Data Upload: Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does it Take To Process Data?

We invest much time and care into your data and do our best to process it successfully. However, the data uploaded sometimes makes it difficult to get adequate results. To ensure that we can turn around data in the most timely fashion and avoid any disappointment for yourself and your clients, it’s worth keeping the following things in mind. 


If the data is in a usable format, the Propeller platform can have it processed and viewable within 24 hours. If you need the data within a shorter timeframe than this, let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Sometimes, for any number of reasons, the processing may take longer than 48 hours. This is most often caused by issues with the data and a higher level of manual intervention required from our data team. 

Inspections and tiling of processed data

For inspections, it can vary a bit depending on the number of images in the inspection set, but generally, these can be turned around within a couple of hours. 

Tiling an existing geoTIFF onto our platform often takes the same amount of time or can be even faster.

We cannot process data if:

  • The images are not geotagged. Some software solutions can be used to rectify this at your end, but the best thing to do is ensure that the camera is set up correctly for geotagging.
  • The geotags have severe errors. Some examples include all images geotagged in the same location, all the images are geotagged with the ground height, or the geotags have inverted lat/long values.
  • There is insufficient overlap between images. All images should have at least 70% frontal and 60% side overlap to enable us to process.
  • There are less than 20 photos for a survey dataset.
  • There are less than 10 photos for an inspection dataset
  • GCPs are provided with a local site calibration. The coordinate system of GCP data should have either an EPSG code or a valid definition in a PRJ file.

When would processing be delayed?

  • GCPs are provided, but the coordinate system and height datum they were recorded in are not specified.
  • Only a portion of the images have geotags.
  • The images are blurred.

  • The survey images are of an extremely high-density vegetation area.

Why is the data displayed incorrectly?

  • The image EXIF data offers a negative altitude. This will result in the outputs displaying negative heights. (It is possible for legitimate negative geotags to occur, but this is unlikely unless flying below sea level).
  • Drone data accuracy

How to check the status of a processing dataset

You can check the status of any datasets currently being processed by clicking the DATA PROCESSING tab in the top navigation bar.

Why Doesn't the Data Line Up with the Base Map?

Occasionally, after processing a dataset, when viewed through the platform, it will appear sunken or raised at a different height than the base map.

This can occur for a couple of reasons. Some drone manufacturers record altitude information, which is often relative to the takeoff height, instead of actual GPS altitude information. 

The result is that reconstructions of the site may be inaccurate after processing, and why they are sometimes rendered as "sunken" or "below the ground" is caused by differences between the base map's assumption of a perfect ellipsoidal earth and the actual shape of the planet. 

Your data is presented 100% at the correct actual height. It's just that the base map is slightly off. One method of changing the underlying base map so that the height discrepancy is less obvious it to change the base map to Bing Maps Roads from the Map Settings.

How can I fix it?

With some additional manual steps, this can be resolved. If you are aware of any survey marks or known heights, this can help. If not, we can take rough manual steps to correct this issue for legacy data.

Contiguous image collection

Collecting and uploading a dataset should comprise only one area, not separate distinct regions. If you need to view separate areas in one map, use our Composite Survey tool to merge datasets.

Processing datasets with separated regions of images is much more likely to degrade the accuracy of the whole dataset. If there are holes in the survey you are uploading, please submit more images to fill in the holes or remove the region not connected to the rest of the survey.

If the uploader detects this issue, it will flag the images that are not connected and offer to remove just those images. If you have more to add, the validation will update to reflect that the regions are now connected.

You may receive this warning if you have a dataset with sufficient overlap but is flown much higher than the standard limit for drone operations. Please contact data support using the chat feature in the portal if this is the case to submit the dataset.

Coordinate Reference System Not Showing Up

Enter your site's coordinate reference system (CRS) when uploading survey data. A list of published systems will be available if you use the Propeller Corrections Network. 

If your CRS is not on the list, check the EPSG Code of your ground control points. You can check it through this site:

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, you can connect with our support team by clicking the support button on the top right corner of your user portal.