Site Scan for ArcGIS

Site Scan for ArcGIS: Frequently Asked Questions

Site Scan for ArcGIS is a new Esri product that provides a complete, end-to-end workflow for acquiring and processing drone imagery, working with the resulting data products, and managing your drone assets.  To better introduce Site Scan, we’ve answered some of your frequently asked questions.

(If you’re already using Site Scan for ArcGIS, you may also want to check out our latest technical support articles, or web courses on getting started or creating imagery products with Site Scan for ArcGIS.)

Screenshots of SIte Scan apps for working with drone imagery

What does Site Scan for ArcGIS do?

Site Scan for ArcGIS provides drone flight planning, fleet management, image processing, and analysis capabilities as Software as a Service (SaaS).  Site Scan delivers a complete end-to-end solution for drone imaging projects.

With Site Scan, drone operators can:

Is Site Scan for ArcGIS an app, an ArcGIS Desktop extension, or something else?

Site Scan for ArcGIS consists of two applications:

How do Site Scan for ArcGIS licenses work?

There are currently three license types:

Which drones are supported in Site Scan Flight Planning?

Two additional drones are supported with “Beta mode” enabled (no testing conducted on these aircraft at this time):  DJI Phantom 4 Advanced and Mavic Pro.

If you use an unsupported drone, you won’t be able to capture data with Site Scan Flight Planning, but you will be able to process images using Site Scan Manager if the raw photos have GPS metadata tagged in the EXIF.

What types of imagery can I process with Site Scan Manager?

Images must be geotagged JPEG files. You can process thermal and multispectral imagery. Video cannot be processed into maps and models, but can be used in conjunction with geospatial video logs recorded on the flight planning app to be used with FMV tools in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.

How accurate are the data outputs?

Using ground control points (GCPs), accuracy of 1 cm/ 0.2 inches or better can be achieved vertically and horizontally. Accuracy can be validated using the “Checkpoint” Site Scan feature.

How can I access and share the resulting imagery products?

The output data products from a drone flight (the orthomosaic, DTM, DSM, point cloud, and textured mesh) are stored in the cloud, and can be viewed in Site Scan Manager. They can also be published to ArcGIS Online and shared within your organization or with the public.

How much data can I process and store? Will ArcGIS credits be consumed?

Site Scan for ArcGIS includes unlimited processing and unlimited drone data storage. ArcGIS credits are only consumed when data is published to ArcGIS Online.

How long does it take to process data?

This can vary, but generally it takes about one hour per 150–200 images processed to received processed outputs.

Do I need ArcGIS Image Server to run Site Scan for ArcGIS?

No.  Site Scan is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS)—Esri provides all storage and computing resources for you. Users of the Site Scan Manager web app can visualize and work with drone imagery and products without any other software.

However, there are cases where you may benefit from having additional ArcGIS products. Site Scan Manager can publish imagery directly to your ArcGIS Enterprise portal or ArcGIS Online organization. ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Image Server can be helpful for managing large data collections and sharing them as dynamic image services—benefits include consolidating many dates into one single image service layer, or adding raster functions for on-the-fly processing.

Do I need Site Scan for ArcGIS if I already have ArcGIS Drone2Map?

No.  Like Site Scan Manager, Drone2Map allows you to create 2D and 3D image products from drone imagery.

Users of Drone2Map may benefit from using Site Scan LE (Limited Edition), a free flight planning application for Drone2Map users available in the Apple App Store.  It contains the same flight planning features as Site Scan Flight Planning, but does not include the cloud connectivity and processing functionality.

There are cases where you may benefit from having both Drone2Map for ArcGIS and Site Scan for ArcGIS, which have differences that can complement each other. Drone2Map is a powerful tool for immediate use in the field, while project data may be processed later in the cloud using Site Scan.

Drone2Map supports disconnected use in the field.  A drone pilot can use Drone2Map to rapidly process a project immediately after a flight to confirm the full site was covered.

Site Scan Manager creates many of the same data products as Drone2Map, but is a more comprehensive solution with additional capabilities, including:

What does Site Scan for ArcGIS have to do with ArcGIS Drone Collections?

Site Scan can be purchased and deployed independently of other Esri products, but many organizations use other GIS capabilities from Esri, so it makes sense to purchase Site Scan as part of a bundle. ArcGIS Drone Collections includes four different “bundles” of drone-related software products from Esri that address the needs of different organizations—small or large, processing data locally or in the cloud.

How can I see a demonstration of Site Scan for ArcGIS? 

Please request a demonstration through your organization’s account manager at Esri.

About the authors

Emily is a product manager for the Imagery team; ask her about tools and best practices for working with imagery and rasters in ArcGIS.

Jeremiah Johnson works within Esri's Imagery and Remote Sensing team, specializing in drone solutions. In 2015, Jeremiah was honored to have been named one of the “Top 40 Geospatialists under 40” by xyHt Magazine. Jeremiah holds a degree in Spatial Sciences from Texas A&M University and is a certificated airplane pilot, in addition to holding a remote pilot rating. Jeremiah is based in Esri's Berkeley, California office.

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Laurent Pondevie
Laurent Pondevie

Hi. I manage an ArcGIS Enterprise portal and have drone pilots using SiteScan. What level of ‘User Type’ in Portal do they need to do something useful like publish? Is ‘Field Worker’ adequate? Are you able to provide a list of functions? I haven’t had experience in SiteScan so very new for me.

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