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Flight guidelines for rooftop modeling

Rooftop modeling requires two flights: a mapping flight and an orbital flight.


Drone: Capture images with a multi-copter UAS with gimbal mounted camera. A DJI Phantom 4 Pro is the preferred drone for this purpose.

High-resolution camera: 5472×3648 pixel (20 MP) resolution minimum as provided by, for example, the Phantom 4 Pro or Zenmuse X4S cameras.

File format

Images must be JPEG and contain metadata (GPS location, relative altitude, gimbal pitch, gimbal yaw, gimbal roll and timestamp)


Image captured during a mapping flight.

Resolution & altitude:
2 cm/pixel (.8 in/px) at rooftop level
Approximate altitude: 91.4 m (300 feet) above ground level (AGL)
Example: For a building 45 ft tall (13.7 m), approximate AGL of 300ft (91.4 meters)

Gimbal pitch:
Nadir (straight down)
-90 degrees from horizon

75% front overlap, 75% side overlap

Flight area:
The flight path should cover the entire site with a grid flight pattern

Flight path


Sample image from an orbital flight


  • One set of orbital images at ~100 ft above the rooftop

Gimbal pitch:
Approx. 30 degrees facing toward the center of the site
Do not include any sky in the view or image

Flight area:
Flight should be flown in a circle around entire perimeter of site; fly elliptically for longer rectangular buildings

Updated 2 months ago

Flight guidelines for rooftop modeling

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