Processing discards images when using terrain awareness

Hey all,

We flew a 300ish acre site in the mountains using DD’s terrain awareness because it seemed like the perfect terrain to try it out. Overall the flights went really well, the terrain awareness kept up with the 600 +/- ft of elevation change.

The processing however did not go well, at all. I’ve uploaded and processed the data 7 or 8 times now trying anything I can to make it work but every time it processes, 1/3rd of the images in the data set get thrown out. Whats odd is every time it processes, the map looks a little different.

I’ve tried working with DD support but they couldn’t find a solution, citing that the elevation change and amount of trees are causing the issue. I’m hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. At this point I do not need elevation data, just an orthomap of the property. Does anyone know of a way to accomplish this?

I partially agree with them as it looks like the missing images are in the most undulating heavily vegatated part of the mission.

Did you get any kind of an error or notification when uploading? This may lead to a GPS issue.

A possibility is the these shots we occurring at the vertical vertexes that were created.

Have you tried structure and terrain mode?

What was you AGL?

What were your overlaps?

The only error that I got was “Inconsistent Altitude” which i chalked up to terrain awareness. I later found out from DD that there is a 100m delta limit.

I did try both structure and terrain while working through it with DD support. The results were actually very similar.

AGL was 350’, obviously less than ideal but for a site this big with big elevation changes and not fully trusting terrain awareness, it was the comfortable height.

75/65 overlaps

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That all makes sense. Good to know about the delta limitations. Have you looked at the geotags to see what the actual ranges were? You could do it fairly easy in Geosetter.

Not it geosetter but here is the graph that DD gives.


I did also check Geosetter, the elevations align with what is shown on the DD graph. Would it be possible to batch edit the elevations in geosetter and then reprocess as if it were flat terrain?

That is allot of points!

Yes, in Geosetter you can,

  1. Open then folder
  2. Select all the images
  3. Right-click and Edit Data
  4. Select the Location tab
  5. Change to altitude to a middle value of your site
  6. Set current values to all selected
  7. Under location at the top-left check altitude
  8. Select OK
  9. Select OK to get out of Edit Data and the images line items should turn red
  10. Go to the Edit menu and Save Changes

Note that this will create backups of your images with a .jpeg_original extension that you will have to batch rename through CMD if you want to revert back so you might create a copy of all the images in a different directory first.

So I re-processed at a constant elevation and here are the results. Better but not great. This is pretty similar to what I got when i processed the same data set through Pix4D without modifying the elevations, although DD’s image is cleaner.

Well, I guess that’s something. Probably one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. I was just thinking looking back at you or elevation profile, it looks like you ran against the contours? Meaning that you were running perpendicular to the slopes. Does that make sense? In the future I would suggest rotating your mission so that you are running parallel with the contours as much as possible.
If you are willing you can PM me a link to download the original images and I will run it through a couple of other pieces of software as well as our DroneDeploy.

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Hi @JChandler - welcome to the forum. We use the image altitude in processing so I would not recommend editing them prior to upload. You may get a stitched image, but it is likely less accurate.

If you contact the support team about this map, and share the link with them, they can dig in.

Also you can see the dronedeploy processing report here: