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P3 for Photogrammetry
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Now that some of you have gotten your hands on the new phantom units, I have a few questions.

Has anyone tested out the photo outputs with Photoscan or Pix4d?

Is there any quality difference in photos between the Professional and Advance models? They are both listed as 12mp but they must be at least slightly different.

Are photos Geotagged automatically when taken as is the case with the Inspire 1?

If they are in fact Geotagged, are they recording elevation as meters above takeoff or meters above sea level?

Thanks for all info;)


2015-5-4
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gorillafingaz
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I am very interested in this as well and will be experimenting with pix4d once the ios app comes out.
2015-5-4
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FantomDK
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I am almost certain there is no difference in photos between the Professional and the Advanced. To my knowledge they use the exactly same Sony sensor and the same lens. It is likely just a case of DJI nerfing the Advanced models video-capabilities in order to maximize profits by serving the slightly lower end of the market and the slightly higher end of the market who are willing to pay a bit more for the "Pro"features. The hardware is likely virtually equal - which also makes the most sense with regards to keeping production and development costs down. I could be wrong, but I've yet to hear anything that would suggest I am.
2015-5-4
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labroides
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"If they are in fact Geotagged, are they recording elevation as meters above takeoff or meters above sea level?"
They will be geotagged like all other DJI cameras.
Your Phantom has no idea where sea level is.
The only height it is aware of is home point = zero
2015-5-4
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pishposh
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2015-5-5 13:22
"If they are in fact Geotagged, are they recording elevation as meters above takeoff or meters above ...

It doesn't use GPS to calculate altitude?
2015-5-4
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campatterson
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See the other recent posts in this forum from MapsMadeEasy for the facts.

This is from MapsMadeEasy who have tested the P3 for accurate geotags:

"The Inspire 1 came out with its flattened lens for the camera and we thought it might be the platform we were looking for. Its imagery turned out to be some of the best mapping imagery we had processed but even though it recorded its altitude accurately in the geotags, it was still limited by the fact that it recorded the GPS coordinate data in the same manner as the Vision+. We don't know why DJI was limiting the accuracy of this measurement, but it was getting pretty annoying.

"Finally, the Phantom 3 was released and it turns out it has everything we were looking for. It has a similar distortion-free lens to the Inspire 1, records the altitude information and actually records decimal precision GPS location in the geotag! Hallelujah! We got one of the first batches of the new Phantom 3 and immediately took it out into the field for a couple of test mapping missions. The results have been great. "


2015-5-5
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MapsMadeEasy
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We have found the Phantom 3 images to be as good as anything we have seen for photogrammetry.  The image quality and geotags are on par with any of the smaller Canon point and shoots (S100 or SX260).  The actual altitude is recorded and the coordinates have the full precision that is needed to process aerial map imagery, unlike the Vision+ and Inspire 1.

It is still going to be a bit off if you solely rely on the EXIF tags for your georeferencing.

Here are the examples from above that didn't survive the cut and paste:
6.5 Acre Test with Elevation Layer: https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/map ... 4c93580c3acbae9ee9/
Comparison of EXIF tags only vs Basemap Georeferecing (7 points): https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/loc ... 5a39e52ab79da1ba651
2015-5-5
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MapsMadeEasy
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campatterson Posted at 2015-5-5 22:14
See http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=13906&extra=page%3D1&lang=en

This is from Map ...

Hi campatterson,
Thanks for sharing our information on here.  Would you mind editing your post to have the proper link in it?  It looks like it didn't survive the cut and paste and a lot of people are clicking on it and getting a 404 error.

Thanks!
2015-5-5
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campatterson
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-6 01:10
Hi campatterson,
Thanks for sharing our information on here.  Would you mind editing your post to  ...

Oops, sorry! I hope the edits direct everyone with questions about P3's suitability for 3D Vision photogrammetry to your posts. Thanks for posting the answers to questions on the minds of everyone who is serious about mapping with the P3.
2015-5-5
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ditzlerphoto
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-6 00:10
We have found the Phantom 3 images to be as good as anything we have seen for photogrammetry.  The i ...

Thanks for the good news. How do you recommend planning the aerial photo taking mission with the Phantom 3?

In your example did you do that all by hand or do you have some mission planner via the SDK?

thanks
-david
2015-5-6
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campatterson
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ditzlerphoto Posted at 2015-5-7 10:49
Thanks for the good news. How do you recommend planning the aerial photo taking mission with the P ...

