survey and mapping.?

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I bought this as a expensive toy but this section of the forum makes me think I can use it for more than a flying film platform.
What can I do in the area of survey and mapping with my P3-4K? How accurate is it?

In my business our survey work has to be very accurate, but only after a certain point. Up until the midpoint of the process we often just use google earth image and USGS contours.

Is this an opportunity for me in my company?
 
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You can start here. You can watch a few of these videos to get you started. Fast forward the boring stuff. There is good money in mapping. But there is a lot to learn.
 
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As this is a relatively old discussion I would like to "revive" it.

I have an "amateur" land surveying task ahead of me. I need to record borders of some remote (and of low value) mountain properties. I need to create maps of these (orthoprojection(?)) that do not need to be super precise.

I was thinking of spicing up this boring task by using my drone (a P3A) and create maps from pictures.

My constraints are:

(a) cost: Should be minimal (or based on free tools) as this is done mostly for the fun of it.
(b) I would not like to learn a "trial" software tool (I hate spending time learning tools I will not be able to use once trial period expires).
(c) I am not interested in software that takes over control of the drone (I would prefer flying it myself).
(d) I do not need 3d or other advanced mappings.
(e) As mentioned earlier, resulting maps do not have to be super-accurate (but not super-inaccurate either).

For reasons (b) and (c) above, I believe I should not try using DroneDeploy with which I have no experience. My current candidate is ODM/WebODM, but before I start installing and experimenting with it, any feedback, suggestions, comments and help would be appreciated.
 
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(b) I would not like to learn a "trial" software tool (I hate spending time to learnin tools I will not be able to use once trial period expires).
(c) I am not interested in software that takes over control of the drone (I would prefer flying it myself).

For reasons (b) and (c) above, I believe I should not try using DroneDeploy with which I have no experience.
I would suggest reconsidering DroneDeploy as attempting to fly a mapping mission, getting a neat grid with precise overlaps is not something you can do manually.
It's easy to use and does a great job of acquiring the images.
You don't have to use their processing (but you get that free for the trial period anyway).
I have tried to do small projects manually and I wouldn't recommend it.
DD does a much better job and much easier.
 
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I've entertained the idea of expanding to 3D Mapping services but the software is so **** expensive to subscribe to. I've looked at Drone Deploy and I think it's over $800 a month. So if I end up going that way, the fees will have to be above and beyond that for the service.
 
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Meta4

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I've entertained the idea of expanding to 3D Mapping services but the software is so **** expensive to subscribe to. I've looked at Drone Deploy and I think it's over $800 a month. So if I end up going that way, the fees will have to be above and beyond that for the service.
Most of the mapping software is free to use but you pay for their processing (if you choose to have them do the processing for you).
 
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So DroneDeploy will continue to function even after the trial period, but map processing will not be available. That is interesting. (Still, no matter how good these tools are, I am still reluctant to have (more) software controling the quadcopter.)
 

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So DroneDeploy will continue to function even after the trial period, but map processing will not be available. That is interesting. (Still, no matter how good these tools are, I am still reluctant to have (more) software controling the quadcopter.)
Precision is important for photogrammetry.
Having tried to shoot small surveys manually, I would always go for using an app that does it properly.
There's no way you can shoot something like this manually keeping a steady 75% overlap.
i-Fv7JDpT-L.jpg
 
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I bought this as a expensive toy but this section of the forum makes me think I can use it for more than a flying film platform.
What can I do in the area of survey and mapping with my P3-4K? How accurate is it?

In my business our survey work has to be very accurate, but only after a certain point. Up until the midpoint of the process we often just use google earth image and USGS contours.

Is this an opportunity for me in my company?
First step is an entry level surveying class at your community college, so you can learn how much you don't know about the science of surveying and how much education and internship your state requires before you can get licensed/ certificated as a surveyor.
Best path is to hook up with a licensed surveyor and learn how you can integrate. And stay away from using the words survey or surveyor in your website or business materials.
In reality, most survey companies are getting their personnel 107 certificated internally. My 2 cents...
 
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As this is a relatively old discussion I would like to "revive" it.

