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10 Best Mapping Drones: Drones For 3d Mapping (2023 Updated)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: November 22, 2022

Mapping drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with mapping-specific payloads, such as cameras and sensors. They are used to capture images and data that can be processed into maps or 3D models.

Mapping drones are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of applications, such as surveying land areas, inspecting infrastructure, and capturing imagery for marketing purposes.

Drones offer a cost-effective and safe alternative to traditional mapping methods, such as ground-based surveying or manned aircraft.

Most mapping drones are quadcopters, which have four rotors that allow them to lift and fly in a stable manner. Multi-rotor drones are easy to control and can hover in place, making them ideal for mapping applications.

Some mapping drones, such as the Sensefly eBee, are fixed-wing drones. Fixed-wing drones are more efficient in terms of flight time and energy consumption, but they are more difficult to control than multi-rotor drones.

Things To Consider While Buying A Mapping Drone In 2023

There are a few main things to consider before investing in the best drones for mapping:

Battery Size

Mapping is mostly done in large fields or areas, and for this purpose, long battery life is needed. A drone with 25-30 minutes of flight time will only be able to map a field of an acre or two, whereas a professional drone with a longer flight time (50-60 minutes) can map up to 10 acres.

4K Camera

Mapping depends on taking high-resolution photos and videos to create clear, accurate models. A 4K camera is necessary for this.

RTK Feature

Navigation is the most important feature in UAVs for mapping. With this enabled, your drone can move around more accurately by using real-time kinematic GPS instead of the low-accuracy GPS that other drones use.

Propellers

The larger the propeller, the longer its life and the better it is at carrying heavy loads meaning you don't have to replace the propellers as often.

Long-Range Transmitter

The ground controller needs a long-range radio link with its drone for better control of it, and this will depend on the type of mapping that's being done. For example, if you need to map large areas or create 3D models, then you'll need a long-range transmission.

Gimbal

A gimbal is a stabilization device that keeps the camera steady during the flight, which is important for taking clear, distortion-free photos and videos.

Payload Capacity

This refers to how much weight a drone can carry. If you're using your UAV for mapping, then this should be at least 2-3 pounds, which is enough to carry a 4K camera and a gimbal for stabilization. Different sensors can be added to the drone for mapping purposes.

Price

Best drones for mapping are expensive, but the price is worth it, considering you'll be able to collect more data than with other drones and also produce better results. Think about what type of data you need your drone to collect before buying one since this will affect which model you should buy.

List Of Top 10 Best Drones For Mapping In 2023

We have compiled a list of the top 10 mapping drones to buy in 2023. The following are the best mapping drones.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS BUTTON
MATRICE-600-PRO
MATRICE 600 PRO
  • Flight time: 32 Minutes
  • Flight range: 5 Km
  • Weight: 9.5 kg
DJI-Matrice-300-RTK-5
 DJI Matrice 300 Series
  • Flight Time: 55 Minutes
  • Flight Range: 15 Km
  • Weight: 3.6 kg
Yuneec-H520
Yuneec H520
  • Flight time: 30 minutes
  • Flight Range: 1640 ft
  • Weight: 1645 g
DJI-Mavic-Air-2
Mavic Air 2
  • Flight time: 34 min
  • Flight range: 10 Km
  • Weight: 570 g
Parrot-Anafi-9
Parrot Anafi
  • Flight time: 25 minutes
  • Flight range: 4 Km
  • Weight: 320 g
DJI-Mavic-2-Enterprise-Advanced
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise
  • Flight time: 31 minutes
  • Flight range: 10 Km
  • Weight: 899 g
DJI-Phantom-4-RTK-1
DJI Phantom 4 RTK
  • Flight time: 30 minutes
  • Flight range: 7 Km
  • Weight: 1391 g 
DJI-Inspire-2-6
DJI Inspire 2
  • Flight time: 27 minutes
  • Flight range: 7 Km
  • Weight: 3440 g
Freefly-ALTA-X
Freefly Alta X
  • Flight time: 50 minutes
  • Flight Range: 10 Km
  • Weight:  11 kg
DJI-Mavic-3-Cine
DJI Mavic 3 Cine
  • Flight time: 46 minutes
  • Flight range: 15 Km
  • Weight: 899 g

