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LiDAR vs Photogrammetry
17905 28 2015-10-3
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nateweger
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Hello friends, I've got a question about the 3D mapping capabilities of the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced.

What I want to do is create a 3D map of a landscape, specifically sites near bridges over rivers. We are currently using Agisoft Photoscan to combine the EXIF data from the pictures, and Photoscan takes the data and combines it to form a 3D image of the landscape. We are having mixed success with this, and are looking into other options. What I would like to know is if anybody has had any success with using LiDAR on their Phantom. If you have, how did you use it, how did you attach the device to your drone, and what kind of results did you get?

I appreciated anybody's help or insight into the topic.

Also, if anybody has any recommendations for settings to use in Photoscan, that would be appreciated as well. I'm not yet sure which settings work the best, and that is possibly a problem for what we are doing. It takes a long time for things to run and this makes testing different settings difficult.

Thanks for your help,
Nate
2015-10-3
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Sir Edward K
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While it is not LiDar you could possibly use Pix4DMapper it uses the overlapping imagery both end lap and side lap to create a very high density point cloud and looks very impressive.  When mixed with accurate survey grade GPS control points on the ground it could or probably should give you the results you are looking for.   You can download their product to demo with a project they have pre loaded.

The application is kind of expensive $8700 if you want to by the Windows software outright or you can pay a $300 a month (when you use it) subscription.  There is also a per year fee but I can't remember the amount.

https://pix4d.com/download/

I am interested in using the phantom to acquire 3d landscape as well.

Let me know what you find out.

2015-10-3
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timmer
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Has anyone used Altizure?

It's a free app for both Android and iOS.  The Google Play Store shows it has 8 reviews and 7 of them are 5-star, unfortunately I can't figure how to read them.

The Apple App states it does not have enough ratings to display an average.
2015-10-4
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Fulgerite
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It really depends on what the intended use of the finished map is.  Photogrammetry and LIDAR are both acceptable methods for map making.  However LIDAR is inherently more accurate for taking accurate measurements.  Photogrammetry is better suited for making pretty maps that don't need to have the spatial accuracy.  Both methods have strengths and weaknesses.

For 99.999999% of anyone reading this forum LIDAR is completely out of the price range of most DJI customers.  LIDAR scanners are expensive and relatively heavy.  For example... RIEGL USA does manufacture a quad rotor LIDAR system.

http://products.rieglusa.com/pro ... anned-laser-scanner

The price of this RiCopter is well over $300,000

Photogrammetry is the only practical mapmaking method for most readers of this forum.
2015-10-4
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nateweger
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Sir Edward K Posted at 2015-10-3 16:25
While it is not LiDar you could possibly use Pix4DMapper it uses the overlapping imagery both end la ...

This is similar to Agisoft Photoscan and we are looking into using this as well, from most of what I've read though people prefer Photoscan over Pix4D.
2015-10-4
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nateweger
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timmer Posted at 2015-10-4 10:30
Has anyone used Altizure?

It's a free app for both Android and iOS.  The Google Play Store shows it ...

I'll look into this, it looks similar to the Pix4D mobile app. It would be nice if Pix4D had an app for the P3 but they haven't gotten past the P2+ yet.
2015-10-4
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nateweger
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Fulgerite Posted at 2015-10-4 11:01
It really depends on what the intended use of the finished map is.  Photogrammetry and LIDAR are bot ...

Accuracy is what we are going for. $300,000 is definitely over our budget

We are looking into something like the LidarPod http://www.routescene.com/products/product/uav-lidarpod/
or the Lidar Puck http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/lidar-for-7999

We are also considering buying a new drone that comes with Lidar capabilities. Does anybody have ideas or suggestions about this?  Has anybody used the DJI S1000? http://www.phoenix-aerial.com/index.php?cID=163

Thanks!
2015-10-4
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terrylewis
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nateweger@gmail Posted at 2015-10-5 03:49
Accuracy is what we are going for. $300,000 is definitely over our budget

We are looking into s ...

A couple of threads were discussing a 3rd Party vendor -> MapsMadeEasy. Don't know if this is even relative to your topic!

I've never used them nor know any details about their products but their samples looked interesting -> Samples
such as the 17 Acre Excavation Site - January 22, 2015 or the Seminole Valley Park - 3D Model Preview - October 21, 2012
2015-10-4
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Sir Edward K
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nateweger@gmail Posted at 2015-10-4 14:39
I'll look into this, it looks similar to the Pix4D mobile app. It would be nice if Pix4D had an ap ...

Pix4d's app for P3 is in beta now.  Was waiting to see what I could do with that before I tried working with it.  Actually you can get pretty accurate 3d point cloud as long as you have the overlap correct and accurate survey grade GPS control points.  I am a Land Surveyor and I have used software from regular aerial photography for years and with enough ground control and the right overlap you can get good accuracy where it is not just a pretty map.
2015-10-4
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Sir Edward K
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nateweger@gmail Posted at 2015-10-4 14:49
Accuracy is what we are going for. $300,000 is definitely over our budget

We are looking into s ...

