Aerial 3D Mapping

Our goto 3D Aerial mapping died in Oct 2020. So, what do you use then? All embedded 3D aerial maps in our past article have also gone dead with their site going down. We were just wondering if they were brought into DJI and is now the DJI Terra….anyway…

We went back on DroneDeploy and tested a new one, MapsMadeEasy. Here’s what we found. We tried a couple of local installable one too so you are not being slaved to any of these cloud-based service. If they abruptly closed down, you’re left high and dry with all models lost.

DroneDeploy

We used a 14 day trial license and test out 2 missions.

  • The compare function is awesome
  • Hosting provided
  • High price

DroneDeploy Comparison Tool

MapsMadeEasy

The same images taken using the DD app was fed into the MapsMadeEasy cloud engine.

Generation of the model isn’t as good or accurate but it could be that there were lesser images allowed.

Agisoft MetaShape

  • Fairly Priced
  • PDF 3D model export is useful for clients who has minimal knowledge on photogrammetry

There are a lot more options out there but from entry to market to professional views with hosting to local ones that do not tie you to any cloud based application AND do not cost you the cost of a few drones, we hope the above covered them all.

Self hosted allows more control but of course, will need some technical setup. See this  and this for the above self hosted.

If you’re interested, you can find a list of more.

  • Pix4D Mapper photogrammetry
  • AutoDesk ReCap photogrammetry
  • SimActive Correlator3D™ software
  • Maps Made Easy orthophoto and 3D models
  • 3DF Zephyr photogrammetry software
  • PrecisionHawk 3D map software
  • Open Drone Map photogrammetry
  • ESRI Drone2Map for ArcGIS
  • OpenDroneMap

3D Mapping with DroneDeploy and Alitzure

Published 29 Sept 2017.
Updated 4 Oct 2017.

We took Dronedeploy (DD) and Altizure (AZ) out for a spin. Unlocking the world of 3D mapping with drones. It’s fun seeing the pictures turned into 3D Models of buildings and structures we took.

Please note we only emphasis on doing 3D Models of structures, not agriculture monitoring or agriculture mapping.

Each has their own way of taking the pics and are fully autonomous. So warning!

Always make sure you survey out the location before you attempt to map an area or building. Note the highest structure around the area you are mapping and make sure you clear the height.

Maps

DroneDeploy uses a map service we are unfamiliar with. In Singapore, there are so many areas that has clouds, incomplete buildings or showing that it’s a construction site. Some building or areas has been around for at least 2 years. That’s how old the maps are.

Altizure uses, simply, Google Maps.  It is preferred and it’s something we are already familiar with for daily use. So no figuring out required.

Flight Planning

DD Flight planning need to be given a thumbs up. You can pre plan a flight on your PC via a web browser then continue working on it while on your Android phone when commuting home then edit it further when you are at the field on your iPad before the actual flight. It syncs across all devices so long you log in to the same account. It is a no brainer….so we thought.

AZ do not have this. All pre planned maps are saved within the device you are using in and only the device you first created it in only. It’s wierd why such a basic function is not implemented (yet?). We could be doing a site survey and doing pre planning but if we forgot to bring the device we have used on flight day, you will have to redo the whole planning and hopefully you remember all the settings, area, height required etc…. the client requested.

3D Output

Straight to the point. Altizure win hands down. Their engine stitches better and is not as picky or restrictive.  DD only allows 500 images for structures. Boo! AZ allows you to stitch then add more pics later still!

So we went back and took close to 700 images. The output was great!

Embedding/ Displaying

AZ allows you to showoff your 3D Model by embedding it on a webpage like the above. DD do not have this option.

Market Place

Only DD has this option. They integrate other services into their marketplace where you can chose to say, do a 3D Print of the 3D Model you have create via Whiteclouds. You can of course download the 3D Model file from AZ and go to Whiteclouds and have it printed of course, you will need to buy 1 Diamond (see pricing below) to download the 3D file.

Pricing

It can be confusing but we prefer AZ as we may not get assignment often for 3D Mapping and AZ allows us to get 1 x “Diamond” to get the project over and done with.

 

DD offers no such one off payment plan. Only monthly or yearly payments. You do get 5 free project, per month.

Overall, we prefer AZ over DD.