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Photogrammetry apps - Suggestions and experience with ODM?
3037 10 2020-4-11
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GMG
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2815262 ft
Australia
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I'd appreciate some feedback on mapping options with M2P.  I'm helping a charity and have done some photography of their property and I've now been asked if I can map it for them.  They'd like a record, including GPS data and general condition, for site management.  I'd like to be able to send them a report that won't rely on them needing additional software.
Being a charity, I'm not charging them anything and I've been trying to find options that don't involve significant expense.  So far I've tried...

  • Skycatch - Not compatible with my Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Pix4D - I used the Capture app.  This is free.  Easy to use, and I was able to trace out a test area and get up in the air pretty quickly, but the quality of what came back wasn't great and it returned a small subset of what I'd put into the original area to be mapped. So, not great.
  • DroneDeploy - This one looked impressive.  I'd opened an account some time ago and finally decided to use it.  Mapped a test area, nearby.  I was aware that there's a limit of 500 images, so I sketched out an area which showed the image count of around 460.  When I flew the mission it went to over 600 images.  Then when I went to upload the files, I learned that I'd gone over 30 days from when I'd set up the account, and was advised that I'd have to cough up a minimum of $149 (their month-to-month subscription fee).  Not really an option.
  • PrecisionMapper - I'd heard about PrecisionHawk's PrecisionMapper, but haven't been able to download the app. I've emailed their support. A couple years ago, this was a free service, but it looks like PH may be sunsetting it.  If anyone's used it recently, I'd be interested in hearing about their experience.
  • OpenDroneMap (ODM) - I'm using a Mac and am now looking into this. While I'm prepared to use the command line interface, I've got a couple concerns about it and, as I'll really only use this for a handful of jobs, would love feedback on the following, if anyone's tried it:
    - Cludgy-ness - I know I need to download Docker and Python. I've not used these in the past, so I'm not sure how much space and resources this'll take up on my 1Tb 2017 MBP (3.5 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7).  
    - UI - While I'm open to learning new apps and interfaces, I'm not sure how much more of an investment will be required in time to use this, vs. the relatively intuitive interfaces of some of the commercial options. I saw in comments that ODM has continued to improve and evolve.  I'm hoping this includes ease-of-use and would love to know how the current interface stacks up.
    - Export files and reports - I suspect that the reports and objects that I produce will ultimately be be used across a number of relatively non-technical users.  If the outputs can only be exported to relatively technical files, then ODM is unlikely to be an option.
Thanks in advance for any help or feedback.  And if I missed some other free/cheap option, I'd love to hear about it!
Cheers,
GMG

2020-4-11
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djiuser_vZL8fvxwbHuv
New

United States
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I have a Promark warrior drone it is black. When I turn it on and I sink with the drone or do the up and down on the the left stick. After that the controller starts beeping like a smoke alarm. Why is it doing that?
2020-4-12
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pjdrone
lvl.1
Flight distance : 17874 ft

Australia
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I've been poking around in ODM a little bit recently (running a map as I type!). It seems like the only completely opensource/free software available. The other option you might consider is Agisoft Metashape. It has a free trial but I have a feeling you can't get the orthomosaic out of the software because functionality is restricted in the trial. Personal use license is $180USD one-off which might be worth it for you.
As for ODM:
- I wouldn't worry about the cludgy-ness of Python and Docker
- You can run WebODM from your ODM installation. WebODM has a fairly intuitive interface (separate projects, click to select imagery, choose parameters, run, view on map, export)
- The resulting data is in standard GIS format (GeoTIFF) so you can add the imagery to any GIS software such as ArcGIS or QGIS.

That's just the imagery, if you want to do other mapping on top of the imagery you'll have to dip into some GIS stuff. QGIS is open source, so start there. If you want your maps/reports interactive, there's only really ArcGIS Online which will cost you. In QGIS you will be able to create and export the maps as PDF/images.

Does that help?
2020-4-26
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pjdrone
lvl.1
Flight distance : 17874 ft

Australia
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pjdrone Posted at 4-26 17:42
I've been poking around in ODM a little bit recently (running a map as I type!). It seems like the only completely opensource/free software available. The other option you might consider is Agisoft Metashape. It has a free trial but I have a feeling you can't get the orthomosaic out of the software because functionality is restricted in the trial. Personal use license is $180USD one-off which might be worth it for you.
As for ODM:
- I wouldn't worry about the cludgy-ness of Python and Docker

Correction: I should say you can install WebODM if you don't want to run ODM from a terminal
2020-4-26
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izotop
Second Officer
Flight distance : 262182 ft

Slovenia
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add drone harmony to the list. there's basic version for about 30$ or so, and you can do a lot with it.
2020-5-11
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shirleyfamily
lvl.1

Hong Kong
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Photography is the art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is employed in many fields of science, manufacturing (e.g., photolithography), and business, as well as its more direct uses for art, film and video production, recreational purposes, hobby, and mass communication.[1]  Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. With an electronic image sensor, this produces an electrical charge at each pixel, which is electronically processed and stored in a digital image file for subsequent display or processing. The result with photographic emulsion is an invisible latent image, which is later chemically "developed" into a visible image, either negative or positive depending on the purpose of the photographic material and the method of processing. A negative image on film is traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.
2020-5-11
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GMG
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2815262 ft
Australia
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izotop Posted at 5-11 09:35
add drone harmony to the list. there's basic version for about 30$ or so, and you can do a lot with it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOwDHFu3avQ&t=438s

Looks very interesting.  I'm using iOS.  Sadly that's only available on Android (he says, opening the way for the inevitable exchange of
"Android's so good - you should've gone Android!"
"Oh no, it's not!"
"Oh yes, it most certainly is!"
"Isn't!!"....)
2020-5-12
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GMG
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2815262 ft
Australia
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pjdrone Posted at 4-26 18:08
Correction: I should say you can install WebODM if you don't want to run ODM from a terminal

Thanks for the suggestion!
2020-5-12
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izotop
Second Officer
Flight distance : 262182 ft

Slovenia
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GMG Posted at 5-12 21:11
Looks very interesting.  I'm using iOS.  Sadly that's only available on Android (he says, opening the way for the inevitable exchange of
"Android's so good - you should've gone Android!"
"Oh no, it's not!"

i'm using primarily android with m2p (an some ios here and there) without any problem, jus maybe some additional battery drain of the controller.
just don't get this android problem nonsense. i just recently tested some older galaxy tab a on go4, works fine. so, grab some second hand tab for price of the ipad dongle and fly away.
2020-5-16
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Picanoc Jack
Captain
Flight distance : 6621011 ft
Canada
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I have a Samsung galaxy phone, have a mini4 IPad apple, and recently added Epson BT 300 glasses, all working good.
2020-5-19
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A J
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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Thanks for sharing
2020-10-16
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