Now the Phoenix type system is the way II would lean if I felt comfortable with the "Drone Laws" but being a private "sole proprietor" business I will have to wait and see how everything shakes out.  But I am really thinking about giving the Pix4D a try on a drainage survey I have coming up.  I am thinking of flying it with the phantom and processing the data to see how well it matches with the data I collect using our VRS Now survey grade Trimble GPS units.

2015-10-4
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nateweger
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Sir Edward K Posted at 2015-10-4 16:08
Now the Phoenix type system is the way II would lean if I felt comfortable with the "Drone Laws" b ...

Turns out the Phoenix is between $80,000 and $250,000, and the DJI S1000 was what was $15,000. That changes things. Probably not going with Phoenix now. Will look more into the Lidar pucks though, those are supposed to be cheaper and still very accurate.
2015-10-4
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Fulgerite
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nateweger@gmail Posted at 2015-10-4 14:16
Turns out the Phoenix is between $80,000 and $250,000, and the DJI S1000 was what was $15,000. Tha ...

The Velodyne Puck has a maximum range of 100 meters.  Probably more like 60 to 80 meters in typical use.
2015-10-4
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mike.wildlight
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Look up MapsMadeEasy, They are on this forum.
Maps Made Easy (Really!)

I've been Beta testing their P3 App for a few days now and am REALLY impressed.
2015-10-4
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nateweger
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Fulgerite Posted at 2015-10-4 18:33
The Velodyne Puck has a maximum range of 100 meters.  Probably more like 60 to 80 meters in typica ...

That should be high enough. How would a puck connect to the drone?
2015-10-5
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nateweger
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mike.wildlight Posted at 2015-10-5 01:27
Look up MapsMadeEasy, They are on this forum.
Maps Made Easy (Really!)

I've been getting a lot of suggestions to look into this so I will
2015-10-5
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Andrei
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Speaking of the resulting map accuracy,  it is possible to get it comparable to that of a total station (2mm horizontal, 0.1 mm vertical).
According to this article https://www.sensefly.com/news-si ... curate-3d-data.html.   

I use self made hexcopter (APM based) with Sony NEX-5n on it  and free  image processing software  (VisualSFM + CMPMVS;  Bundler PPT + Meshlab) for mapping.   

There is another cloud based service http://go.skycatch.com/surveying1 ,  but I have no experience with it.
And one more example of LiDar solution, couldn't find the price of it  though.  http://scan-copter.4d-it.com
2015-10-5
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Sir Edward K
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mike.wildlight Posted at 2015-10-5 01:27
Look up MapsMadeEasy, They are on this forum.
Maps Made Easy (Really!)

I thought maps made easy was just for aerial mosaics. do they also process for 3d surfaces.  I did not think so.
2015-10-5
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Sir Edward K
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Andrei Posted at 2015-10-5 12:10
Speaking of the resulting map accuracy,  it is possible to get it comparable to that of a total stat ...

Now that is interesting. Can't get that image quality out of this P3 but that is similar to what I was thinking about.  Not for construction but for drainage planning.  I think I read about this before and they flew at 50 feet AGL.
2015-10-5
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mike.wildlight
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Sir Edward K Posted at 2015-10-6 03:48
I thought maps made easy was just for aerial mosaics. do they also process for 3d surfaces.  I did ...

Much more

It's straight forward, Easy and economical

BTW I am a customer of MME, but otherwise have no financial interest in them. Actually, wouldn't mind changing that... I think they're on to something.

MAps Made Easy Output

MAps Made Easy Output
2015-10-5
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woshiwangwang
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Hi, Nate. I am also trying to do 3D mapping with DJI. I studied some softwares, such as Pix4D and Photoscan, they can do very well if you got very good overlapping pictures.

Lidar is more accurate but much much more expensive. Some exist products, such as Phoenix, the price is around 100k.
And most Lidars exceeds the maximum weight which P3 can carry.

Recently, I found a low cost lidar, price is only 100USD.  http://pulsedlight3d.com/products/lidar-lite.html

The parameters is not beautiful in comparison with other more advance Lidars, range is only 40m and the accuracy is 2.5cm, but both enough for me. I am going to attach this LIDAR with DJI to do 3D mapping.
2015-10-20
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cvcaedo
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woshiwangwang Posted at 2015-10-21 12:59
Hi, Nate. I am also trying to do 3D mapping with DJI. I studied some softwares, such as Pix4D and Ph ...

Hi, have you had success installing the lidar lite v2 blue label to the phantom?  have 2 phantom 3 pros that we are using in the phils for basic geologic surveying.  hoping to attach lidar to do 3d mapping. thanks
2016-3-17
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Geebax
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cvcaedo@gmail.c Posted at 2016-3-18 12:55
Hi, have you had success installing the lidar lite v2 blue label to the phantom?  have 2 phantom 3 ...

