March 17, 2016

Planning: Swath & Pixel Density Calculator

When imaging a large area, it’s a good idea to plan your altitude and flight paths in order to:

  • Capture the desired resolution needed
  • Make sure that you have enough overlap in your photos
  • Know your maximum ground speed so that you do not reduce the overlap percentage by flying too fast
  • Keep your aircraft straight and level
  • Have a Plan B – Check the weather for prevailing winds and map out two different headings. Once you’re on station, you can figure out which plan to use depending on the wind direction.

Use the swath and pixel density calculator below to assist with your flight plans

Enter the values for your imaging project, then press the Calculate button.

(meters above ground level | 365.8 meters = 1,200 ft.)

Common digital camera sensor sizes : sensor dimension chart
Popular Canon & Nikon sensor resolution and dimensions Canon & Nikon sensor chart
Or refer to your camera’s technical specifications to find the sensor resolution (pixels) and dimension (mm).
Suggestions for our calculator or other online tools? 
If you have a suggestion on how to improve this calculator, or a request for another online tool, complete the form on our contact page.  Please include how you use aerial photography and which tools you are looking for.