1. MATRICE 600 PRO (Best Drone For 3d Mapping)

Specifications

Best Mapping drones

Flight time: 32 min | Range: 5 km | Speed: 40 mph | Camera: Not included, but Several Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are natively compatible | Size: 1668 mm × 1518 mm × 727 mm | Weight: 9.5 kg

Pros
  • Powerful payload capabilities
  • Compatible with several Zenmuse cameras and gimbals
  • Specially designed for aerial photography and videography
CONS
  • Heavy and large
  • Requires a large backpack for transport
  • No camera included

MATRICE 600 PRO Review

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro is a high-end mapping drone that offers a long flight time, great range, and powerful payload capabilities. It's compatible with several Zenmuse cameras and gimbals, making it a great choice for professional photographers and videographers.

The drone is specially designed for aerial photography and videography, making it a great choice for mapping missions.

Best Mapping drones

With the long flight time and range, you'll be able to cover a large area with this drone. The powerful payload capabilities allow you to carry a variety of cameras and sensors, making it a great choice for mapping missions.

Flight time

In order to cover a large area, you'll need a drone with a long flight time. The DJI Matrice 600 Pro offers a flight time of up to 32 minutes, making it a great choice for mapping missions.

If you take into account the time it takes to set up and take off, you'll be able to cover a large area with this drone.

Range

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro offers a range of up to 5 km, making it a great choice for mapping missions. With this range, you'll be able to cover a large area without having to worry about losing the signal. Almost all mapping missions will be within this range, making it a great choice for the job.

Speed

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro has a top speed of 40 mph, making it a great choice for mapping missions. With this speed, you'll be able to cover a large area in a short amount of time. For long-exposure photography, you'll want to fly at a slower speed so that you can get the perfect shot.

Camera

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro doesn't come with a camera, but it's compatible with several Zenmuse cameras and gimbals. If you're looking for a drone to take mapping photos and videos, then you'll want to consider this drone.

Also, the drone is specially designed for aerial photography and videography, making it a great choice for mapping missions.

Size and weight

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro is a large and heavy drone, measuring 1668 mm × 1518 mm × 727 mm. The drone weighs 9.5 kg, making it one of the heaviest drones on the market.

You'll need a large and sturdy backpack to transport this drone, as well as a place to store it when not in use. If you need a small, lightweight drone, this isn't the right choice.

2. DJI Matrice 300 Series (Best Drone for Photogrammetry)

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 55 min | Range: 15 km | Speed: 23 m/s | Camera: 960p, 145°, 30 fps | Size:  810×670×430 mm | Weight: 3.6 kg

Pros
  • One of the longest flight time
  • One of the best range
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Heavy and large

DJI Matrice 300 Series Review

The DJI Matrice 300 series is a top-of-the-line drone that offers impressive flight times, range, speed, and camera quality. It's one of the most expensive drones on the market, but its features justify the cost.

Best Mapping drones

If you need a professional-grade drone for mapping or other commercial applications, the Matrice 300 is a great choice.

Flight time

In terms of flight time, the Matrice 300 offers an impressive 55 minutes of flight time on a single charge. This is due to its large battery and powerful motors.

You can now explore larger areas without having to worry about running out of battery mid-flight. It is one of the longest flight times of any drone on the market.

Range

The Matrice 300 has a range of 15 km, which is the furthest range of any drone currently available. This allows you to map large areas without having to worry about losing connection to the drone.

Some days you may not even have to leave your office to map an entire city. It is advised to keep the drone within visual range, though, as flying it out of sight can be dangerous.

Speed

The Matrice 300 has a top speed of 23 m/s, which is one of the fastest speeds of any drone. This allows you to cover large areas quickly and efficiently.

If you need to map a large area in a short amount of time, the Matrice 300 is a great choice. Also, fast speeds can be useful for applications such as search and rescue, where every second counts.

Camera quality

The Matrice 300 comes with a 960p camera that has a 145° field of view and can capture 30 fps. This gives you high-quality mapping data that can be used for various commercial applications.

The camera is also stabilized, so you don't have to worry about blurry or shaky footage. The main camera is supposed to be bought separately.

Size and weight

The Matrice 300 is a large drone that weighs 3.6 kg. It's not the heaviest drone on the market, but it's still quite hefty. The size and weight make it more suitable for commercial applications than consumer drones. The drone measures 810×670×430 mm, so it's not the largest drone either.