This is a very old post, do not expect an answer, the member may have left the forum by now.
2016-3-17
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woshiwangwang
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cvcaedo@gmail.c Posted at 2016-3-18 09:55
Hi, have you had success installing the lidar lite v2 blue label to the phantom?  have 2 phantom 3 ...

yes, I can install it in my Phantom 3 pro. For your consideration, I used an Arduino to read the lidar data with a GPS module to get xy locations. All the data can be logged into a microSD card.

But I think the disadvantage of this configuration is that  I can only get one point in one position. That means I need to fly a lot to get larger spatial coverage.

2016-3-22
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RockyMountain O
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woshiwangwang Posted at 2016-3-22 22:45
yes, I can install it in my Phantom 3 pro. For your consideration, I used an Arduino to read the l ...

Your UAV mounted LiDAR will never - can never - be as accurate as a photomosaic tied to ground control points (GCPs).  Here's why... LiDAR is inherently extremely accurate - sub-centimeter resolution.  The problem is: Your UAV GPS that you're hanging it from... is not.  The GPS on a Phantom 3 or ANY UAV or plane is only accurate (best case) to within 3 meters in the X&Y and more than that in the Z.  If they are radio connected to an expensive DGPS or RTK (Google it), then that increases the accuracy by several magnitudes, BUT as they are moving, there is still a great deal of error introduced.  Even plane mounted LiDAR must be corrected from known GCPs before it is usable for most applications. On the other hand, a properly shot (70-80% overlapped photomosaic surface tied to known (surveyed) ground control points, can get you to within 3-5 cm resolution, which is certainly good enough for most aerial surveying applications.  We have it all where I work (a very large mining operation).  We survey our GCPs with Trimble DGPS gear and it's accurate to within 2-3 cm and the photomosaic accurate to within 2-5 cm.  If you need tighter resolution than this (cadastral surveys), forget about anything in the air.
2016-6-8
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campatterson
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For those interested in this thread, I will summarize some of my experiences with lidar, photogrammetry, and ground control software for the Phantom3Pro. I fly the P3P to collect orthophotography (terrain corrected, map-accurate nadir aerial photography) for wetland restoration projects where modeling the topography and vegetation is the objective. For some projects, I have airborne lidar, groundscan lidar, and precision GPS surveyed ground control targets all available for the project.
I flight plan a site in ArcGIS or Google Earth, and save the flight-line endpoints to a KML file using a spacing appropriate to the planned altitude, angle of view (91deg diagonal), desired ground pixel height, and length appropriate to my planned flight speed. I import the KML into Litchi Mission Planner online, then save and sync the flight plans (up to four for each of my batteries) to my android device running the Litchi app. I use the editor in the Litchi app to make sure my waypoints are at the desired altitude and other mission settings are correct. When I fly the mission, I set the camera for interval timer mode, typically using 2 or 3 second intervals, and begin collecting imagery when the drone reaches the first way point. I use curved turns to avoid having the drone stop at waypoints. For processing, I use Pix4D ($350/mo rental) and incorporate GPS surveyed ground control. I have found that missions flown at 100' AGL and 14mph with a 2 second interval and 60' flightline spacing yields an excellent orthophoto mosaic at 1" cell resolution or smaller, and the 3D photogrammetric point cloud compares favorably to airborne lidar at 1' DEM cell resolution, and is nearly identical to the ground scan lidar at 1' (while the ground scan lidar resolves the terrain down to less than 1" with mm vertical accuracy within 100' of each scanner setup. the main disadvantage of photogrammetric mass points versus lidar is in dealing with vegetation. I have found the airborne data to be superior for running non-ground point removal algorithms in most cases, but have not yet tried developing ground models from orthoimagery flown beneath the tree canopy.
2016-11-27
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nfguie
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Anyone looking for an affordable RTK GPS system for placing GCP's for your maps? Check this out.
www.alliantuav.com/product/reach-rs/
2017-4-28
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JBinFla
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Since I came here looking for similar topics, even though this is an old one I'll go ahead and add to it.

I bought the P4 for the purpose of analyzing the accuracy and precision of orthophotographs using consumer hardware.  I used Agisoft Photoscan instead of Pix4D but the process should be similar.  Using GNSS RTN control points (horizontal residuals in the 0.05' range) I achieved an orthophoto  absolute relative positional accuracy of 0.06'.  Basically, I achieved results which were very much in line with the GNSS control I was using.  I was quite surprised at the results, and from a $799 drone no less.  

Of course, this used ground control, flying heights were only 100' and front/side lap was at 70% but my GSD (pixel size) was 0.4-inch.  I used the DroneDeploy free app for mission planning and setting up my flights.  The flying was simple, the drone took off and flew it's course unaided and landed back where it started.  These photos all had the EXIF data so can use with other applications besides drone deploy.  A formal paper and presentation of my results was written and last week I presented it to the Geomatics board at the University of Florida.
2017-4-28
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hacklab
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Several Links pn this do not work, post is old, so I'm hacking this now for around $300  , work with me.

thehacklab.org
2017-10-13
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Aerial-Image
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Groundstation Pro and Dronedeploy work great for me....
2017-10-13
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