This Interactive Map Shows Where You Can’t Fly Drones for Aerial Photography


Just got your hands on a drone and can’t wait to use it to shoot aerial photographs? First, make sure you only use it where it can legally fly. If you’re not sure where to look for this info, there’s a new website designed just for you.

It’s called Don’t Fly Drones Here (DFDH), and is an interactive map that shows off limit areas of the US by shading them in with red.


In case you haven’t heard, unmanned drones (e.g. quadcopters and fixed-wing aircraft) are currently the focus of new airspace regulations issued by the FAA. The government is also planning to write a privacy rulebook for aerial drone imaging.

Three of the current no-fly zones are: US national parks, US military bases, and a 5-mile radius around medium-to-large-sized airports.

DFDH is an effort to present no-fly zones around the country in an easily accessible format. Here’s an embedded version of the map (you can find a full-sized one here):

The map is a work in progress, and the project is open to feedback and new data through its Github page. Also, keep in mind that this isn’t a definitive legal map/guide, so it may be beneficial to double-check the information you receive before heading out with your drone and camera.

Don’t Fly Drones Here [Mapbox via Engadget]

  • Rob Wilson

    How do I view Hawaii? When I try dragging the map over there, it jumps back to the mainland?

  • OtterMatt

    Hawaii has no law since Jack Lord left.
    /pop culture’d

  • OtterMatt

    This map would potentially be helpful for municipalities, but the national parks ban has been pretty widely covered in the media, and if you didn’t know that you can’t fly anything near an airport, well… You probably deserve to be arrested at that point.

  • Mojo

    Rim shot!

  • tiny11231

    Gateway National Park in NYC has a RC Airplane runway there, if your in that part of the park you can fly your drones there.

  • SwedishKiwi

    For DJI Phantom owners (and perhaps for their other drones as well), no-fly zones are built-in into the firmware. So the drone will just not fly when you are close to airports. Don’t know if they will implement military bases and national parks as well.

  • Alan Dove

    You could visit and look at your area, then search “aeronautical chart legend” to figure out where the controlled airspace is. Or just call whoever’s responsible for the land you’re planning to fly over, and ask for permission.

    Of course, the people who have the foresight and maturity to use any of these resources aren’t the problem.

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  • Happy Tinfoil Cat

    I live in a no-fly-zone (not Iraq). F’ them! The planes flying overhead are all above 30,000′ and I fly under 400′. If there is a collision, we have far, FAR worse problems.

  • Ace

    What about Call of Duty RC vehicles? XD