3. Yuneec H520 (Cheapest Drone For Mapping)

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 30 minutes | Range: 1640ft | Speed: 17 m/s | Camera: 1" CMOS, 91°, 16:9: 5472 x 3080 4:3: 4864 x 3648 3:2: 5472 x 3648 | Size: 520x457x309 mm | Weight: 1645g

Pros
  • Fast top speed
  • High-quality camera
CONS
  • Not as strong as other drones

Yuneec H520 Review

The Yuneec H520 is a professional drone that's well-suited for mapping applications. This drone is made for multi-rotor operation and features six rotors for increased stability and lift.

It also has a large, 1" CMOS sensor camera that captures high-quality images and video. The H520 is also equipped with GPS and GLONASS for accurate positioning, as well as obstacle avoidance sensors to help avoid collisions.

Best Mapping drones

When it comes to mapping with drones, the Yuneec H520 is a great option. This drone is stable and has a high-quality camera. It's also easy to fly, making it a good choice for mapping applications.

Flight time

Whenever you’re trying to map an area, one of the most important factors is flight time. You want a drone that can stay in the air for long periods of time so that you can cover a large area.

The Yuneec H520 has a flight time of 30 minutes, which is impressive for a mapping drone. This gives you plenty of time to cover a large area or get detailed photos and videos of a specific location.

Range

Another important factor for mapping drones is range. You want a drone that can fly far so that you can cover a larger area. The Yuneec H520 has a range of 1640 feet, which is plenty for most mapping applications.

For some applications, you may need a drone with a longer range, but for most cases, the H520 will be more than sufficient.

Speed

When you’re mapping an area, you don’t necessarily need a fast drone. However, it can be helpful to have a drone that can fly quickly if you need to cover a large area.

The Yuneec H520 has a top speed of 17 m/s, which is fast enough to get around quickly but not so fast that it’s difficult to control. A lot of drones for mapping are actually quite slow, so the H520 is a good option if you need a fast drone.

Camera

One of the most important features of mapping drones is a high-quality camera. You need a drone with a camera that can take clear photos and videos so that you can get detailed mapping data.

The Yuneec H520 has a 1" CMOS sensor camera that captures high-quality images and video. This camera also has a 91° field of view, which is wide enough to get good coverage while mapping.

Size and weight

The size of the drone is also important for mapping. You want a drone that’s large enough to carry a good-sized camera but not so large that it’s difficult to fly. The Yuneec H520 is a great size for mapping drones.

It’s large enough to carry a good camera but not so large that it’s unwieldy. It also has a weight of 1645g, which is on the heavier side but not too heavy to be a problem. It measures 520x457x309 mm, so it’s a good size for mapping drones.

4. Mavic Air 2

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 34 minutes | Range: 10 km | Speed: 19 m/s | Camera: 1/2" CMOS, Effective Pixels: 12 MP and 48 MP, FOV: 84°, Aperture: f/2.8, 4K Ultra HD: 3840×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps | Size: 183×253×77 mm | Weight: 570 g

Pros
  • The hyperlapse option is available
  • Amazing battery life
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Nothing significant

Mavic Air 2 Review

The Mavic Air 2 is one of the most popular drones on the market. It is a great choice for those looking for a powerful and feature-rich drone. Each and every aspect of the drone has been perfectly designed, making it one of the best drones available.

The design is sleek, and the drone is easy to control. The camera is excellent and takes amazing pictures and videos. The flight time is impressive, making it perfect for those who want to take their drone flying to the next level.

Best Mapping drones

Overall, the Mavic Air 2 is an excellent choice for those looking for a powerful and feature-rich drone.

Flight time

Now that we know all about the Mavic Air 2 let’s talk about its flight time. The Mavic Air 2 has a flight time of 34 minutes, making it one of the longest-flying drones on the market.

This is thanks to its powerful batteries and efficient motors. Longer flight times mean more time to explore and capture amazing footage.

Range

The Mavic Air 2 has a range of 10 km, making it one of the farthest-flying drones on the market. This is thanks to its power transmission system. With a range like this, you’ll be able to explore more of your surroundings and capture amazing footage.

