Dronesgator logo

Top 7 Drone Mapping Apps and Software

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
drone mapping

In the ever-evolving world of drone technology, mapping has become an indispensable tool across many industries. This comprehensive guide delves into the 7 best drone mapping apps and software, explores how they work, and answers some common questions about drone mapping software.

From agriculture and construction to public safety and surveying, drone mapping has revolutionized how we understand and interact with our environment; before anything else, we need the best tools in order to get the best results out of our work.

Key Features to Look for in Drone Mapping Software

When choosing drone mapping software, there are several key features to look for:

  • Ease of Use: The software should be user-friendly and intuitive, with a straightforward interface and easy-to-use tools.
  • Accuracy: The software should be able to produce accurate, high-resolution maps and 3D models.
  • Speed: The software should be able to process images quickly and efficiently, allowing you to get your results as soon as possible.
  • Compatibility: The software should be compatible with a wide range of drones and image formats.
  • Support and Documentation: Good drone mapping software will come with comprehensive support and documentation, helping you to get the most out of the software.

Drone Mapping Software comparison Table

SoftwareKey FeaturesBest For
Pix4DAdvanced photogrammetry, comprehensive tools, high accuracy and detailProfessionals needing high-precision maps and 3D models
Maps Made EasyUser-friendly interface, credit-based system, range of featuresBeginners and small businesses looking for an affordable option
DroneDeploySpeed and efficiency, machine learning capabilities, versatile applicationsIndustries where time is of the essence, such as agriculture, construction, and mining
Capture Reality (Reality Capture)Lifelike 3D models, credit-based systemUsers needing high-quality 3D models, particularly in the gaming and entertainment industry
Context Capture from BentleyHigh-end features, video game-grade environment buildingProfessional use, particularly game developers and those in the entertainment industry
Pix4DmaticLarge dataset handling, integration with Pix4D toolsLarge-scale projects requiring the processing of thousands of images
Sky BrowseVideo-based mapping, SIGIS compliancePublic safety applications, such as accident reconstruction or disaster response

Pix4D: The Industry Leader

image 135

Pix4D, a Swiss software company, has carved a niche as the top choice for drone mapping. Its comprehensive software suite offers many solutions for photogrammetry, 3D modeling, and aerial data analysis. Here's why Pix4D is the go-to choice for professionals worldwide:

  • Advanced Photogrammetry Capabilities: Pix4D's software uses sophisticated algorithms to process aerial images from drones, creating high-resolution orthomosaics and 3D models. This allows for detailed analysis and measurements, making it invaluable for construction, agriculture, and surveying industries.
  • Comprehensive Tools: Beyond its photogrammetry capabilities, Pix4D offers a range of tools for analyzing aerial data. This includes features for measuring distances and areas, annotating maps, and sharing data with team members or clients.
  • Accuracy and Detail: Pix4D is renowned for its maps' accuracy and level of detail. This is crucial for applications where precision is critical, such as surveying or infrastructure inspection.

Maps Made Easy: User-Friendly and Affordable

image 134

Next on our list is Maps Made Easy, a user-friendly drone mapping software that operates on a unique credit-based system.

This system allows users to pay for what they use, making it an affordable option for beginners and small businesses. Here's what sets Maps Made Easy apart:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Maps Made Easy is designed to be accessible to users of all experience levels. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to upload images, process data, and create maps.
  • Credit-Based System: Unlike many other drone mapping software options, Maps Made Easy operates on a credit-based system. Users purchase points, which can then be used to process images. This pay-as-you-go model can make it a more affordable option, particularly for those just starting out in drone mapping.
  • Range of Features: Maps Made Easy doesn't skimp on features despite its user-friendly design. Users can create detailed maps and 3D models, with options for annotating and sharing data.

DroneDeploy: Speed and Efficiency with Machine Learning

image 136

DroneDeploy is another top contender in the drone mapping software market. Known for its speed and efficiency, DroneDeploy uses machine learning to determine the best photogrammetric engine for producing point clouds. Here's what makes DroneDeploy stand out:

  • Speed and Efficiency: DroneDeploy is designed to process drone data quickly and efficiently, making it a popular choice for industries where time is of the essence. Its cloud-based platform allows for rapid processing and easy access to data.
  • Machine Learning Capabilities: One of DroneDeploy's standout features is machine learning. The software analyzes each dataset and determines the best photogrammetric engine for producing the point cloud. This can result in more accurate and detailed maps.
  • Versatile Applications: DroneDeploy is used across various industries, including agriculture, construction, and mining. Its features include tools for crop analysis, site inspection, and volumetric calculations, making it a versatile choice for drone mapping.