Until Pix4D comes out with their new Capture app for DJI P3/I1, you can draw your flightlines on the Map GUI with a straight edge and pointer for 100% or so overlap then use the flight guides to fly the lines with a nadir camera view and an appropriate photo time lapse interval for your expected ground speed to get 100% overlap or so along-track. The new Structure From Motion (SFM) photogrammetric software (Pix4D, Agisoft) likes lots of images and tons of overlap.
2015-5-7
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labroides
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pishposh Posted at 2015-5-5 15:45
It doesn't use GPS to calculate altitude?

It doesn't.
GPS is great for horizontal position but woeful for altitude - can easily be out by 100 feet or more.
That's why the Phantom uses it's barometric altimeter and completely ignores GPS when it comes to altitude.
2015-5-7
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FantomDK
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The P3 (and Inspire 1) lens is not completely "distortion free". If you run it thru e.g. Adobe Lightroom, it even has a lens profile (so far only for the Inspire, but that seems to be the same lens) that removes the distortion and makes it what seems to be perfectly straight/square/distortion free, or how you would put it. It makes images look even more "correct".
2015-5-7
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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy, what am I looking at in your linked file? It looks like a Google Earth map with something overlaid that I can't seem to do anything with. Pardon my ignorance regarding Photogrammetry.
2015-5-7
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FantomDK
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-8 11:54
MapsMadeEasy, what am I looking at in your linked file? It looks like a Google Earth map with someth ...

Try zooming in. You'll notice that the part of the map is suddenly freakishly high quality compared to the regular Google Earth resolution (most places)
2015-5-7
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eedwards
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-6 00:10
We have found the Phantom 3 images to be as good as anything we have seen for photogrammetry.  The i ...

Hi,
I looked at this tool on your website https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/flight_planner
Is there a way to upload the output grid to the phantom 3  and have it fly that planned pattern?
2015-5-8
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dmwierz
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eedwards, I was thinking the same thing, but until the P3 has the ability to fly way points, I don't believe the underlying technology required to do what you're inquiring about will exist.
2015-5-8
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dmwierz
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FantomDK Posted at 2015-5-8 12:52
Try zooming in. You'll notice that the part of the map is suddenly freakishly high quality compare ...

Thanks. NOW I get it. Was that freakishly high quality image manually overlaid on Google Earth?
2015-5-8
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dmwierz
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Fascinating stuff. My day job is in commercial and industrial real estate development, and a tool like this could be invaluable, but I also just looked at the cost of a single seat of Pix4D and think I now also see the market niche MapsMadeEasy might occupy.
2015-5-8
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FantomDK
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-8 22:11
Fascinating stuff. My day job is in commercial and industrial real estate development, and a tool li ...

Yep, it can be and will be highly useful. You can even generate 3D models - say of a building site (do one once a week to track progress?) and many other things.

One of the reasons we don't need draconian regulation and DJI nannying us with no-fly zones. It will halt innovation and a number of benefits to society (besides a lot of fun for non-commercial pilots) that we can't only now begin to imagine.
2015-5-8
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MapsMadeEasy
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eedwards Posted at 2015-5-8 16:47
Hi,
I looked at this tool on your website https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/flight_planner
Is there a  ...

Sorry for the late replies.  It looks like FantomDK handled most of it anyway!

That online tool can be used to output the AWM file that is used with the DJI Ground Station and data link or a KML file that works with the APM Planner software for open source aerial platforms.  Currently there is not a way to load that on to the Phantom 3.

We just finished the area of interest and flight layout tools for the new app and they are looking pretty nice.  DJI just updated their SDK for the Phatom 3 and Inspire 1 so we can start working on that now.
2015-5-8
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MapsMadeEasy
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ditzlerphoto Posted at 2015-5-7 10:49
Thanks for the good news. How do you recommend planning the aerial photo taking mission with the P ...

That was just a quicky run to get some images.  We flew it by hand after getting the pass-to-pass spacing from our Flight Planner tool.  The math is easy with a 90 degree lens.  100m up gives you a wide 200m spot size.  With 100m pass-to-pass spacing, you get your 50% crosstrack overlap.  The weird drawback for now is that the fastest you could set the interval for capturing pictures to was 5 seconds.  You have to fly pretty slowly to get proper overlap at that frame rate.
2015-5-8
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MapsMadeEasy
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FantomDK Posted at 2015-5-8 12:52
Try zooming in. You'll notice that the part of the map is suddenly freakishly high quality compare ...