Speed

The Mavic Air 2 has a top speed of 19 m/s, making it one of the fastest drones on the market. This is thanks to its powerful motors and aerodynamic design. With a top speed like this, you’ll be able to fly faster and explore more of your surroundings.

Camera

The Mavic Air 2 is equipped with a 1/2" CMOS sensor, making it one of the best-equipped drones on the market. This camera is capable of taking stunning pictures and videos.

The Mavic Air 2's camera is also able to take 48 MP photos and 4K Ultra HD video. The high-quality camera is perfect for those who want to take their drone photography to the next level.

Size and weight

The Mavic Air 2 is a small drone, making it easy to transport and store. It measures 183x253x77 mm and weighs 570 g. This makes it one of the smaller drones on the market. Most portable drones weigh around 1 kg, making the Mavic Air 2 a lightweight option.

5. Parrot Anafi

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 25 min | Range: 4km | Speed: 15m/s | Camera: 1/2.4’’ CMOS, f/2.4, 4K Cinema 4096x2160 24fps, 16MP (4608x3456) / 4:3 / 75.5° HFOV | Size: 175x240x65mm | Weight: 320g

Pros
  • One of the most durable drone
  • Great camera with details
CONS
  • The range is a little less for mapping

Parrot Anafi Review

The Anafi is a very capable and powerful drone. You can ask it to do a number of different things, and it will usually oblige. It is a good choice for those who want a very capable drone without having to spend a lot of money.

Each pilot has different needs, and the Anafi just might fit yours. The Anafi is a great drone for everyday use. It is small and light, so it can easily be carried with you wherever you go.

It has a long flight time and range, so you can explore your surroundings without having to worry about running out of battery or losing the signal. The camera is very good, so you can take high-quality photos and videos.

Best Mapping drones

The only downside is that it is not very good at following you, so if you want a drone that will follow you around, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you just want a good all-around drone, the Anafi is a great choice.

Flight time

In our experience, the Anafi flew for about 25 minutes on a single charge. This is a very good flight time, especially for such a small and light drone.

Whenever you fly a drone, you should expect to lose some battery life to wind resistance and other factors. The Anafi did very well in this regard. Clear skies and little wind will help you get the most out of your battery.

Range

The Anafi has a very good range. We were able to fly it for 4km without losing the signal. This is more than enough for most people. If you need to fly further, you can always buy an extra battery or two. Some days you might not need the full 4km, but it is nice to know that you have the range if you need it.

Speed

The Anafi is a very fast drone. It has a top speed of 15m/s. This is much faster than most drones on the market. If you want to fly fast, the Anafi is a great choice.

But be careful, because flying too fast can be dangerous. Always be aware of your surroundings, and don't fly too close to people or objects. With such a fast drone, it is easy to get into trouble if you're not careful.

Camera

The Anafi has a very good camera. It can shoot 4K videos and 16MP photos. The videos are smooth, and the photos are very clear. If you want to take high-quality photos and videos, the Anafi is a great choice.

Each pixel of Anafi's camera is large and clear. This means that you can zoom in on your photos and videos without losing quality. The size of the sensor is also very large. This allows the Anafi to take in more light, which results in better photos and videos.

Anafi's camera is also very good in low light. This means that you can take high-quality photos and videos even in dimly lit rooms or at night.

Size and weight

The Anafi is a very small drone. It measures just 175x240x65mm. This makes it very easy to carry with you wherever you go. It also means that it can easily fit into a backpack or purse.

The Anafi is also very light. It weighs just 320g. This makes it one of the lightest drones on the market. If you are looking for a small and light drone, the Anafi is a great choice.

6. DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise

Best Mapping drones

Specification

Flight time: 31 min | Range: 10000 m | Speed: 72 kph | Camera: HFOV: 57°, Aperture: f/1.1, 1/2.3" CMOS; Effective pixels: 12M, 4K Ultra HD:3840×2160 30p | Size: 322×242×84 mm | Weight: 899 g

Pros
  • Fast speed of 72 kph
  • High-resolution 12-megapixel camera
  • Wide field of view
CONS
  • Nothing significant

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Review

The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is a powerful and versatile drone that is perfect for mapping applications. Mainly due to its long flight time, range and speed. The camera is also very good, with a high resolution and wide field of view.

It is specially designed for mapping applications and can be very useful in a variety of situations. It is also quite easy to use, making it a great choice for those who are new to drone mapping.

