How to use GCPs for processing on PIX4Dcloud


Ground control points (GCPs) can be used for processing on PIX4Dcloud:

  • They need to be marked using PIX4Dmapper beforehand when processing on PIX4Dcloud.
  • They can be inserted and automatically detected on PIX4Dcloud Advanced using the AutoGCPs detection functionality.

This article focuses on how to use GCPs for processing on PIX4Dcloud without the flexibility of the AutoGCPs detection functionality that PIX4Dcloud Advanced offers. For more information about how to take advantage of this function: AutoGCPs detection functionality.

Access: To follow the workflow described in this article, both a PIX4Dmapper and a PIX4Dcloud license are needed.
Note: It is not required to process the project on PIX4Dmapper. Opening the project, adding and marking the GCPs is sufficient.

1. Open the project using PIX4Dmapper:

2. On the menu bar, click Project > GCP / MTP Manager...
3. Select the GCP coordinate system.
4. Import the GCPs coordinates. For more information: How to import and mark ground control points (GCPs)
5. In the window GCP/MTP Manager, click Basic Editor...
6. In the section GCP/MTP Table, select the GCP to be marked.

7. In the section Images, sort the list:

sort_by_alphabet.png By name: The images are sorted alphabetically.
sort_by_gcp.png By distance to GCP: Images closer to the GCP are listed first. This sorting can be used only if the images and GCPs are geolocated using a known coordinate system. This is the default sorting mode.
sort_by_image.png By distance to the marked image: When an image is selected and a GCP is marked on it, this option lists the images that are closer to the currently selected image. This sorting can be used only if the images are geolocated.

8. In the section Images, select the image on which the GCP should be marked. After the selection, the image is displayed in the Preview section.
9. Navigate in the image by:

  • Zoom in: Moving the mouse scroll wheel forwards.
  • Zoom out: Moving the mouse scroll wheel backwards.
  • Pan: Using the mouse left click.
  • Zoom in quickly on a specific point in the image: Point with the mouse the point and hit the Alt key. When the key is released, the view returns to the last zoom level.
  • Zoom out to preview the zero zoom level: Hit the Shift key. When the key is released, the view returns to the last zoom level.

10. Left-click on the image to mark the point. If needed, remove a mark by clicking trashbin.png.

11. In the Images section, select the next image on which the GCP should be marked.

Note: A GCP does not need to be marked on all images in which it appears. Ideally, mark a GCP on 3 to 8 images (minimum is 2).

12. Repeat steps 8 to 11 for the other GCPs.
13. Click OK.
14. On the menu bar, click Project > Save Project.
15. Ensure Step 1 is marked for processing. Mark Step 2 and 3 upon need.
16. Upload the project from PIX4Dmapper to PIX4Dcloud. For more information: How to upload project files from PIX4Dmapper to PIX4Dcloud.
17. After the project finishes processing successfully, the Geolocation details can be checked in the .PDF quality report that can be downloaded from the Files > Results section of the PIX4Dcloud project.


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Article feedback (for troubleshooting, post here instead)


  • Zach Mellott

    I get this message when trying to upload to the cloud after these steps "Error e0502b: Project XXX failed to upload

  • Alice (Pix4D)

    Hi Zach,

    you are uploading from Pix4Dmapper, where you are logged in with a Discovery license, that's why you cannot upload to the Cloud. Please, log out and log in with the Mapper license. Let me know if you still have issues

  • Susan Myers

    Upon seeing the solution after processing a project on the cloud, if one wants to modify the GCPs or output selections used for a project that has been uploaded and processed in the cloud, is it possible to do so without creating a new cloud project? 

    Is it possible to process one step of a project at a time on the cloud?  Such as processing step 1, or steps 1 and 2, then download the project, edit the point cloud, then upload back to the cloud to process step 3?  If not, is this possibility being considered for the future?  

    Thank you.

  • Holden (Pix4D)

    Hi Susan. This currently isn't possible. The cloud, as it is now, is best suited for tasks where the processing options and GCPs are integrated locally then uploaded for processing. The cloud team is working to improve cloud functionality and you can provide your suggestion at the link below.

