Dear all, during routine test flying of Pteryx UAV, we had an opportunity to capture maps of various sizes.
The following example is made near our factory in Opaleniska village, South-East Poland.
One thing is clear: Google Earth is lying! The earth from above never looks as it shows.
The original is here:
We have made this map collage out of 5 cases:
BLUE SNOW, RED SNOW, BROWN, BEIGE, GREEN. The samples were not the wisest, sharpest, largest nor the most glorious ones.
The stitching was made using fully automatic method (minus manual entering of time offset for camera) being developed for Pteryx UAV. However you could get plausible result with Microsoft ICE if your aim is surface documentation and when you can give up some accuracy.
Observe as in some cases you have highly varying cloud cover (lower-left corner). The two largest maps are around 2km^2 here and are not the biggest we have produced, as surface coverage varies between 3km^2 per 2h of flight (square map made of 75% overlap photos +reserve) to 24km^2 (80% overlap 80km straight line +reserve).
I think this post illustrates the key selling point of UAVs: it really does matter WHEN you make aerial photos and better do it below cloud level.