DroneCamp FAQs

Course Content

What makes DroneCamp unique among the world of drone trainings?

Creating 2D and 3D mapping products from drone imagery requires a relatively large number of skillsets. While there are numerous workshops out there that cover regulations, flying, and/or data processing, there aren't that many programs that cover the full suite of skills (especially data processing and analytics). DroneCamp covers entire workflow, and will connect you with researchers and people just like yourself interested in converting raw data into actionable information for management and research.

Will I learn how to fly a drone?

Normally yes, but unfortunately not this year!

Will we learn how to build a drone? How to take and edit drone video?

No. The focus of DroneCamp is on using drones for mapping and data collection. Although some of the workshop at DroneCamp will apply to building drones and videography, there are other courses out there that are better suited for those topics.

Will this course allow me to legally fly drones for my work?

The short answer is no. To legally fly a drone for any other non-recreational purpose (with the possible exception of students doing research), you must hold a remote pilot license from the FAA (aka Part 107). This requires passing a written exam. There will be a workshop at DroneCamp on regulations, including tips for preparing for the Part 107 exam. This will help you prepare for the exam, but you'll still need to study and take the exam at a FAA approved test center.

Can I get continuing education credits for this course?

We do not have continuing education agreements in place, but if you can provide details about what you need in terms of documentation, we would be happy to share the program description and curricula with the certifying entity. Contact us for details. Certificates of attendance will be provided for all those who complete the program.


Which software will we use?

There will be workshops for stitching drone images using Pix4Dmapper, Agisoft Metashape, and ArcGIS Pro. Analysis workshops will use ArcGIS Pro and QGIS. See the workshop descriptions for details.

Can I take all the workshops?

Some of the sessions have concurrent workshos, so you can only attend one. However the presentations and exercises for all workshops will be availble on the website, and recordings of most sessions will be available to registered participants within a few hours.

What kind of computer setup do I need?

For the lecture style workshops, any computer or mobile device that can run Zoom should work fine. A second monitor is recommended (but not required) for the hands-on workshops, so you can view the slides / speaker / workshop handout in one window, and run the photogrammetry / GIS software in the other.

For the hands-on workshops, you'll need to install software to follow-along. In general, photogrammetry software like Pix4D and Agisoft Metashape are the most demanding, and requires at least 8Gb of RAM and roughly 20Gb of hard drive space for the program and workshop data.

Deskstop GIS workshops includes ArcGIS Pro and QGIS 3.x.

With the exception of QGIS, all software is for Windows only.

How do I get the software? Do I have to buy anything?

Pix4Dmapper is available as a 15-day trial (potentially extendable for another 10 days). Don't start your trial too early!, or it'll be expired by the time DroneCamp comes around.

Agisoft Metashape is available for a 30-day free trial. Don't start your trial too early!

ArcGIS Pro. The ArcGIS workshops at DroneCamp will involve ArcGIS Pro desktop software (hence an ESRI account that does not include the desktop software will not be sufficient). ESRI has a 21-day ArcGIS Trial program, however they are temporarily limiting this to organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However they are currently giving out free software licenses to all students, including ArcGIS Pro desktop software, through August 31, 2020 through Learn ArcGIS. Many colleges and universities also provide licenses to ArcGIS software. For non-students, a personal use license for ArcGIS Pro costs $100 a year. If none of these options work, we can provide temporary 14-day ArcGIS Pro licenses to registered DroneCamp participants (contact us for details).

QGIS is open source software and free to download and use.

Is there a VM image or cloud environment with all the software loaded I can use?

We're looking into this, but do not have a VM option at this time.

Will the night-flying workshop allow me to legally fly a drone at night?

Short answer: generally yes for students and employees of the University of California who have their Part 107, and generally no for everyone else.

Long answer: Flying at night requires a waiver from the FAA. The night flying workshop at DroneCamp will satisfy the training requirement to fly at night if you are covered by the University of California's night flying Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA. That means you if take the workshop, and if you are covered by the UC COA (all UC students and employees are elligble), and if you have your Part 107 license, and if you install the required lighting equipment on your drone and follow all the rules, then you can fly legally at night.

If you belong to an organization that does not have a night flying COA with the FAA, you can still take the workshop to find out what a night-flying COA is and how to get one.

Will the sessions be recorded?

Yes. All sessions will be recorded and shared with registered participants as soon as we get them from Zoom (within a couple of hours). Recordings will also be posted on YouTube by the end of the summer, pending instructor consent and quality issues.

Registration & Fees

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept credit card, checks, and inter-campus transfer among UC campuses. If you pay by check on campus transfer, additional information will be provided on the confirmation screen.

Is payment required at the time of registration?

No, however you won't able to register for Zoom or sign-up for workshops that have a cap until payment is received.

My organization only pays for training after its completed, so paying before the event is problematic. What should I do?

Please contact us and we'll work with you to make it work.

How do I get the Zoom info?

After payment is received, you'll receive Zoom links via email. Zoom connection links are unique and can only be used on one device.

Do I need a Zoom account?

No. However when you register for the Zoom meeting(s), you need to provide an email address and join the meeting with the link you receive back.

What is the cancellation policy?

Requests for refunds must be received in writing via email to ANR Program Support. Refunds will be less a $10 processing fee if received on or before June 15. This policy also applies to those who are paying with their UC account. Your account will be charged if you do not cancel on or before June 15.

I am a UC ANR employee - how do I apply for a DroneCamp scholarship?

To apply for the UC ANR Employee Scholarship, please complete this short application. You can apply for the scholarship either before or after registering for DroneCamp. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must appear in the UC ANR Directory.


Why do you call it DroneCamp? Do we have to sleep in tents?

DroneCamp was initially derived from 'Bootcamp', a common label for intensive training in software and data science.

Other questions? Please email dronecamp at ucanr dot edu.