Interactive online course or face to face


from £429


Autumn/Winter 2024


Interactive online course or Wallingford, Oxfordshire.


summer/autumn 2024 (2 days; 9:30 am - 5 pm)

There will be a short software familiarisation session  before the main course


Students from £429     

Professionals from £479

The above prices are for interactive online courses and include the early-bird discount (£70),  in-person courses £30 more.

Please express your interest in courses, so we can fix a course date 

We now also offer Using drones to map habitats - on demand - a self-paced course with immediate access (from £349)

Short course description:

This two-day interactive course will give you the basic skills to take images collected from a UAV platform such as a quadcopter, process the images into a scene suitable for image processing, and generate classified images. We will talk you through the steps necessary to produce high-quality and accurate maps suitable for the mapping of vegetation and landforms. You will do exercises in virtual breakout rooms.

It will cover the following topics:

  • Basic UK Civil Aviation Authority guidelines and the law
  • Drone technology
  • Planning a drone survey
  • Structure from motion - image stitching software
  • Image classification

Course objectives:

  1. Gain skills to create high-quality and spatially accurate habitat classification maps from data you have captured using your UAV platform.
  2. Learn how to create digital elevation and surface models.
  3. Learn how to process these data to map the heights and locations of trees and vegetation or other features
  4. Learn how to operate your UAV platform within the law
  5. Gain  insight into some of the problems you may encounter when flying your aircraft
  6. Learn how to bring together the data collected by your aircraft into a spatially accurate and informative map suitable for mapping habitats and change.

Target audience:

  • Environmental consultants
  • Nature conservation practitioners
  • PhD students and Early Career Researchers
  • Academics working on Earth Observation


Intermediate - Course participants should be familiar with the manipulation and fusion of spatial data, GIS and/or image processing and UAV platforms for data capture.



Hardware and software requirements:

You will need to bring a laptop.

Minimum system requirements for Windows

  • Windows 10 or newer
  • 64bit CPU manufactured in the last 5 years
  • 20 GB free disk space
  • 8 GB RAM (recommended 16-32vGB RAM)

 Minimum system requirements for macOS

  • macOS 10.15 or newer. Apple Silicon (M1) is supported.
  • Mac hardware must be a 2013 or newer model and support virtualization.
  • 20 GB free disk space
  • 8 GB RAM (recommended 16-32 GB RAM)

We will use a number of different software for the different stages of processing the images. Key data management principles will apply to whatever software you are using.

  • Spatial analysis software QGIS 3.18+ (free open source)
  • You will get a free copy of the user-friendly WebODM installer with this course worth £49

Some prior knowledge of these will be an advantage, but not essential to benefit from the course. We will provide instructions on where to locate this software and how to install it about 2-3 weeks before the course starts.

Having a webcam is desirable (but not essential). If you plan to participate from an open-plan office or noisy environment, please wear headphones with a built-in microphone.

Course leader:

Charles George, Earth Observation Scientist.  Charles is very experienced in using ArcGIS, Photoscan and R.

Previous course participants said:

"I liked the hands-on familiarisation with the processes/procedures  best" (Philp Dutt, Stag Ecology, September 2023)

"Really useful both seeing and using different software programs for different purposes - useful to get a broad understanding. I particularly enjoyed seeing how we made the orthomosaic from the raw images" (learner, September 2023)