online/Wallingford/ Lancaster (tbc)


from £499



The feedback on the online course on 21 & 22 April 2021 was 97% positive.

We are working on a course update - we may not run another drones course in 2022.

Please continue to express your interest in the live course here. 

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



Students £499                Professionals £599

(Early Bird Discount  then £50 more)

Short Course Description:

This two-day interactive online course will provide participants with the basic skills needed 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:

  • UK Civil Aviation Authority guidelines and the law
  • Drone technology
  • Aerial photography
  • Image stitching software
  • Image classification

Course Objectives:

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

Hardware and Software requirements for this course

We are asking you to use a laptop or desktop computer with at least 8 MB RAM if possible. We recommend the use of a second external screen (not essential)

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)
  • Open-source  photogrammetric software for processing of digital images.  

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 2-3 weeks before the course starts

We will use Zoom to deliver the training course. There are 5 ways to join Zoom (and at least one of them should work for you!). We will provide more information about Zoom with the joining instructions and at the start of the event. You can find more information about Zoom on our FAQ page.




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.

Previous Course participants said:

"I loved the Metashape exercise, it was exciting producing a 3D model from the photos and the opportunity to ask about how I can transfer these skills and apply them to my own research was invaluable. Paul and Charles were simply excellent, friendly and engaging." (Jon Tinsley, Queen's University Belfast, April 2021)

"I have learnt a lot so this has been a very useful course & would recommend. "

"I have gained a thorough overall understanding of the process and potential challenges to create habitat maps from drones. This understanding will be very helpful when I use drone data products. Thanks you!"

"The course has a nice blend of exercises and lecture - I liked being able to practice a skill juts after learning about it."

"Thanks for a very interesting course - lots of good materials and scripts to refer back to as well."

Course Leader:


Other trainers:

Charles George, Earth Observation Scientist, UKCEH, will support the practical exercises. He is very experienced in using ArcGIS, Photoscan and R.

Relevant links and key publications:

Science takes to the skies with ‘Hollywood-style’ remote sensing drone technology.