DIY Ghetto Mapping Project


(my image: 2015)

Yesterday, I finally felt happy enough with my first mapping experiments to share my ideas, experiences and results with you. I was a little bit apprehensive at first; the prospect of adding gps location information to a non-gps camera seemed too daunting a task for me. But I persevered and got results. I'm starting to love and rely on Mission Planner more & more these days. It's just got so much tucked away in there.


(Google earth: 2003)

Anyway, if you would like to read and see what I managed to create please take a look at my blog here:

With my new ability to have gps referenced photos, I learned that it is possible to attempt 3D mapping (using a trial of Agisoft).

However, my computer didn't enjoy the experience. It basically collapsed on the couch, opened a beer, and told me to take a hike. I don't blame it as it was new in 2003.

There is a sweet little infographic on the blog I discovered earlier in the week:


Please let me know some thoughts, and possibilities. I'd be very grateful for input & improvement.
Thanks for reading.

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  • @Samuel Mi - Makes me sad that China thinks I must be blocked.

  • @ben,

    like you guess, your blog site has totally been blocked from great firewall of China. so, maybe, you can manage your blog on that's really very simple.

  • Correct Julien. If you wish to extract images from video I use this free software (I think it had some optional installware in the installation menu to avoid). You can quickly select number of frames per second. 

    If you wish to remove fisheye, you decide either to remove fisheye in video processing, or remove fisheye from extracted images using batch editing in a image editor (photoshop or GIMP etc)

  • Hi ben, thaks for reply.

    I did a quick test with Agisoft trial some weeks ago, with just 90 images of a 5 hectare area, with no GPS geotag.

    And the software was able to make a 3D model of the zone, not very accurate due to few raw data but the feature was obvioulsy there.

    Using a video is very interesting as you can perform such mapping even if you don't have a trigger for the camera!!

  • @ János - Thankyou. Impressive that people have access to clusters and renderfarms :) I'm hoping to remap the area anytime later this year. There's also a cool quarry close by which might display mesh depth a little more dramatically.

    For interest, the quarry area is here

  • @Samuel Mi - Has the Great firewall of China blocked my DIY tutorials?????

  • @Ben

    looks interesting. but, seems like i can't have access to that link ( to your blog. so, here's some questions to your project as described around here:

    1> what drone is used to get mapping on the air?

    2> how does it work to map during flight?

  • @Julien - You can extract images from video, or just use the video in Ms ICE . Of course the image/video will not be geotagged, so not 3D.

  • here's my image set for my first georeferenced attempt: link here

    I'd really like to see if anyone with a decent computer/workstation can process it using high mesh settings + dense point cloud. I could only manage low, and also not able to save.

    I'll eventually figure out how to georef the whole area. 

  • Great post and I enjoyed reading your blog. Great ideas!

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