017

The Yuneec H520 is a strong hexacopter, designed for steady and dependable flight for a variety of inspection duties. Constructed-in flight software program makes it straightforward to seize a map of an space, together with overlapping picture tiles, or only a massive picture map.

Ought to I purchase the Yuneec H520?

The H520 stays top-of-the-line and reasonably priced hexacopters for business operations, nevertheless, it’s an older drone. The airframe is as succesful as wants be, and Yuneec introduces new payloads to increase the viable lifetime of the drone, however that may’t proceed indefinitely.



  • Hexacopter stability and reliability
  • Interchangeable payloads
  • Highly effective controller and software program


  • Older drone
  • Restricted payload mounts


Yuneec H520

Yuneec H520

  • Secure business drone
  • Excessive wind resistance

Secure business platform

Yuneec’s dependable hexacopter hardened for the business market, the Yuneec H520 is prepared on your inspection duties and extra.

DJI Matrice 200 sequence: Nearly pretty much as good because the M300 sequence

DJI M200 M210 M210RTK dual camera

The DJI Matrice 200 sequence of drones paved the way in which for the newer 300 sequence. The M200 and M210 differ in mounting factors for payloads, and the M210 RTK provides in that precision GPS radio. Because the M300 mainly does all of this in a single drone, DJI determined to discontinue the M200 sequence.

Ought to I purchase the DJI Matrice 200?

On one hand, shopping for a discontinued drone has its drawbacks, however if you’re not capable of decide to the M300, one of many M200 shall be inexpensive and cater to a particular job higher.



  • Highly effective and weatherproof drone
  • Protected and dependable
  • Twin-operator possibility
  • Highly effective payloads and mounting factors


  • Older drone
  • Completely different variations, select correctly


DJI Matrice 200 series: 200/210/RTK

DJI Matrice 200 sequence: 200/210/RTK

  • Versatile business platform
  • Succesful payloads

Versatile business drone

DJI designed the Matrice 200 sequence to supply a flexible set of inspection capabilities. Select from numerous payloads and mounting factors to search for, down and throughout.

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise: Search & rescue drone

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise kit

The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is an upgraded shopper Mavic drone, capable of haul an infrared digicam and a top-mounted accent of your selecting. Whereas the loudspeaker is not going to assist a lot in your mapping undertaking, the lights might assist preserve you going and to assist align your drone on the go.

Ought to I purchase the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise?

The Mavic 2 enterprise is healthier utilized for search and rescue than for mapping duties, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a steady and dependable drone, capable of seize the required pictures from the sky.



  • Encrypted information
  • Interchangeable equipment
  • Acquainted and in style airframe
  • Protected and simple to fly


  • Older drone
  • Not made for mapping


DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise

  • Versatile rescue drone
  • Succesful folding drone

Search and Rescue drone

Constructing off of the Mavic 2 platform, the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise presents new cameras and new equipment comparable to lights, audio system and beacons.

DJI Mavic 3 Cine: Greatest shopper drone

DJI Mavic 3 Cine in hand nose down

The DJI Mavic 3 Cine takes the Mavic line to a completely new stage. You continue to get to benefit from the compact folding form-factor, however now you will have larger flight time, an up to date distant, and a strong new digicam system.

Take to the sky with a Micro 4 Thirds digicam that shoots 5.1K video, and make sure you seize your shot with the built-in 1TB SSD. A secondary digicam presents as much as 28x zoom.

Why we fly the Mavic 3 Cine

There are few drones that provide this caliber of digicam, and none different that provide it on this compact and transportable of an airframe. Take pleasure in professional-grade cinematography on the go.


  • Highly effective digicam drone
  • Nice 5.1K digicam
  • 15KM vary
  • Non-compulsory 1TB inner SSD
  • Straightforward and enjoyable to fly


DJI Mavic 3

DJI Mavic 3

  • Unbelievable digicam
  • 5.1K video
  • Enormous flight time
  • Protected and succesful drone
  • Class-leading flight vary

Imaging Above All the things

A 20MP Micro 4 Thirds digicam that shoots 5.1K video, and 46 minutes of flight time make the DJI Mavic 3 top-of-the-line digicam drones you should purchase at present.

DJI Mavic 3 Cine

DJI Mavic 3 Cine

  • Unbelievable digicam
  • Enormous flight time
  • Protected and succesful drone

Imaging Above All the things

A Micro 4 Thirds digicam, 1TB of storage, 5.1K video seize, the RC Professional distant, and 46 minutes of flight time make the DJI Mavic 3 Cine maybe the very best digicam drone you should purchase at present.

Parrot Anafi: Versatile shopper drone


The Parrot Anafi began as an honest shopper drone, however Parrot has since launched variations that cater to the business market. The Anafi has a neat trick that you could be not want for mapping, it could level the digicam straight up. Although a distinct segment characteristic, trying up is invaluable to some inspection duties, and will show helpful to your mapping wants.