I have an "amateur" land surveying task ahead of me. I need to record borders of some remote (and of low value) mountain properties. I need to create maps of these (orthoprojection(?)) that do not need to be super precise.

I was thinking of spicing up this boring task by using my drone (a P3A) and create maps from pictures.

My constraints are:

(a) cost: Should be minimal (or based on free tools) as this is done mostly for the fun of it.
(b) I would not like to learn a "trial" software tool (I hate spending time learning tools I will not be able to use once trial period expires).
(c) I am not interested in software that takes over control of the drone (I would prefer flying it myself).
(d) I do not need 3d or other advanced mappings.
(e) As mentioned earlier, resulting maps do not have to be super-accurate (but not super-inaccurate either).

For reasons (b) and (c) above, I believe I should not try using DroneDeploy with which I have no experience. My current candidate is ODM/WebODM, but before I start installing and experimenting with it, any feedback, suggestions, comments and help would be appreciated.
There is no such thing as "amateur land surveying" in most states. Ensure you do not run afoul of your state's surveyor regulations. You may mean well but your "client" may get you in trouble, unknowingly.
 
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There is no such thing as "amateur land surveying" in most states. Ensure you do not run afoul of your state's surveyor regulations. You may mean well but your "client" may get you in trouble, unknowingly.

Thank you (everyone) for your replies. In my case "surveying" is maybe too strong term. However I would like to learn how to create a photographic map with some GPS information for my own personal reference (it is my own property). So, no client here, nor any formal use, otherwise I would hire a professional (if I could find one who would enjoy and be willing to climb mountains for a low fee :) ).
 
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Thank you (everyone) for your replies. In my case "surveying" is maybe too strong term. However I would like to learn how to create a photographic map with some GPS information for my own personal reference (it is my own property). So, no client here, nor any formal use, otherwise I would hire a professional (if I could find one who would enjoy and be willing to climb mountains for a low fee :) ).
Easiest, cheapest way.
 
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I was contacted by a Crash Site Reconstructionist the other day. He must have seen my web site. He wanted me to fly over a section of highway where an accident had occurred. He wanted me to capture images for him to load into Pix4D. I explained that I had no program to fly my drone (Phantom 4 Pro+) in a grid pattern, but he said I could fly it manually as we were doing only a small section of the highway. We were sort of learning together. That day I downloaded a free trial of Pix4D just to learn more about what my requirements would be (optimum altitude, speed, number of images, whatever else). I put up my drone, clicked a bunch of images, got into the Pix4D program and followed the prompts to download the images. I didn't know what I was doing, but I was surprised to come up with a beautiful rendering of that flight.

Next day I met him on-location, flew the mission a few times. He copied the images from my micro SD to his lap top. I took the images home and downloaded them into Pix4D. I was astonished at the result! (Mind you I don't really know what to look for regarding quality.) I flew at 125' high, used the Waypoints intelligent flight mode and clicked images as I went (about every 30' I would guess).

Screen shot of the result attached. I'd like to buy Pix4D myself, but as others have stated, yea, it's EXPENSIVE! For now my client seemed to be as pleased with my work as I was and wants me to do more in the future. He is going to buy Pix4D himself, so all I have to do is fly and click (but I would eventually like to have it myself as well).

Tim
 

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There are quite a few, free apps out there for mission planning, and flying grid patterns. Pix4D Capture, MapsPilot (mapsmadeeasy), Ugcs, DroneDeploy just to name a couple. They are usually very easy to learn. Each has its pros and cons. But shouldn't need to "freehand" it, unless there are special circumstances. Sorry, I did not catch the "+" part of the model. Ditto what doktorinjh says.
 
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I had no program to fly my drone (Phantom 4 Pro+)
You're fairly handcuffed using the Pro+ model, but I thought that Pix4D Capture was available for that controller. If you think you're going to be doing more of this (and getting paid for it) then you'd be doing yourself a big service by getting a regular controller and using an Android or iOS device. There are lots of free apps that will work way better than the manual method and you'll be able to keep you eye on the bird and scanning for hazards, rather than trying to time pictures. But, as you found out, the software is pretty powerful and can use almost anything, as long as you have enough imagery to work with.
 

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