  • Edgar Teyssier

    Hola buenas tardes , tengo un problema grave traigo un error de 5.30 en z vuelo con ebbe pluss con rtk y una geobase y PPK , procese el paso 1 y 2  checo el punto deseado para compararlo con mi gps  de presicion 

    Por otra parte yo tome lecturas con un GPS  de presicion  y al comparar el punto con en Z es muy grande el error que estara pasando no da la presicion quien me puede ayudar

  • Jose Ripio

    Pix4D Cloud should allow users to import GCPs UTM coordinates and use them to improve accuracy

  • Daniel (Pix4D)

    @Edgar, por favor abra un nuevo post con su pregunta en la Community en español ya que este artículo se refiere a como utilizar puntos de control en la nube. Muchas gracias!

    @Jose Ripio, for now, in order to use GCPs in the cloud and improve the accuracy, it is necesary to create the project in desktop and upload it. They can be defined in any projected coordinate system, including UTM. Please have a look at this article.


  • jan opdecam

  • jan opdecam


    I can not uploade my project to the cloud.


  • Alice (Pix4D)

    Hi Jan,

    Can you open a ticket and give us more details?

    How many images does your project have? Can you tell us which is the error you are receiving in the Log Output or can you send a screenshot of the error? Can you also send us the p4d file of the project? Thank you

  • jan opdecam

    Hi Alice,

    I am interested to upload my project to the cloud with the GCP points, especially you can only make quick profiles when processed in the cloud (with GCP points).

    I've marked the gcp points on my Laptop but uploaded to the cloud was unable.

  • Avatar
    Marco (Pix4D)

    Hi Jan,

    If you want to use GCPs in the Cloud, it is recommended to process locally (or on the Cloud and then download the project) the step 1 and then mark the GCPs save and then upload your project in the Cloud to process step 2 and 3.

    However it seems that you have issue uploading your projects in the Cloud and at this stage it is difficult to understand what is going on.
    As suggested above, could you please send us a ticket here so we can investigate?
    Thank you


  • Joshua Ogwal

    Are the Pix4D trial versions still on. I signed up and this does not allow me to create a new folder or upload any images. What could be the issue. Screenshot below

  • Zendesk Admin Service Account

    Hi Joshua,

    I could not find a trial license assigned to your email address. Please contact our sales team to get one and try Pix4Dcloud. 

  • Jonathan Lachance

    Is it possible to use the manual GCP workflow in this article with only a Pix4D cloud license ? Can we log in Pix4D mapper to do this workflow without a Pix4D Mapper license ?

    Auto GCP feature in the Pix4D cloud advanced looks great, but won't work if you use the old method of simply paint a big "X" on the ground as a GCP.

  • Alice (Pix4D)

    Hi Jonathan Lachance,

    To do this workflow you need both a Pix4Dmapper and a Pix4Dcloud license. I have updated the content of the article based on your feedback. 

  • Moshe Hollander

    I have noticed that there is an option for auto-GCP detection. Is there any way to bypass the 'automatic' option and manually insert GCPs without having first gone through the desktop Pix4Dmapper software?

  • Alice (Pix4D)

    Hi Moshe Hollander

    No, if you don't use the AutoGCPs detection functionality, the only way to integrate GCPs into your project is by using Pix4Dmapper first. What is the reason why you would prefer the manual procedure rather than the automatic one?

  • Jonathan Lachance

    For me, to answer the previous question about "What is the reason why you would prefer the manual procedure rather than the automatic one?" is because I am not using the standard GCP image model supported by PIX4D. I just paint a giant X on the ground.

    Why ? Sometimes I have to come back and restart or complete the drone survey because the day before some images were blurry, I didn't have enough batteries, the weather was bad .... Since the painted GCP are still on the ground, I can complete the survey without installing and measuring new GCP coordinates, which takes a long time.

    AutoGCP's detection functionality looks great, but for me, because in the real world issues arise and you have to restart or complete a survey and can't use a standard GCP patern supported by PIX4D, manual GCP tagging is important.

    I had to stop using PIX4D cloud for this reason. There are many other cloud solution company supporting manual GCP marking. When PIX4D will support it, I will be happy to come back.

  • Moshe Hollander


    The main reason is that we have targets that don't match the required 'template' as per the Pix4D guide, both in terms of the physical target itself as well as the GCP pattern. Being able to manually enter GCPs would be very useful.

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