How to use the Drone Site Selection Tool in 3 easy steps

The Drone Site Selection Tool ( is an online map that allows drone pilots to navigate to any location within Canada to help determine where drone flights are prohibited, restricted or potentially hazardous. Created by National Research Council Canada, the tool is easy to use, but many people may not be aware of the addition tools and resources that are available beyond just navigating the map.

How to use the Drone Site Selection Tool in 3 easy steps

Step 1: Navigate to where you want to fly your drone. Use your mouse to pan, and the Ctrl key and mouse scroll wheel together to zoom in or out. You can change the background map via the drop down menu in the top right corner of the map. My personal favorite map background is Night.

Step 2: In the Operations Details tab select your category of operations, basic or advanced. As each category of operation contains different sets of rules that pilots must follow, the selection will change the category of airspace on the map.

Step 3: There are two main tools that are provided that can assist drone pilots with the planning of their operation. These two tools are operation design tools and operation measure tools. Both can be enabled within the Operations Details tab. Simply make sure both the Show Operation Design Tools and Show Measurement Tool boxes are checked. Checking these two boxes enables additions tools for planning your operation. Note that these tools are only available once you’ve zoomed in on the map past a certain level.

Using the Operation Measure Tool

This tool allows you to measure the distance between two points on the map. To start, right-click to set the first marker. Right-slick again to set your second marker. The distance in meters between the two markers will be displayed on the top center of the map. You can adjust the location of each marker by dragging them to a new location. Un-checking the checkbox will remove the markers from the map.

Using the Operation Design Tools

These tools allow you delineate the boundaries of your operation, either by drawing a polygon or a circle. Both shapes can be adjusted by dragging their vertices. You will then be provide with a list of coordinates that bound your operation area.

This tool is still under development and future tools may be added. In addition, reading through the help and frequently asked questions sections are recommended.