Thanks for following up for us.  We have done jobs down to .5 cm resolution which is a bit ridiculous but was fun to see it could be done!
2015-5-8
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eedwards
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-9 05:27
Sorry for the late replies.  It looks like FantomDK handled most of it anyway!

That online tool c ...

Pix4D has a mobile Capture app out that makes it easy to create the layout, but only for small areas. Would your proposed app allow for layout planning and capture?
2015-5-9
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FantomDK
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-9 05:33
Thanks for following up for us.  We have done jobs down to .5 cm resolution which is a bit ridicul ...

It is awesome.

Regarding flying speed; couldn't you just take photos manually - which you can do every 1 second or every two seconds for example (at least if doing just JPGs)? Shooting more and having more overlap in the movement direction can't be bad? Unless it makes post-processing more difficult?

I just checked out your website - it is really great by the way - and I looked at the 3D-sample. Can your process add "sides" to the 3D objects - like how even 3D-enabled cities in Google Earth or Apple Maps can (but hopefully at a higher level of detail)? Would there be a process of capturing photos at an angle as well?

Really exciting stuff you have going on. I imagine this would be useful if someone (like myself) would offer building site progress reports or even crop-development overview for clients, you basically offer most of the backend infrastructure? I would mainly just do the flying/photo-capture?

Thanks.
2015-5-9
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MapsMadeEasy
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eedwards Posted at 2015-5-9 21:39
Pix4D has a mobile Capture app out that makes it easy to create the layout, but only for small are ...

eedwards,
Yep. It is already in the works. The attached image is a screen grab of the dynamic survey layout tool.  The orange dots mark the area of interest (tap and hold) the purple dot is the home point and the blue dot is the current location.  Adding or dragging the orange dots to modify the survey boundary does a live update to the planned flight path.  Future additions to the process will include multiple cached maps for fully offline operation, multi battery flight management and automated upload to Maps Made Easy for processing.

Maps Made Easy Ground Station

Maps Made Easy Ground Station

2015-5-9
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MapsMadeEasy
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FantomDK Posted at 2015-5-9 22:30
It is awesome.

Regarding flying speed; couldn't you just take photos manually - which  ...

Controlling the framing speed can be pretty tricky.  Using our Flight Planner, you get the optimal number for the framing interval (eg. 1 frame every 2.36 seconds) but that rarely works out to be something you can set most cameras to do.  We recommend taking images at the next fastest setting available to make  sure you get proper overlap.  When there is no faster setting, you need to fly slower.

I would imagine one could possibly push the picture button every seconds for 15 minutes to do a survey, but that is never going to give repeatable results.  Lag times, poor timing accuracy, getting tired, blah blah  blah.  Our app will address this an frame at the appropriate rate regardless of aircraft speed.

The 3D models you see on the site are simplified models (10k faces) for use as web previews.  The full model is available for download.  We do only currently offer 2.5D models meaning that overhangs or undercut regions are not represented.  The 2.5D is good for creating orthophoto maps and was able to be offered at a reasonably low price point.  We anticipate offering full 3D processing to do so in the future but it will be more expensive since it takes much more processing. We have enabled it for a couple of customers already and it has gone pretty well.

Check out this construction progress map for a shopping center being built in Fort Lauderdale:
https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com/loc ... 9387f1ae5312a2a2da/

All three layers were taken with an Inspire 1.
2015-5-9
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eedwards
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-10 01:04
eedwards,
Yep. It is already in the works. The attached image is a screen grab of the dynamic surve ...

This is EXACTLY the type of app I am looking for !!   It is one of the limitations I had utilizing my credits from the MapsMadeEasy Kickstarter - the ability to fly planned paths with the phantom.  I would love to be part of the beta testing group on this.

Please send me a PM letting me  know how to participate.
2015-5-9
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MapsMadeEasy
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eedwards Posted at 2015-5-10 02:08
This is EXACTLY the type of app I am looking for !!   It is one of the limitations I had utilizing ...

We aren't quite to the beta testing phase yet.  That will likely be a separate thread.  The app will only work with the Phantom 3 and Inspire 1.
2015-5-9
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FantomDK
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I can see how lacking the Groundstation/waypoint functionality in the Pilot app that we got with the Phantom 2 V+ app, must be a problem. Programming the flight, setting speed and letting it take photos automatically sure would be nice for larger areas like that.