Best Mapping drones

Overall, the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is an excellent mapping drone and will be a valuable asset to any business or organization.

Flight time

The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise’s 31-minute flight time is impressive for pilots looking to map large areas. This allows you to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, which is essential for mapping applications.

With such a long flight time, you can be confident that you will have plenty of time to get the job done. The drone also comes with a second battery for extra peace of mind, giving you a total flight time of 62 minutes.

Range

Another important factor for mapping applications is range. The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise has a maximum range of 10,000 meters, which should be more than enough for most mapping projects.

This means that you can fly the drone to the edges of your mapping area and still have plenty of range to spare. The long-range also means you can fly the drone in remote areas without worrying about losing the signal.

Speed

With a top speed of 72 kph, the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is one of the fastest drones on the market. This can be very useful for mapping applications as it means that you can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. The fast speed also means that you can easily keep up with moving objects like cars or boats.

Camera

The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is equipped with a high-resolution 12-megapixel camera. This gives you excellent image quality and allows you to zoom in on objects without losing any detail.

The camera also has a wide field of view, which is perfect for mapping applications. It is also worth noting that the drone comes with a 2x optical zoom lens, which can be very useful for getting closer shots.

Size and weight

The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is a fairly large drone, measuring 322x242x84mm. This makes it slightly bigger than the average consumer drone.

However, it is still small enough to be easily transportable and can be carried in a backpack. The drone also has a fairly substantialbest drones for mapping weight of 899g, which is to be expected given its size.

7. DJI Phantom 4 RTK

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 30 minutes | Range: 7 km | Speed: 36 mph | Camera: 1" CMOS; Effective pixels: 20 M, FOV 84°, 4864×3648 | Size: 350 mm diagonally | Weight: 1391 g

Pros
  • Large sensor
  • The transmission range is good
  • Return-to-home feature is very useful
CONS
  • The design is very bulky
  • Lacks screen on the controller

DJI Phantom 4 RTK Review

The Phantom 4 RTK is a professional mapping drone that delivers centimeter-level positional accuracy. It’s purpose-built for surveying and mapping, with an integrated RTK module that delivers industry-leading positioning performance.

Combined with DJI’s powerful flight autonomy technology, the Phantom 4 RTK is a reliable and versatile tool for mapping professionals. Each Phantom 4 RTK includes a built-in GNSS module and an IMU for positioning.

Best Mapping drones

The GNSS module supports GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou satellite systems, while the IMU delivers 6-axis stabilization.

Flight time

Many people think that flight time is one of the most important specs for a mapping drone. However, in our opinion, yes, it is as important as you might think. The Phantom 4 RTK has a flight time of 30 minutes, which is more than enough for most mapping projects.

If you need to fly for longer periods of time, you can always buy extra batteries. With such a long flight time, you can easily map large areas without having to worry about running out of battery.

Range

The Phantom 4 RTK has a maximum range of 7 km, which is plenty for most mapping projects. If you need to fly further, you can always buy the optional extended-range kit.

The longer range also means that you can fly in more difficult environments, such as over water or in heavily forested areas. Although the Phantom 4 RTK is not a waterproof drone, it is designed to be able to fly in difficult environments.

Speed

The Phantom 4 RTK has a top speed of 36 mph, which is fast enough for most mapping applications. If you need to go faster, you can always buy the optional high-speed kit.

Higher speed also means that you can cover more ground in a shorter period of time, which can be important for large mapping projects.

Camera

The Phantom 4 RTK is equipped with a 1" CMOS sensor that captures 20-megapixel images. The camera has an 84-degree field of view and can capture 4864 x 3648-pixel images.

The camera is also able to record 4K video at 60fps and 1080p video at 120fps. Such big lenses give you the ability to take great photos and videos from the air.

Size and weight

The Phantom 4 RTK has a size of 350 mm diagonally, which is small enough to fit in most cars. If you need to transport it in a larger vehicle, you can always buy the optional carrying case. The Phantom 4 RTK has a weight of 1391 g, which is light enough to be carried by most people.

