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360 drone panoramas guidelines

How to capture stunning 360 panoramas with your drone

360 drone panoramas are high-resolution, interactive images captured by drones that provide a comprehensive and immersive view of a location or space, as well as an immersive visual experience. With their ability to capture the entire surroundings in a 360-degree field of view, these panoramas offer you a virtual tour-like experience, allowing you to explore and engage with the environment from the comfort of your own devices. 360 drone panoramas can be used in industries such as forestry, construction, and urban / land-use planning to document and visualize environmental projects' progress (such as reforestation/afforestation efforts), perform environmental impact assessments, and conduct site surveys, among others. They provide stakeholders with an accurate representation of the environment, facilitating better decision-making, collaboration, and communication throughout the project lifecycle.

Types of drone panoramas

There are primarily four different types of panoramas*:

  • 360° sphere (most used)
  • 180°
  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
    * considering the most used drones.

How to Shoot 360 drone panoramas

There may be slight differences on how 360 panoramas are shot on using DJI or different drones but for the majority the process is the same:

  1. Power up your drone, panorama settings feature are only available when the drone is ON

  2. On your drone app (i.e. DJI GO, DJI Fly) click on photo mode and you will see a menu that looks exactly or similar as below

3. Set the panorama mode as sphere (the one that gives the 360 panorama. It is also the most common type of panorama that clients want)

4. It is important to select the format of pictures you want to capture. Depending on the type of drone you are using, you can be able to choose between JPEG and RAW or only JPEG. Picture below shows where to select the image format

5. If your drone allows you to choose between JPEG and RAW (DNG) we recommend that you shoot both sets of panoramas. JPEG will be useful for automatic image stitching while RAW images (DNG format) will be ideal if you want to have more control to the stitching of the images using a different software (we recommend PTGui Pro - paid version)

6. Before you click on "start" to shoot the drone panorama make sure your drone is facing the direction of the sun. This helps to avoid an unbalanced images due to overexposure. Watch this tutorial video on YouTube for more information

7. Our recommended flight heights are 30, 60, and 90 meters AGL*

*Above Ground Level = the altitude or vertical distance between the drone's current position and the Earth's surface

8. Location: we recommend to take 360 panoramas from at least 2 different locations of the area of interest (one inside the mission area and one slightly outside), to have a complete overview of the surroundings from good point of views

9. Once you click "start", the drone will begin to take a series of photos at different angles. For a spherical panorama the total number of images taken is 26

10. When the drone is done capturing it will automatically stick the images to produce 1 spherical panorama (JPG format) which can be immediately previewed on your capturing device (phone or tablet)

11. Unlike other images that can be normally found in the DCIM/100 MEDIA folder, when you want to access them from your drone, panorama photos are found in the folder DCIM/PANORAMA folder

12. You can stitch your RAW (DNG) files into final 360 panoramas (JPG) using PTGui Pro (recommended), Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP, or similar software as shown in this YouTube video

13. Upload the stitched (JPG) 360 panoramas on the Globhe platform using the mission link assigned to you


Margherita Bruscolini
Head of Drones

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