Mapping Hardware

If you want the quick answer to what UAV you should get... here it is: Get a Phantom (the older version DJI is still selling will work as long as you stay away from the P3 Standard!). Yuunec and 3DR don't have a get community of 3rd party apps to use and/or they don't geotag photos out of the box. If you're on a budget, get the Phantom 3 Advanced. If you want to have more flexibility and greater detail, get an Inspire. If you want slightly more power / more features, by all means, the Phantom 4 is a great pick, but for mapping it isn't doing a whole lot more than the Phantom 3 Professional.

The things you'd ideally want:

  • 3rd party apps to automate your flights.
    • There are multiple solutions for DJI, and only 1-2 solutions for 3DR (if you want to count using Mission Planner apart from using the Tower app).
  • Photos are automatically geotag.
    • You can geotag photos after the fact, but it can be frustrating and time intensive. Currently 3DR doesn't support this out of the box with the GoPro you also need.
  • Flat lens.
    • Curved/distroted pictures decrease quality and introduce errors. DJI products no longer have "fisheye". You you must use a GoPro, either upgrade the lens, or be prepared for some editing of the photos in post.

If you have questions or comments, head over to the student forum or shoot us an email at [email protected].

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