Google Earth, Litchi, and AutoPilot

Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
198
Likes
51
Age
61
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
Website
donbarar.com
#1
Hi All,

I have been experimenting generating missions in Google Earth and importing them into Litchi. This works as intended. Since I also own Autopilot (and Hanger makes the claim that AutoPilot can import .kml files), I thought that this might work as well.

Unfortunately, not. When I import a .kml file into Autopilot there are two issues:
  1. All of the altitude information is lost. Instead, one gets a default height of 100'. Not very useful!
  2. Waypoints are scrambled. I imported a 7 way point mission into Autopilot. My way point 1 became way point 7. Way point 2 became way point 6. There were other issues as well. This was not mission I created in Google Earth.
At this time, Autopilot can not compete with Licthi if one is using Google Earth to plan missions. I hope Hanger can get this to work in the future as there are many features in Autopilot that I like.

Don Barar
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
3,122
Likes
1,265
Location
Watkinsville, Georgia
#2
Kudo's for your efforts but I have one question. Why re-invent the wheel when the Mission Hub already uses GE anyway? Is there some specific reason you would even want to use a direct interface ( If you can call it that )? If so, please explain. It might be useful.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
198
Likes
51
Age
61
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
Website
donbarar.com
#3
Kudo's for your efforts but I have one question. Why re-invent the wheel when the Mission Hub already uses GE anyway? Is there some specific reason you would even want to use a direct interface ( If you can call it that )? If so, please explain. It might be useful.
Hi Dawg:

Great question.

By first planning in Google Earth I know what will be in the field of view of the camera at each way point. By exporting a .kml file from Google Earth, I can then import into the Litchi Mission Hub (LML). From LMH I can then export a .csv file that can be opened in Litchi Virtual Mission (LVM). From LVM/Google Earth Pro I can fly the mission virtually and know exactly what will be in the field view along the entire flight path. Here is a modest example that I put together last week that compares the virtual mission as to what the camera saw:


This technique eliminates much of guess work in establishing a mission as to what will be in field of view and significantly increases efficiency when on site capturing footage.

Hope this helps.

Don Barar
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
3,122
Likes
1,265
Location
Watkinsville, Georgia
#4
By first planning in Google Earth I know what will be in the field of view of the camera at each way point.
That is a good way to "approximate" the FOV. But you have to bear in mind that much of the sattelite imagery provided can be quite old, so it won't be 100% reliable as to what is in the FOV. Just last week, I was doing a flight analysis for another member and was posting GE images of his flight. He didn't even recognize the location as he was flying over a river and there was no bridge there in the imagery. This particular image appeared to be over 5 years old, and had no bridge in the area. Just something to bear in mind. This can be quite useful in certain circumstances though.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
198
Likes
51
Age
61
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
Website
donbarar.com
#5
Hi Dawg:

It does not need to be 100%. What I need is something that is better than just going to the site and having to fiddle with altitude and aircraft location while in the air to get the right field of view. This takes a lot of battery time and multiple trips to the site to get sufficient footage.

What got me started on using Google Earth was my goal to set up a mission to follow a river that made almost a 90 degree turn. Using Litchi alone it was impossible to predict field of view based on a 2D location of the aircraft. However, with Google Earth mission planning and Litchi Virtual Mission I had my mission set before I got to the site and got exactly what I was seeking in the field of view through out the flight.

I think your tag line applies: "Errors using inadequate data are much less than using no data at all!"


Don Barar
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
292
Likes
106
Location
Barrie, ON Canada
#6
Hi All,

I have been experimenting generating missions in Google Earth and importing them into Litchi. This works as intended. Since I also own Autopilot (and Hanger makes the claim that AutoPilot can import .kml files), I thought that this might work as well.

Unfortunately, not. When I import a .kml file into Autopilot there are two issues:
  1. All of the altitude information is lost. Instead, one gets a default height of 100'. Not very useful!
  2. Waypoints are scrambled. I imported a 7 way point mission into Autopilot. My way point 1 became way point 7. Way point 2 became way point 6. There were other issues as well. This was not mission I created in Google Earth.
At this time, Autopilot can not compete with Licthi if one is using Google Earth to plan missions. I hope Hanger can get this to work in the future as there are many features in Autopilot that I like.

Don Barar
In AutoPilot after you import your kml file tap on the waypoint reference icon then select ‘Reverse Waypoints’ and all of your waypoints will be the way you planned them. AutoPilot cannot import GE altitude info as you have discovered but I still find it useful to set my waypoints up on the large screen of my laptop then tweek them in AutoPilot.

I used to use Litchi 99% of the time, now I find I’m using AutoPilot most of the time. There are so many more features in AP. The waypoint pano actions are a big one for me as are all the Focus Triggers and Camera Triggers available.

Chris
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
198
Likes
51
Age
61
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
Website
donbarar.com
#7
Hi Chris,

Thank you for suggesting reversing the way points in AutoPilot. I will give it a try.

I agree with you that Autopilot contains a feature rich set of possible missions. What I like about Autopilot is having more than one subject, multiple camera triggers, and the ability to orbit one point while being able to have a subject that is not the center of the orbit. To name just a few.

But Autopilot's implementation of importing missions generated in Google Earth is way behind Litchi. The whole purpose behind generating missions in Google Earth is so that one knows what will be in the camera field of view before flying the mission. Litchi does this very well. However, Autopilot looses not only the altitude but the orientation of the aircraft and hence the camera's field of view throughout the flight.

Wish the Hanger team would get their act together to get this resolved.

Donald Barar
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
129,647
Messages
1,346,576
Members
94,470
Latest member
atarheelblue