Making Digital Elevations Models (DEM) on the cheap

It is a little off topic but I thought many of the forum goers might find the Photosynth to 3D process I've been working on useful for creating 3D models from aerial photos.  The process is pretty simple and FREE:

·         Gather images with a lot of overlap (like most of our aerial shots)

·         Upload the files to http://www.photosynth.net (or use the open source Bundler app http://phototour.cs.washington.edu/bundler/ )

·         Use this exporter to extract the point cloud http://pspcexporter.codeplex.com/

·         Use a product like Meshlab  http://www.meshlab.net/ (hard to get good results) or VrMesh Studio ( http://www.vrmesh.com/products/overview.asp  ) to generate a mesh surface from the point cloud.

 

Here are two examples from my work in Ecuador and West Texas:

https://www.youtube.com/user/mdwillis01#p/a/u/0/2-oK5lnNA-I

and

https://www.youtube.com/user/mdwillis01#p/u/6/nJgvLll57f0 (only part of this one was done with Photoysnth).

The images were captured from kite and balloon platforms but the same workflow should work for any series of photographs.

Also, here is a Google Earth file with some of the same data http://70.114.146.89/~mwillis/Puchara_Grande.kmz (~10 Mb).  My linux box connection is slow. It'll take a bit to download.

-Mark

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Replies

  • Does the software only handle nadir-looking (i.e., looking straight down) images? Or can it also handle images taken at an angle? Very cool, nevertheless. What file type of images are acceptable?
  • Nice work, thanks for sharing this.
    I wouldn't say it is off-topic at all, there has been a lot of talk about it lately. The ability to produce georeferenced photo mosaics and even surface height measurements is what turns a bunch of pictures from the air into useful data. Something that has commercial potential and a great application for small UAVs.
    /Steve
This reply was deleted.

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