Welcome to InspirePilots.com

Join the leading DJI Inspire community for free!

anyone doing mapping with the X5? Favorite apps or techniques?

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5' started by Radbert, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Radbert

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi -

    I am about to start testing the Inspire Pro for doing various high-overlap (80-90%), high resolution (1-3 cm) structure from motion mapping applications. I have been using an Arducopter / Mission Planner based solution up until now.

    Does anyone have a favorite app or technique that they can recommend for this? I've looked at Map Pilot (Drones Made Easy) and Pix4d capture and each seems to have some limitations. It appears that the DJI SDK allows for only minimum shutter intervals that are quite long -- in the range of 2.5-4 seconds with these apps, while I can trigger the camera manually quite a bit faster than this capturing JPEGs with a fast SD card (e.g. 90 images in 120 seconds in a test today). As you can imagine a 2.5-4 second photo interval would be quite limiting for conducting detailed photo surveys where I have previously used a 1 second interval with a Sony Nex. I guess another option could be creating Litchi waypoint missions with manual triggering, but this hardly seems optimal.

    Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. geoblu

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    We are mapping with an X5 setup. 60 meters AGL, 6 m/s groundspeed, 3 sec camera interval, 70/70 sidelap/overlap. Results, 1cm GSD.
     
  3. gazza95

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    7
    Have tried DroneDeploy with limited success. I seem to send hours onsite trying to get to get inspire to take off. For example there was an issue if you plan a mission at home and then got to the site. It reports more than 2km from take off point. This was a change by DJI which Map Pilot had fixed three months before. Hence why not impressed.

    I looked at Pix4dcapture and decided that the site planning was too limited for what I needed.

    Hence looking at Map Pilot and Data Mapper Inflight.

    Most of these packages only work with the 15mm dji lens.

    Results I get back when a mission works are impressive. Just Inspire 1 pro restricted by flight times. Hence contemplating upgrading batteries as per other thread on here.

    Gary
     
  4. Radbert

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks for the comments. I've looked at a few mapping apps so far and Map Pilot seems to be the most advanced and flexible to me. I'm going to do a test this week to see what kind of shutter intervals I can get manually during a Litchi mission because MP limits the X5 to 3+ second intervals. If I can get 1.5 seconds reliably with manual focus and JPEG only, I would then switch over to using Litchi waypoints for when I need a 90% overlap missions and use MP for all other surveys.
     
  5. TheSaffer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buckhurst Hill, Essex
    Following...
     
  6. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,955
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    With longer flights times and Damons battery mod you can end up with huge datasets. Even with my i7 5820, 32GB ram and Quadro GC workstation I find my workflow benefits from 1 battery's worth of images at time. For bigger areas I merge several chunks of post processed flights using Photoscan Pro. Just my personal preference.

    I use MapPilot BTW. Looking forward to the addition of Terrain Awareness in next release.
     
    Eliphion and eldorado like this.
  7. Radbert

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    IrishSights - are you finding the MapPilot is limited to 3 second triggering or 4 seconds? (looks like 3 seconds when I plan a mission, but MME told me they use 4 seconds).

    With my previous Pixhawk set up, I could cover about 15 ha with a 13 min, 10 m/s mission triggering a Sony a6000 at 1 second intervals (I now want the advantages of the more portable and turn-key Inspire system for Arctic missions). So true about processing times blowing up in your face! Some 600 photo, 90% overlap jobs would take Photoscan about 10 days to process using the most detailed setting on a decent workstation with 80 GB of RAM (I was mapping vegetation structure so this detail is not needed for most applications).
     
  8. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,955
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    Map Pilot has automatic speed reduction when it sense blur so it is maintaining the overlap with the shutter and speed reduction. The only problem with that was that a sustained gust slowed it down to crawl. It would be good if it speeded up again to maintain an acceptable blur index value. Maybe in future releases.
     
