Map Capture gives you the ability to preplan your flight using a top-down map view. Navigate to the scan location on the map and place area bounds to outline the area. Your drone will fly in a lawnmower pattern to capture the scene. Use Map Capture when you need to scan large areas, such as rail yards or large construction sites, and when you expect to use more than one battery.

[note] Map Capture, previously named 2D GPS Capture, is available with Skydio Autonomy Enterprise software. To purchase Skydio Autonomy Enterprise please contact a Skydio Sales Representative [/note]

Quick Steps

Before starting a scan, you will need to change the operating mode from Skills to 3D Scan. The operating mode will persist through power cycles.

[note] Ensure you have two microSD cards before flying. For more information, visit How to install SD cards for Skydio 3D Scan. [/note]

To change operating modes: 

Step 1 - Enter 3D Scan Vehicle Mode

Power on your drone and controlling device. Select the gray button that says Switch Mode.

Step 2 - Select 3D Scan CS_3DS_X2_media_UI_switch-mode2.png

Step 3 - Confirm Reboot 

Skydio will automatically reconnect to your controller and mobile device after rebooting


Skydio will automatically reconnect to your controller and mobile device. 

Ensure your Logs Card has been formatted before starting a scan. 

Step 4 - Select Start Scan and Agree to the disclaimer, acknowledging that you will comply with all relevant laws and FAA regulations. 


Before you fly:

  • GPS is required in this scan mode.
  • If you will be scanning in locations that do not have an internet-enabled Wifi connection, you must import the map beforehand. Read the Download Maps sections of the Skydio 2/2+ or Skydio X2 Enterprise Operator Manuals for more information.
  • Previously downloaded maps will automatically load when you select Map Capture as your scan mode.
  • If needed, you can move backwards and re-do any steps in the workflow. Doing so will reset the steps you have already completed and discards any media that has been captured.
  • If you are flying with Skydio X2 Color/Thermal, capturing thermal images is enabled by default. You have the ability to disable thermal image capture in the camera settings. 

[warning]Set your boundary points after you have launched your drone.[/warning]

To use Map Capture:

Move through the scan workflow using the Skydio 2/2+ Controller or Skydio Enterprise Controller. The workflow pane will collapse when you are prompted to fly manually, and the app will display available Controller shortcuts.


Step 1Select Scan Mode

  • Select Map Capture
  • Use the right shoulder button to select Begin

Step 2 - Name Scan Site (optional)

The default scan name is composed of the scan mode you select followed by a UTC timestamp. Renaming the scan will replace the scan mode. 

  • Ex: Map_Capture__2021-05-20T19-50-55.135854+00-00

[info] Scan names must use American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characters. Unicode characters such as à, é, â, ü, ö, ä and the following symbols will be converted to underscores (_) in the scan directory name: < > : ; , \\ | ? * & $ { } ` “ [/info]

Step 3 - Launch

Select and hold the LAUNCH button to begin your flight. The drone will automatically climb to 16 ft (5 m) and hover.

Step 4 - Set Boundary Points

By default, a 328 ft x 328 ft (100m x 100m) polygon will automatically appear on your screen. Adjust the boundary points by dragging the green dots to surround the area you wish to scan.

  • Move the entire polygon around the map using the arrows maps_moveMarker.png
  • Add more boundary points by tapping the plus (+) on the white lines
  • Press and hold a boundary point to remove it

By default, GPS coordinates are visible on the map view. When enabled, coordinates are shown for the:

  • Launch Point maps_takeoffPoint.png
  • Crosshair Group_75.svg
  • Location of the drone maps_currentVehicleLocation.png

To enable or disable GPS coordinates on the map view:

  • Navigate to Device Settings > Phone
  • From the Phone menu, select On Screen Display
  • Tap to toggle Coordinates on or off 



Step 5 - Review or Edit Scan Settings

You must have at least five photos to begin a scan.

In a Map Capture, the Height is relative to the launch.

  • Scan settings persist across scans of the same scan mode
  • Editing the scan settings will impact the total flight time, the number of photos, and the required number of batteries.
  • The blue line shows the path the drone will take during the scan

Select Edit Settings and tap the Reset button in the top right corner to restore settings to defaults. 

  • Editing the scan settings will impact the total flight time, the number of photos, and the required number of batteries.
  • Set the speed between 1-11 mph (0.5-5 m/s)
  • Default speed is 5.6 mph (2.5 m/s) 

If you enable the Perimeter setting, you can specify the number of photos taken.

  • By default, Skydio will capture 36 photos when the Perimeter is enabled.




Perimeter enabled


Crosshatch enabled

[note] The camera gimbal pitch represents the angle below the horizon. [/note]

Step 6 - Launch and Begin Scan

The planned flight path will turn from blue to green as the scan progresses.

  • Switch between the map view and the live camera feed by selecting the map icon in the top right of the screen. Map__1_.png

You may pause at any point during your scan.

  • Skydio will display how many photos have been captured
  • While paused, you have the option to manually capture photos using the right shoulder button



Step 7 - Scan Complete 

The drone will automatically fly to the launch location upon completing the scan.

  • Starting a new scan will prompt you with an option to save or discard the scan you just completed.
  • If you Return to Launch, Skydio will first fly laterally until it is above the Launch Point and then move vertically to reach the launch point.

After landing, you will see a summary of the most recent scan and the option to save or discard the scan you completed.

  • Select Save and wait for the drone to process your scan. This is an important step to ensure your media is grouped by scan and can be viewed in the Edge Model Viewer.

Once processing is complete select Finish.


[tip] Check Save to Scan Library to save this scan location and settings for future use. Read How to save and repeat a Map Capture for more information. [/tip]

[caution] Do not remove the battery or power off during any post-flight tasks. Doing so will result in loss of data. Do not power off or disconnect from the drone until you return to the Begin Flight screen. [/caution]


Explore More

Explore related articles for additional information

How to scan using multiple batteries

3D Scan Settings Overview

Visual Geofencing in 3D Scan

How to use the AR Coverage Mesh for 3D Captures

How to set the AR Observer in 3D Scan

Accessing 3D Scan Data


Skydio, Inc. A0125


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