Newbie question; recommended introductory flight planning, mapping &/or photogrammetry software

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Hi,
Apologies in advance if this is a repeat question.
I’m a newbie with an interest in mapping and photogrammetry, but am a bit overwhelmed with the options available.
What would you recommend as good introductory packages for flight planning/autonomous image capture and processing? Ideally on a budget?
Any introductory info on use of ground control points would be greatly appreciated too.
I’m currently learning the basics with a P4 (basic) but looking to upgrade at some point.
Application would be for archaeology.
Thanks in advance.
 

Meta4

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What would you recommend as good introductory packages for flight planning/autonomous image capture and processing? Ideally on a budget?
The DroneDeploy app gives excellent flight planning and execution.
They also can do the image processing for you (not cheap).
But you can use the app free if you have an alternative for processing the images.
They have a 14 day free trial.
Any introductory info on use of ground control points would be greatly appreciated too.
Do you need GCPs?
You can generate a good orthomosaic with quite accurate horizontal positioning without.
But if you need them if you want the vertical to tie in to your local datum.
 
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Hello! I have been doing photogrammetry on archaeological investigations for years ( 4 - 5 ). I work really with Phantom 3 ADVANS. I execute the flights and the flight plan with the program "PrecisionFlight for DJI Drones". I work in the "free app" . And I process the data with "Agisoft" - "Metashare" . SUCCESS!
 

NFLDrones

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I have used DroneDeploy and Maps Made Easy. As mentioned above, DroneDeploy is an excellent app with an easy to use desktop dashboard for planning missions. I found their platform to be quite expensive unless you are doing a lot of mapping and can cover the cost. I switched to Maps Made Easy because of cost and the fact that I am a fairly recent startup with limited clientele. The online dashboard is easy to use and the mobile app, which is Map Pilot Pro, is quick and easy to get up and running in the field. They have several cost levels, all of which are very reasonable.

Both platforms provide excellent results. You need to determine what a typical site looks like for you to determine what platform will work best. Most mapping platforms have a limit, either by number of images or by gigapixel or both, so make sure if you are mapping large sites the platform you chose will support your workflow.

Most of the recommendations you are getting here provide free trial options. I suggest using those trial periods to see what works best for you!

Good luck!
 
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I've had good luck with:

Flight planning / data capture: DroneDeploy or Pix4D Capture. Both are excellent, mature, free and you don't need to use their data processing services (though they make it easy if you want to do so). Also DJI Ground Station Pro, which is rather old but free and capable. Others mentioned in this thread are good too, but I haven't used them much.

Data processing: Agisoft Metashape (trial or the simple version is fine for getting started). WebODM/OpenDroneMap (open source and free, but requires some fiddling to get working, works well after setup. GCP options are available but are a hassle). Cloud processing through DroneDeploy or Pix4D are easy but will cost $$. Both have education/research licensing I believe. Good options if you have a budget for it.
 
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