Ought to I purchase the Parrot Anafi?

The Anafi is an older drone, and was a median shopper drone at launch. That mentioned, the power to look upwards, and Parrot’s expertise with different mapping drones, made for some helpful upgraded variations value trying out.



  • Can level digicam up
  • Easy and simple to fly
  • Low-cost shopper craft
  • Digital camera can zoom


  • Older drone
  • Avg 4K digicam output


Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi

  • Digital camera can level straight up
  • Versatile platform

Various platform

The Parrot Anafi is considered one of few drones that appears up in addition to it seems down. The 4K entrance mounted digicam is on a long-travel articulating Gimbal, so you may look straight up all the way in which to straight down.

Yuneec Hurricane H3: Greatest shopper hexactoper

Yuneec Typhoon H3

If we’re going to incorporate shopper digicam drones on this record, we are able to’t skip the high-end Yuneec Hurricane H3. This highly effective hexacopter packs a beast of a Leica digicam, able to sort out your aerial seize duties. There’s little particular concerning the the H3 for mapping duties, save for it being top-of-the-line digicam drones round, and that it comes with some software program flight methods that may help with flying a grid.

Ought to I purchase the Yuneec Hurricane H3?

We actually need to suggest the Hurricane H3, however availability has not been nice, and the drone is pretty expensive in comparison with equally succesful digicam drones.



  • Massive 4K digicam
  • Highly effective and steady drone
  • Hexactoper stability and reliability
  • Nice distant and software program


Yuneec Typhoon H3

Yuneec Hurricane H3

  • Skilled digicam drone
  • Nice Leica digicam

Leica digicam on a hexacopter

Designed with authorities use in thoughts, the Yuneec Hurricane H3 is an replace to the Hurricane H Plus, packing a strong Leica digicam onto the acquainted hexacopter airframe.

DJI Phantom 4 RTK: Excessive geo positioning

DJI Phantom 4 RTK AUVSI Xponential 2019

The DJI Phantom 4 RTK combines the facility of the enduring Phantom design with the intense precision of RTK GPS. The result’s an upgraded shopper drone that is ready to seize exact pictures from the sky on your mapping undertaking.

Ought to I purchase the DJI Phantom 4 RTK?

The Phantom 4 RTK is a tricky promote. This older airframe remains to be succesful, however is way bigger than shopper drones with related digicam functionality. RTK precision does make this drone viable for mapping.



  • Acquainted and confirmed airframe
  • Nice 4K digicam
  • Straightforward to fly, protected to function
  • Quick and agile for its dimension


DJI Phantom 4 RTK

DJI Phantom 4 RTK

  • Excessive GPS precision
  • Secure and dependable airframe

Excessive GPS precision

The DJI Phantom 4 RTK provides the very best GPS precision to the favored <a href=””>Phantom line</a> of drones. It is a critical software for drone mapping, surveying and extra.

These purposeful flying machines can achieve this way more than simply take some photographs from the sky, however in case you had been seeking to take stalk of your world, I hope we’ve helped you slim down your decisions.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Do I want GPS for a mapping drone?

Likelihood is excessive that any drone you purchase able to performing mapping duties may have GPS already, however there are situations that you don’t want GPS, no. GEO-based mapping, comparable to figuring out property strains or monitoring a powerline would require GPS on the drone in an effort to see the GPS within the collected pictures. Any software program that mechanically stitches pictures collectively may also pull from GPS metadata to piece all the things collectively, and drones that mechanically take a sequence of pictures might depend on GPS to pinpoint the situation and course of the drone itself, however if you’re simply getting a photograph map of your individual property, you may acquire these pictures with out GPS, after which manually sew the photographs collectively with none GPS information.

Can I take advantage of my DJI Mavic drone for mapping?

As at all times, your wants might restrict the instruments you should use, however for primary mapping companies, particularly if you’re simply gathering some easy pictures from the sky, your DJI Mavic drone can completely do the job. The digicam in your Mavic drone must be adequate to sort out some 3D constructing mapping as properly. The place your Mavic drone will fall brief is if you’re mapping something for authorized functions. Duties comparable to accident reconstruction or official land surveying require exact GPS coordinate embedded into every picture, whereas Mavic drones are fairly correct, the precision of RTK is restricted to bigger business drones.

Do I want a license to map with drones?

Doubtless, sure. As at all times, the FAA dictates that each one flights for which you’ll be compensated are business operations, requiring you to have your Half 107 certification. On the flip facet, if you’re simply flying over your individual property to get a snapshot of what your land seems like, that’s, technically, not a business operation. For these passion flights, you’ll first must move the take a look at to amass your TRUST certification. For the farmers and ranchers, please don’t confuse this with flying over your herd of animals, or checking your fence line, as this may be an inspection of enterprise property, technically that’s doing work for which you might be being compensated. We’re unsure how stringent the FAA would prosecute that violation, they may deal with it as a gray space that they ignore, however the letter of the legislation calls {that a} Half 107 operation.


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