A question about the map-viewer. Is it impossible to be able to zoom in further? The image quality looks good enough that it would make sense to take a closer look at details. Also, I noticed that when zoomed in as far as I could, the overlays would disappear - as if they were placed above in a 3D space.
2015-5-9
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MapsMadeEasy
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FantomDK Posted at 2015-5-10 11:53
I can see how lacking the Groundstation/waypoint functionality in the Pilot app that we got with the ...

Which map are you talking about?  We generally only zoom to the native resolution.  I guess we could go one more but it ends up looking weird on some devices.  

The elevation overlay is a quarter of the resolution of the orthophoto map and the NDVI layers are half.  They disappear at 2 and 1 zoom levels respectively before the native zoom level view.

Here is an updated screenshot of where we are going with the app:

Maps Made Easy Ground Station

Maps Made Easy Ground Station


The orange circles are dropped to define the survey area.  The purple spot is the anticipated take off point.  The red and blue lines denote the flight paths of multiple batteries to accommodate doing much larger areas than a single battery will allow.
2015-5-14
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dmwierz
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I will be following this very closely. I have little interest to buy or learn something like Pix4D but could absolutely use the output. How do you propose dealing with the P3's lack of ground station or waypoints?
2015-5-14
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-15 03:01
I will be following this very closely. I have little interest to buy or learn something like Pix4D b ...

That's the issue we are trying to address with our new Drones Made Easy Ground Station for DJI app!  It is designed to work seamlessly with our pay as you go map processing service Maps Made Easy.
2015-5-14
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digitaldave
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FantomDK Posted at 2015-5-8 11:47
The P3 (and Inspire 1) lens is not completely "distortion free". If you run it thru e.g. Adobe Light ...

Keep in mind this is true for almost all modern lenses out there to date. Even professional ones. I am a photographer by trade and all my modern lenses come with lens profiles to correct for distortion and Chromatic Aberrations and even vignetting. Im glad they did this because it keeps the cost of the lens manufacturing down and if it can be fixed accurately in post, its all good ;)
2015-5-14
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FoxSTI
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-6 00:10
We have found the Phantom 3 images to be as good as anything we have seen for photogrammetry.  The i ...

MapsMadeEasy,

I really want to understand what you mean when you say that "geotags have full precision"
How many decimal points in the seconds does this mean?

I have compared below the data (and please excuse my ignorance) between a parrot bebop that I owed and my current bird and inspire one.  These are public places so if you need to provide an example please go ahead. I would love to learn and understand what you mean.



2015-5-15
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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-15 05:25
That's the issue we are trying to address with our new Drones Made Easy Ground Station for DJI app ...

Cool. Timeframe?
2015-5-15
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MapsMadeEasy
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FoxSTI Posted at 2015-5-15 20:25
MapsMadeEasy,

I really want to understand what you mean when you say that "geotags have full prec ...

That is interesting.  They might have fixed it in the most recent update.  We have noticed that most of the Inspire 1 jobs we have seen come through our system lately have been pretty good without the manual georeferencing process.  From your screenshots, it looks like a sufficient amount of precision is there.  It used to read as 25:55:2 without the .19010000 part at the end.  

We will give it a look with the May 6 v1.2.1.03 firmware update.  Maybe they got sick of us complaining about it!

Thanks for the heads up.
2015-5-15
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MapsMadeEasy
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We are in the flight testing phase of our development and doing a lot of measurements to make sure we can trust the feedback we get from the batteries.

DJI is still finalizing some stuff with the SDK and the released firmware versions.  For example, currently there is no SDK support for P3 Advanced.  We won't be able to submit our app to Apple until that is ironed out and their is a released firmware version that will support 3rd party apps.

Could be days... Weeks... Months...  Who knows?
2015-5-15
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FoxSTI
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-16 01:37
That is interesting.  They might have fixed it in the most recent update.  We have noticed that mo ...

I haven't applied that FW yet. But I wonder if they even gave up more precision.
seems like the bebeop is capturing more decimals.

I have used both of those photos in two different datesets without Ground control points and the photogrammetry was very good.  Please let us know what you find.
2015-5-15
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MapsMadeEasy
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FoxSTI Posted at 2015-5-16 02:36
I haven't applied that FW yet. But I wonder if they even gave up more precision.
seems like the be ...

Feel free to email us the image and we will take a look at it with our tools.  I don't know what that utility you are using is or what it is doing.  More decimals is not necessarily more precision, but that is a completely different topic.  
2015-5-15
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