  9. Radbert

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    One other thing - are you using manual infinity focus or do you let autofocus do the job? I would think that using infinity focus properly calibrated to the hyperfocal distance might be more reliable for mapping.
     
  10. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,955
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    @Radbert, I feel bit of a fraud now. LOL. I was commenting on MapPilot even though I knew this was an X5 post and I am using the X3. Apologies.
     
  11. Radbert

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    still helpful info! Plus we will be using a P3 Advanced as our backup, which probably works similarly to the X3 for MapPilot. We will do some mapping comparisons between the two cameras and I can post the results here.
     
  12. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,955
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    The new Z3 camera will be in interesting option to watch for mapping too. X3.5 optical zoom.


    Holder of CAA PFAW
    BNUS-S Certified Pilot
     
  13. Andy_S_T

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'vve been experimentinf with this myself with the X5 good results so far using the DroneDeploy App. I always take off and set the camera setting in manual at the intended height of the survey and then switch over to the DroneDeploy App and press go, it then goes off to do it's thing. After it's returned back above tthe Home point I swich it back to Atti and land it myself.
     
  14. geoblu

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you completely exit out of DJI GO or have it still running in the background (which I thought was a no-no)?
     
  15. seanmclean

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    83
    I use MapPilot. Take off, switch to P, get your camera pointed and focused - then close DJI and open Mappilot, upload the mission and go.
     
  16. Andy_S_T

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have it running in the background all seems okay, I don't go back to DJI GO while it's flying though, just switch to Atti and land.
     
  17. Photomatt

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    3
    I made the mistake of mapping on a cloudy/gloomy day once and it almost doubled the flight time. Stick with bright sunny days for the quickest missions.
     
  18. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,955
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    I actually find cloudy days are better as there are no sharp shadows. For SfM I find high contrast does not produce the best results. With no ND filter of course I can still map at 9-12 m/s at 120m. I have since re-enable the speed reduction to avoid blur and found it now works OK. Maybe they fixed something.
     
  19. gazza95

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    7
    Also avoid early morning and late evening as they cause long shadows especially. Windy days not so good either
     
    IrishSights likes this.
  20. Radbert

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    After conducted about 20 missions in the Arctic with the Inspire Pro we found that the most reliable mapping method was to use Litchi waypoints as follows:
    1. Use Mission Planner PC software (survey Grid tool) to first plan altitude (resolution), desired frontal and side % overlap, and then speed that achieves the frontal overlap using a 2 second trigger interval. You also need to configure the proper X5 camera specs in the Survey (Grid) tool.
    2. Plan a Litchi waypoint mission using these parameters, including the distance between flight lines provided by Mission Planner, using the online Litchi Mission Hub.
    3. Before flying mission set focus to manual infinity in DJI Go (make sure this is calibrated properly) and ISO to 200 to allow for faster shutter speeds. Close DJI Go.
    4. Load mission in Litchi and set camera intervalometer to capture a JPEG every two seconds.
    5. Start Litchi mission, lower camera, and start camera triggering before it hits the first waypoint. We also used manual orientation in Litchi to keep the Inspire orientation constant and allow for faster turns between flight lines.

    The above is a bit of a pain, but ultimately was very reliable and produced excellent results. Zero photo frames dropped after collecting thousands of photos. Shutter speeds remained at approx. 1/1000 in heavy overcast conditions, resulting in very little motion blur flying 80m AGL at 8 m/s (fast trigger speeds in dim conditions I feel is the main advantage of the X5 over the X3 for mapping). It would be nice if Litchi had a shutter priority mode so we could have closed the aperture down a little to say F4 or 5.6

    I really like the Map Pilot iOS app, but the max 3 second triggering it uses is just too slow. I would love to see Map Pilot use a different strategy for the X5 with manual infinity focus, ISO 200, 2 second interval shooting, and speed that achieves the desired overlap using 2 second intervals.

    Attached is a sample from a forest fire burn mission at 60m AGL.
     
    vitjazzz and maccampb like this.