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DJI Phantom 4 Standard -- Work Flows  

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Polecat
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Hi All,  I've been really trying to use the drone data and implement it into our project data but I'm having trouble finding exactly how to do it.  So far ive researched Pix4D which i liked but was expensive.  I was attempting to create contours from photometry and unfortunately they were not as accurate as i hoped, which ruled out Pix4D. 

Currently I'm trying to use the drone to create high quality, accurate aerial photos, since the camera is insane and we do presentation plans that require aerials.  The issue here is I'm only allowed to fly my drone so high and it cannot encompass the entire locus in one high quality shot.  So what im looking for is an orthophoto that has been stitched together to create a compilation photo of the entire site that i could lay into AutoCAD using ground control.

I'm having a tough time piecing together the different parts for my desired deliverable.  What app do you use to plan flight missions and export data into a usable format, then what app do you use to stitch together the pictures for a high quality orthophoto?  

If you guys also have any recommendations what what you do in this situation that i might not be thinking of, im all ears. Thanks for viewing.

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Norman Oklahoma
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Posted by: @polecat

I was attempting to create contours from photo(gam)metry and unfortunately they were not as accurate as i hoped, which ruled out Pix4D. 

What were you hoping for? 

Pix4d seems to be the most highly preferred solution. Recap Photo might be an option if you are on the Civil 3d plan. Yes, they cost money.

One photo that covers your whole site is not an orthophoto.  

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Polecat
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@norman-oklahoma   what im hoping for is a software that can stitch photos taken from a pre planned flight into one picture.  I like Pix4D but cant justify purchasing it just for the photo stitch, im surprised theres no other options for it.  I do not need the DTM, DEM, or any other functions of the photometry, just the picture. I dont think my drone could accurately do more than just the picture.  

The picture will hopefully be close enough to the ground to be able to pick out features generally while drafting, and to be able to produce a high quality, current photo for presentation purposes. In a perfect world there is a software that can import a flight log and be able to produce a compiled picture from the flight.

 

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Norman Oklahoma
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@polecat

What I was after is what were you hoping for in terms of contour accuracy? Properly done you should be able to get surfaces as close as +/-0.1', and better.

 

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Polecat
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@norman-oklahoma With photos?  Givin the project i worked on was a cranberry bog, i compared it against LiDAR and a GPS survey, it was in the middle as far as results, but did not define the ditches (probably because of water) and it also showed the entire site slightly pitching one direction, which was not the case.  

Contour accuracy of 0.5' more or less would be good.  I'm not too concerned about contours right now, and if i was Pix4D would absolutely be the option.  I think more what im looking for is lite software that can just make stitched together aerial photos.

 

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antcrook
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Agisoft is a bit cheaper and does a decent job of creating orthophotos, you will need the Professional Edition. There is also online processing services that charge a pay-per-use fee.

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Cameron Watson PLS
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I think "orthomosaic" is the term you're looking for regarding the stitched image.  Attached is a site I flew with a P3P.  This project was made up of nearly 750 individual pictures.  It was fully processed through Pix4D.  We do need all the various elements so Pix4D works well.  Their monthly payment option of $350 isn't terribly hard to swallow if you're using it sporadically and can build the $350 into your budget.  Even with the lower quality sensor on the P3P you can see it picks up a ton of detail.  If you do a Google search on orthomosaic stitching software it comes back with a number of different options, some of which claim to be free.  No idea on the truth in that though.  Good luck!

Orthomosaic1
Orthomosaic2
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erwsdot
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I agree that PIX4D is the software to obtain the accuracy of photogrammetry.

GCP's is the key to the process of the 0.1' horizontal and vertical accuracy. 

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