Capture Reality (Reality Capture): Lifelike 3D Models

Capture Reality, also known as Reality Capture, is a powerful tool for creating lifelike 3D textured meshes and visualizations. It's particularly renowned for its application in the gaming and entertainment industry. Here's what you need to know about Capture Reality:

  • Lifelike 3D Models: Capture Reality excels at creating lifelike 3D models from drone images. Its advanced algorithms can generate detailed, textured 3D meshes that can be used for various applications, from game design to cultural heritage documentation.
  • Credit-Based System: Like Maps Made Easy, Capture Reality operates on a credit-based system. This allows users to pay for what they use, making it a more affordable option for those who need high-quality 3D models but don't require constant access to the software.

Context Capture from Bentley: High-End Environment Building

Context Capture from Bentley is a high-end drone mapping software particularly suited for creating video game-grade environment building. Here's why Context Capture is worth considering:

  • High-End Features: Context Capture is designed for professional use, offering a range of high-end features for creating detailed 3D models and visualizations. This includes tools for texture mapping, lighting analysis, and more.
  • Video Game-Grade Environment Building: One of the standout features of Context Capture is its ability to create video game-grade environment building. This makes it a popular choice for game developers and those in the entertainment industry.

Pix4Dmatic: Handling Large Datasets with Ease

Pix4Dmatic is a newer addition to the Pix4D suite of tools, designed specifically for handling large datasets. Here's what sets Pix4Dmatic apart:

  • Large Dataset Handling: Pix4Dmatic is designed to handle large datasets, making it an excellent choice for large-scale projects. It can process thousands of images quickly and efficiently without compromising output quality.
  • Integration with Pix4D Tools: As part of the Pix4D suite, Pix4Dmatic integrates seamlessly with other Pix4D tools. This allows for a streamlined workflow, from image capture to map creation and analysis.

Sky Browse: Video-Based Mapping for Public Safety

Last but not least, we have Sky Browse, a video-based mapping engine designed specifically for public safety. Here's why Sky Browse is on our list:

  • Video-Based Mapping: Sky Browse uses video footage from drones to create 3D models and maps. This can be particularly useful for public safety applications, such as accident reconstruction or disaster response.
  • SIGIS Compliance: One of the standout features of Sky Browse is its SIGIS compliance. This means it meets the stringent data security standards required for law enforcement use.

Understanding Drone Mapping Software: A Deep Dive

What is Drone Mapping Software?

After successfully gathering data using a specialized drone, the subsequent crucial task is to process it optimally to unlock its maximum potential.

Drone mapping software is a type of software that processes aerial images captured by drones to create detailed maps and 3D models. These maps can be used for various applications, from surveying and construction to agriculture and environmental monitoring.

How Does Drone Mapping Software Work?

Drone mapping software works by using a process called photogrammetry. This involves taking multiple overlapping images and using them to create a detailed, accurate map. 

Then, the software uses complex algorithms to analyze the images, identify common points, and calculate the distance between these points to create a 3D model.

Top 5 Drones for Photogrammetry

Top 5 Online Drone Mapping Services

How to Start a Succesful Drone Mapping Business

Choosing the Right Drone Mapping Software for Your Needs

Choosing the right drone mapping software depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider what you'll be using the software for, how often you'll be using it, and how much you're willing to spend. 

Also, consider the learning curve associated with the software. Some software may be more complex but offer more advanced features. In contrast, others may be simpler and more user-friendly but offer fewer features.

faq what should you look for in a drone

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we'll cover the most commonly asked questions about drone mapping software.

Can I Use Drone Mapping Software with Any Drone?

Most drone mapping software is compatible with a wide range of drones. However, checking the software's compatibility before purchasing is always a good idea.

How Accurate is Drone Mapping Software?

The accuracy of drone mapping software can vary depending on the software itself and the quality of the images used. However, most modern drone mapping software can produce highly accurate maps and 3D models.

What Industries Benefit from Drone Mapping Software?

Drone mapping software can benefit a wide range of industries, including agriculture, construction, surveying, environmental monitoring, and public safety. Any industry that requires detailed, accurate maps can benefit from drone mapping software.

Is Drone Mapping Software Difficult to Use?

The difficulty of using drone mapping software can vary depending on the software. Some software is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, while others may have a steeper learning curve. However, most drone mapping software has comprehensive documentation and support to help you learn how to use it.


Choosing the right drone mapping software is crucial for getting the most out of your drone data. 

Whether you're a beginner looking for an easy-to-use option, a professional surveyor needing high-precision maps, or a game developer creating detailed 3D environments, there's drone mapping software out there to meet your needs. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each option, you can choose the right software for you.

Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot

  • make money from your passion
  • pass the Part 107 test Guarantee (money back
  • 50,000 students and 3,000+ reviews

Use the code DRONESGATOR for $50 off 

Show me the Course!
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram