Terrain Elevation

Terrain elevation is crucial for planning and flying in hilly area, especially autonomous waypoint flights. It helps judging elevation of mountain or valley without guesswork for shooting safer and focusing better on target/POI. Terrain elevation is fully integrated in Mission Planner without requiring Google Earth, web browser nor any other apps/tools. 

  • When "Show Elevation" option is enabled in Settings | Configuration menu and with internet connection, Mission Planner would retrieve elevation data from multiple DEM (Digital Elevation Model) sources automatically. Additional ground level elevation of Home, Waypoint, Target (POI) and AGL (Above Ground Level) values are shown on the map. When you save a mission, ground level elevation of all waypoints, targets and panoramas are also saved in mission file for offline use. However, it does NOT cache elevation data for the entire terrain (like Google Map) in the app. 
  • In most area of North American and European countries, DEM resolution is about 30m (30m x 30m). DEM resolution of other countries might be down to 90m (90m x 90m). If a waypoint set above a small area lower than DEM resolution, then it might not report the correct ground level elevation.


  • Home Elevation: Elevation of planned home point. Once home point is changed or updated upon connecting to RC/aircraft, the elevation and all corresponding AGL of waypoints and targets (POIs) are updated accordingly. The screenshot shows 693m elevation at home point.
  • Waypoint Ground Elevation: Ground level elevation of waypoint. The screenshot shows 794m at waypoint-1 and 884m at waypoint-2 respectively.
  • Target (POI) Ground Elevation: Ground level elevation of target (POI). The screenshot shows 932m at target-1, which is a weather radar station at the peak of mountain. With accurate target (POI) ground elevation, Auto-Tilt gimbal control can focus the targets right at the center of your footage even in various elevation terrain. 
  • Height: This is standard DJI planned Height of waypoints and targets above/below home point (as known as AHL - Above Home Level). All waypoint/target/panorama height settings are based on home point. The screenshot shows 150m at waypoint-1 and 180m at waypoint-2 respectively. When you set/adjust the height of waypoint/target/panorama, AGL of waypoint/target/panorama is updated accordingly. 
  • AGL (Above Ground Level): This is planned altitude of waypoints and targets above/below the terrain (calculated per Home Elevation + Height - Waypoint/Target Ground Elevation). The screenshot shows 49m at waypoint-1 and -11m at waypoint-2 respectively, while negative value means below terrain elevation. If we fly this mission, aircraft will crash into mountain/tree between waypoint-1 and waypoint-2. AGL also excludes trees, buildings, power line towers or any obstacles in the field, which should be taken into account in planning stage.  

  • Elevation of waypoint, target or panorama might show NA (Not Applicable) if it's unable to get valid elevation data probably due to no/slow internet connection or invalid elevation. If elevation is NA, then the corresponding AGL would show NA. If some elevations showing NA even with proper internet connection, you may save the mission and re-open it to force retrieving elevation data again.

  • When there is no internet connection in the field and home point is changed/updated upon connecting to RC/aircraft, home point elevation is shown with additional ** as offline indicator. All waypoint, target and panorama AGL would be shown with ** offline indicator for reference. You should judge the planned home point elevation against the updated elevation to determine whether you need to adjust the Height of all waypoints, targets and panoramas in Waypoint tab by batch.