Elevation map using oblique photos

We are interested in a scientific project to obtain high-resolution elevation maps of the micro topography around our measurement stations where we measure carbon dioxide and methane fluxes between the local vegetation and the atmosphere. I understand that the DD app only programs photos taken vertically of the scene. But I think that additional photos taken at oblique angles improves the elevation map. I did some tests using the Altizure app which allows to program very easily a 5-pass coverage of the area of interest: 1 for the vertical photos and 4 additional passes with photos of the scene at an angle of 45deg in four directions. The results, after uploading the photos of all 5 passes to DD appeared to be much more realistic than uploading only the first pass photos. Does the stitching algorithm of DD indeed perform better for the elevation map when oblique photos are included? And if so, could additional oblique photo taking be included in the DD app?

My second urgent feature request would be to include the vertical scale information. The exported elevation map consists only of coloured pixels, but a proper scale indicating which RGB value corresponds to which elevation in meters would be extremely helpful. The present elevation map picture is not suitable for our project.

I might also add that the handling of the Altizure app for mission planning and controlling is in many respects superior to what even the new DD app offers. It is much more intuitive to operate, even if it only permits the definition of mapping rectangles. However, the photo stitching engine and the products of DD are much more superior and in principle geared for professional applications.

2 Likes

We do plan to add your first request. I’ll take another look how altizure does it.

Your second request is actively being worked on and you should see it sometime in the near future.

Have you been using the updated UI of DroneDeploy that came out in the last day or two?

Requests 1 and 2 look very useful for archaeological prospecting and mapping using the elevation data, particularly with low altitude/high resolution mapping, and I hope to see these in the near future - great suggestions !

1 Like

I was using the UI of DD that came out recently, but not yet the update which I noticed only yesterday.

Just to clarify - are we saying that the stitching does or doesn’t currently include obliques if they are uploaded?

You can do this “manually” using the Map Engine choice, mode “Structures”
Meaning DD App will not mange or take your oblique pictures during an automatic flight

I assume that if you upload oblique views, they are included in the stitching process. I made tests with and without oblique photos, and the results for 3d terrain were clearly better when oblique photos were included. I did not get this confirmation from the DD developers, however. Since the DD app does not take oblique photos, I used the Altizure app to take them. And then manually uploaded them to the Map Engine.

1 Like