Monday, September 10, 2018

21st Century Mapping

It’s been quite a few years now since I first discovered a site called DIYDrones… do it yourself drones. Those early drones were virtually all scratch built and used Arduino microprocessors for stabilization and control. The evolution of drone technology in the time since has been quite remarkable. Drones that can fly a predetermined course using GPS way points are now commonplace… as is their capability to take very high resolution pictures and videos complete with GPS coordinates embedded into the pictures. This results in a platform that can provide the data for creating high resolution topographic maps with elevation data in a fraction of the time required by more conventional methods.

I'm in the process of putting together an entry level but high powered Terrain mapping package for the purpose of creating contour line maps and other topographic products focused on the grading and civil engineering industry. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro pro which has a  camera with a 1 inch 20 megapixel sensor and a mechanical shutter capable of centimeter level resolution.

These survey units from Emlid feature new GPS architecture to provide survey grade accuracy for establishing ground control points to precisely locate your data on the real world terrain. They also have a high precision drone GPS units that works with their ground station to deliver unprecedented accuracy in this price range.

A long time fan or Open Source software... I'm running a package called OpenDroneMap

I'm still learning my way around there... it is a an impressive piece of work... it's prompted me to get back into under the hood tinkering with Ubuntu and server based tools. If you are in the Greenville Spartanburg area and have some interest in this project I would love to here from you. I'm planning to be at the next local meeting of the Python user groups in both Spartanburg and Greenville.

They both use Meetups to keep their members connected and informed... check it out πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned for updates on this venture into 21st century mapping.

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