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Drone Mapping in Michigan

Mapping with a drone is a cost effective way to get a new perspective on your surroundings. Whether you have a construction site, retail property, or even just a large section of land, using a drone to create a map can generate important insights into your investment.

So, how does drone mapping work? If you've taken a look at Google Maps, you'll see what looks to be a satellite view of any area around the world. These pictures are taken with a combination of satellites as well as from aircraft that fly high above the ground. Drones are limited to 400 feet above ground level (AGL), but the process is quite similar to how Google gets their images. We start by programming a mapping route into our software, generating an area that we want to capture. Next, miDrone Aerial services sets the parameters of that mission to generate the resolution and detail that we need to capture.

After this information is programmed into the flight, we upload the parameters to the drone. Our specialized drones then take off and fly the various mission waypoints, capturing images every few seconds. Depending on the size of the area being flown, there can be dozens (or even hundreds) of photographs that have been taken. This is where the real work begins.

Once back at the miDrone office, our technicians upload the images to the processing software of our customers' choice. This can include the likes of Pix4d, Maps Made Easy, WebODM, or others. After files are uploaded, the information is processed by these individual companies. The processing includes taking data points from the pictures and stitching them together, generating a map that covers the point of interest from the customer. The end result is a map like you see in the image above.

So, what do you do with the map once it has been generated? The answer to this varies, depending on the goal of the customer. We've done reports where we've analyzed debris in a floodplain. In the image above, you'll see blue information markers with orange lines. Each of those lines represents a fallen tree, which we provided to a local governmental agency to determine the price of debris removal. Other customers like to use the maps to calculate volumes for drone stockpiling, whereas others like to see progress on construction sites. The usage of a drone map really comes down to the customer and their goals.

Weather Concerns

The weather in Michigan is always changing, and if you're going to be looking for a drone map in Michigan, this is something you're going to have to take into account. Weather in winter can mean snow, which means some detail may be hidden, whereas trails and roads could possibly be a bit more visible. Conversely, maps made in spring or summer could look really nice, but foliage on trees could hide details of what is on the ground.

For these reasons, we recommend that customers reach out to us in advance of needing a mission flown, as miDrone can provide guidance as to the best time to capture the data. Generally speaking, the best weather to capture a map is when skies are overcast, as shadows are kept to a minimum.

Contact Us

If you're interested in having a drone map captured, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. miDrone has years of mapping experience under our belts and we provide some of the best drone services in Michigan, all with hardware that is unmatched.


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