Available for your:
BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry BB10 devices

UAV Aerial Photo Coverage Calculator

This is one of those "must-have" utilities that was designed for UAV/drone (or R/C) based aerial photographers who need know the altitude they will be flying at long before the job begins, especially if they're required to file operational information with the local aviation authorities before work can commence.

This utility gives you the information you need, when you need it. Having this information at your fingertips while you're in negotiations will impress your clients. You'll be able to answer their "what if" questions on the spot.

Based on your camera's AoV (Angle of View) information and area to be photographed, this app will calculate the altitude required to complete the task.

In this example:

  • The camera has AoV values of 60° horizontally and 40° vertically.
  • The camera is mounted "vertically" in the airframe. Either the left edge or the right edge is nearest the front of the airframe.
  • Width of the property is 200 metres.
  • Giving the following results:
    • Minimum altitude is 274.7 metres.
    • Dimensions of the area captured in a single image are 200m x 317m.
    • Area shown in a single image is 63,440 square metres.
  • Please note, these values DO NOT take into account additional altitude that may be required or reduced usable captured area when several images will be stitched together.

Ground based photographers can use the photo coverage calculator as well. Let's say you're setting up a shoot to photograph a sporting event and you need to know how far away you have to be in order to capture an image that fills the frame. It's a similar process, as long as you know the AoV of your lens and the height of the subject, then you can calculate the required distance.

Here's an example of how the photo coverage calculator can be used to assist with ground based photography:

  • I owned a 500mm f/4 lens that I used to photograph alpine ski racing. That lens had the following angles of view: 4° (horizontal) and 2.75° (vertical).
  • The gates on the ski hill were about 6' high and the athletes were always in a crouched position when they were near the gates. So how far away did I need to be to have the gate fill the frame from top to bottom?
  • Using UAV-CC enter your angle of view values, select left/right for camera mounting, enter the height of the gate in the width field and press Calculate. Your required distance will appear in the Alt field.
  • In this example the distance turns out to be 125'. I used to do this calculation by hand in the old days, an app like this would have been extremely useful.

Have fun.

Revision History (updates are free):
3.0 [May 31/13]
 • Applies to BlackBerry BB10 devices only.
 • Rewritten and converted from Android port to Native BlackBerry app.
2.3 [Apr 21/13]
 • Minor update to support latest version of Android.
2.2 [Jan 1/13]
 • Added 'Comments and suggestions' button.
 • Expanded online help. Includes ground based photography example.
2.0 [Oct 22/12] - Redesigned & simplified the user interface. - Initial release.

Just for fun... where in the world (and in no particular order) is this app being used?
  • Ireland   • Belgium   • Canada   • USA   • Spain   • Argentina   • England   • Finland   • Malaysia  
  • Zambia   • Australia   • Iceland   • Italy   • Japan   • Israel   • Russia   • South Africa   • Egypt   • Sweden  
  • Kuwait   • Pakistan   • Turkey   • Greece   • Germany   • Portugal   • Thailand   • Columbia   • Hungary  

Legal stuff:
This utility is for your convenience and entertainment.
Absolute accuracy cannot be guaranteed due to computational rounding errors.
Copyright Rob Chandler 2012.