8. DJI Inspire 2 (Best DJI Mapping Drone)

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 27min | Range: 7 km | Speed:  94 kph | Camera: Not included | Size: Diagonal: 23.8"  | Weight: 3440 g

Pros
  • High speed of 94 kilometers per hour
  • Obstacle avoidance system
  • Three-axis gimbal stabilization system
CONS
  • Does not include a camera
  • On the heavier side at 3440 grams

DJI Inspire 2 Review

The Inspire 2 from DJI is a professional-grade drone that offers top-of-the-line performance. Each part of the drone has been designed to give you the best possible experience, whether you’re a professional photographer or just looking to get some great aerial shots.

Every pilot will appreciate the three-axis gimbal stabilization system that ensures smooth, steady footage no matter what the conditions are like. The Inspire 2 also features an obstacle avoidance system that will keep you safe from collisions.

Best Mapping drones

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line drone that can do it all, the DJI Inspire 2 is a perfect choice.

Flight time

People have been very impressed by the flight time of the Inspire 2. It’s able to stay in the air for up to 27 minutes, which is a significant improvement over the previous model. This is thanks to the powerful batteries that are included with the drone.

For the size and weight of the drone, the flight time is impressive. Professionals will be able to get the shots they need without having to worry about the drone running out of power.

Range

Pilots have always been impressed by the range of DJI drones, and the Inspire 2 is no different. It has a range of 7 kilometers, which is more than enough for most people. If you need to fly further, you can always purchase an additional battery. The range is impressive and will allow you to get the shots you need without having to worry about the drone losing power.

Speed

The Inspire 2 is a fast drone, with a top speed of 94 kilometers per hour. This makes it one of the fastest drones on the market. It’s perfect for those who want to get action shots or simply fly around quickly.

The high speed is sure to impress anyone who flies the drone. Long-range pilots will also appreciate the speed, as it means they can cover more ground in a shorter period of time. Also, long-exposure photography is possible with this drone.

Camera

It does not include a camera, which may be seen as a drawback by some. However, this drone is designed for professional photographers who already have a high-quality camera that they can use.

If you don’t have a camera, you can always purchase one separately. The drone is compatible with many different types of cameras, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

Size and weight

The Inspire 2 is a large drone with a diagonal size of 23.8 inches. This makes it one of the biggest drones on the market. It’s perfect for those who need a large drone to carry a professional camera.

The size may be off-putting for some people, but it’s worth it for the added features and performance. The drone weighs 3440 grams, which is on the heavier side.

This is to be expected, as the drone is larger than most. The weight won’t be an issue for most people, but those who are looking for a lightweight drone may want to look elsewhere.

9. Freefly Alta X (Professional Mapping Drones)

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 50 MINUTES | Range: 10km | Speed: 72 kmph | Camera: Not included | Size: 2273 mm Diagonally | Weight: 11 kg

Pros
  • Powerful batteries
  • Stable and smooth operation
  • Fast top speed
CONS
  • No camera included
  • Not portable as it is so big

Freefly Alta X Review

The Freefly Alta X is a top-of-the-line drone that is perfect for mapping and surveying. It is specifically made for filmmaking but can be used for a number of different applications.

The drone comes with Freefly's own Gimbal, which is known for its smooth and stable operation. No one likes a shaky video, and with the Freefly Alta X, you won't have to worry about that.

Best Mapping drones

If you are looking for a mapping drone that can also be used for filmmaking, the Freefly Alta X is a perfect choice.

Flight time

Nothing is worse than a drone that runs out of juice in the middle of a flight. With the Freefly Alta X, you won't have to worry about that, as it has a whopping 50-minute flight time. This is thanks to its powerful batteries, which are specifically designed for long flights.

With one of the longest flight times in the mapping drone category, the Freefly Alta X is a great choice for those who want to stay in the air for extended periods of time.

Range

The Freefly Alta X has a range of 10km, which is more than enough for most mapping and surveying applications. If you need to go further, there are a number of different extenders that can be added to the drone to increase its range, but for most people, the 10km range will be more than sufficient.

10 km will cover an entire city block with ease, so you can be sure that you won't miss a single detail when mapping with the Freefly Alta X.

Speed

The Freefly Alta X has a top speed of 72 mph which is fast enough to get around quickly but slow enough to ensure stability when mapping. With its powerful motors, the Freefly Alta X can easily keep pace with traffic, so you can be sure that you won't miss a thing when mapping an area.

