DroneDeploy

Overlaying Contours in QGIS

The contour files export, in the Elevation toolbox, are available to all customers subscribed to Business or Enterprise plans. These set of tools can equip users with elevation data that can be exported and displayed in GIS software for further analysis.

In this guide, we will learn how to export DXF and SHP contour files from DroneDeploy and import them into QGIS. Additionally, we will cover how to overlay them on a GeoTIFF file resulting in a bold, data-rich display to share with your stakeholders.

Exporting Contour Files and Elevation Map from DroneDeploy

Download the Elevation Map and the Contour files from DroneDeploy. While exporting the files (GeoTIFF, SHP, DXF) ensure that you select the same Map Projection for all of them.

Exporting files using Desktop Projection: a) Elevation map as a GeoTIFF

Exporting files using Desktop Projection: a) Elevation map as a GeoTIFF

b) Contour file as DXF file

b) Contour file as DXF file

c) Contour file as SHP file

c) Contour file as SHP file

Notes regarding the export parameters

  1. This specific example is based on the Web Mercator Projection (EPSG:3857), but you can use the Map Projection that better works for your needs.

  2. You can export the Elevation Map using Raw Elevation Values as Data Type, or you can choose to export it using the RGB Image option. Either way, it works!

Once the data has been exported and downloaded to your computer, it is time to open QGIS

Importing Data into QGIS

  1. Open QGIS and start with a new project

  2. Let’s import the Elevation Map (GeoTIFF file) by clicking on Add Raster Layer icon:

Elevation Map

Elevation Map

Please note that once you have imported the Elevation Map to your workspace, this will take the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) of your TIFF file, in this case, Web Mercator Projection (EPSG code: 3857).

  1. Now, let’s add the contour files by clicking on the Add Vector Layer icon:

You can choose to import either the SHP or the DXF file, both are vectorial information and can be imported into QGIS.

  1. If you import the SHP file, it should be overlaid with the Elevation Map as shown in the image below:

If you notice that the Elevation Map is rendering incorrectly, please follow the steps described in the Displaying Elevation Data in QGIS documentation.

  1. If you are using DXF file, you will have to follow the next steps:

a) Click on Add Vector Layer to import the DXF file. When you add this vector layer, you will notice a message saying that the CRS for that file is undefined:

b) Let's define the CRS for the DXF file. Once you have imported it, you will be able to see it in the Layer Panel. Let’s do right-click on it, and then click on Properties.

c) Click on General tab. On the Coordinate Reference System menu, click on Select CRS icon:

d) In the CRS Selector window, on the Filter search bar, type “3857”, which is the EPSG code for Web Mercator Projection. Select the correct CRS and Click OK.

Congratulations! Now you should see the DXF file overlaid on top of the Elevation Map.

QGIS documentation

For further information regarding the use of QGIS, please review the QGIS user guide.

Overlaying Contours in QGIS