If you are not a professional surveyor, you may not know about the power of 3D mapping software or it’s uses in industry. Due to the technical advancements of both computer hardware and software, it is possible for anyone to create real 3D models of landmarks or other large objects overhead inexpensively.
Also possible is it to create digital elevation models of any subject, calculate it’s approximate volume, or create highly accurate orthomaps. Professional surveyors have been using this kind of technical for years to create their 3D maps, but are now using small unmanned aircraft to ease the process.
Using the Zephyr UAV system sold by Marcus UAV, it is possible to gather all pictures and data necessary for ortho mapping. Just feed data captured by the Zephyr and it’s associated ground station software into any 3D mapping software, and enjoy the feature rich 3D maps created.
The 3D mapping software Marcus UAV recommends you use with the system is named Agrisoft Photoscan Pro. You can find out more information in regards to it on their website… http://www.agisoft.ru/products/photoscan/professional/. Other 3D mapping software’s do exist and operate similarly, but are untested by us.
What Is Needed To 3D Map
Using the Zephyr UAV system and 3D map processing software, you can create 3D maps with only two strings of data…. Raw Images Files, GPX Data Log Files—You will also need to know your flying altitude which stays constant if you the operator specifies this.
After you have created your first ortho-rectified maps and DEM’s with the software, you can further create contour maps and elevation profiles with this data if you so wish.
How Does It Work?
Time stamps that are linked with the GPS data in the GPX log file along with time stamps that are present in the raw image EXIF data allows the 3D map software to work. GPS points are linked with a time, and each picture is linked with a GPS point. Images that are first mosaicked and geo-referenced by the software can be further processed through 3D rendering.
The 3D processing software creates a 3D map by referencing multiple images for each object in an image. Several images taken with the Zephyr will include the same object, and in different angles—from multiple sides of the object as well as
directly above. The software takes these image angles to process the 3D maps without any further input from the user.
GPS or Ortho-Map Accuracy
always fly in a straight line, but does not typically happen. Wind can affect the airframes flight path, and make centimeter accuracy pointless. With only 3M accuracy, maps are still very accurate, and work fine for most customers.
When you are finished creating 3D orthomosiac maps with the 3D processing software, they can be exported to Google earth or another GIS software such as global mapper in KML file format. The export makes for great logging capability and future access