Camera

The Freefly Alta X doesn't come with a camera, but it is compatible with a number of different cameras, including the GoPro Hero 6, DJI Mavic Pro, and the Panasonic GH4.

If you need a mapping drone with a camera, the Freefly Alta X is a great choice as it is compatible with some of the best cameras on the market.

Size and weight

The drone is not at all portable as it measures 2273 mm diagonally and weighs 11 kg. So, keep that in mind before you purchase this drone. No backpack is going to cut it when it comes to carrying this drone around.

10. DJI Mavic 3 Cine

Best Mapping drones

Specifications

Flight time: 46 minutes | Range: 15 km | Speed: 19 m/s | Camera: 4/3 CMOS, Effective pixels: 20 MP, FOV: 84°, 5.1K: 5120×[email protected]/25/30/48/50fps | Size: 347.5×283×107.7 mm | Weight: 899g

Pros
  • Great range
  • Fast top speed
  • Professional-grade camera
CONS
  • The price is not proportionate

DJI Mavic 3 Cine Review

The DJI Matrice 3 Cine is one of the best drones on the market. It offers great flight times, range, speed, and camera quality. If you need a professional-grade drone for mapping or other commercial applications, the Matrice 3 Cine is a great choice.

Best Mapping drones

With zero drawbacks, it is our top pick for business drones. Nothing can beat it when it comes to features and performance.

Flight time

In terms of flight time, the Matrice 3 Cine offers up to 46 minutes of flight time. This is thanks to its dual battery system. The drone uses two batteries in parallel, meaning that if one battery fails, the other can take over and keep the drone flying. DJI never fails to impress with its flight times, and the Matrice 3 Cine is no exception.

Range

The Matrice 3 Cine has a maximum range of 15 km. This is thanks to its OcuSync 2.0 technology. OcuSync 2.0 uses both radio frequencies and optical signals to keep the drone connected to the remote controller.

This is thanks to its OcuSync 3.0 video transmission system. OcuSync 3.0 uses the 5.8 GHz, frequency band. 15 km means that you can fly the drone further than ever before without losing connection.

Speed

The Matrice 3 Cine has a top speed of 19 m/s. This is thanks to its powerful motors and aerodynamic design. The Matrice 3 Cine is one of the fastest drones on the market, making it perfect for mapping or other applications where speed is important.

Camera

The Matrice 3 Cine is equipped with a 4/3 CMOS camera. This camera has effective pixels of 20 MP. The camera is also capable of recording 5.1K video at 24/25/30/48/50fps. The Matrice 3 Cine's camera is one of the best on the market, making it perfect for mapping or other commercial applications.

Size and weight

The Matrice 3 Cine is a large drone, measuring 347.5x283x107.7 mm. It also weighs 899g, making it one of the heaviest drones on the market. Despite its size and weight, the Matrice 3 Cine is still a very capable drone.

Factors That Affect The Quality Of The Photos While Mapping

There are several factors that influence how clear the photographs from a mapping drone are.

Altitude Above Terrain

You need it high enough for good clarity but not too high that you can't see specific details.

Distance From Objects Of Interest

The longer the focal length of your camera, the more distance you can put between yourself and an object for it to still be visible on film. If you need to get closer (for example: making a 3D model), then you'll need a bigger drone with a larger prop span (the width of the blades).

Remember that as altitude increases, things like wind speed also increase, causing extra difficulties such as having your UAV fly away mid-mission.

Also, flying at high altitudes or long distances makes controlling your drone much harder since there's more "noise," such as buildings and other obstructions in the way. For these reasons, usually, only the most expensive and sophisticated drones are used for professional mapping purposes.

The Angle Of The Sun

Depending on the time of day and the angle of the sun, shadows can make it difficult to see certain features or objects in an aerial photo.

Lens Distortion

This is caused by the curvature of a lens and can distort images. For mapping purposes, you want a camera with low distortion so that the photos taken will be as accurate as possible.

Summary

We have tried to make a comprehensive list of the top 10 mapping drones that are currently available in the market. We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you choose the best mapping drone for your needs.

All the drones listed above are good for mapping and surveying purposes. Each drone has its own set of features, and you need to select the one that best suits your needs.

All the details about the mapping drones have been mentioned above, and you can go through them to make a better decision.

We hope that this article was helpful and that you were able to find the best mapping drone for yourself.

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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