Introducing Palentier: An Open Source Aerial Mapping Application

Palentier processes aerial photographs collected from a camera aboard a MikroKopter, or similar Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) then scales, orients and projects the images to real world mapping systems. It does this by analyzing the telemetry data from the UAS and merging it with the aerial photographs. The resulting data is then superimposed for viewing in Google Earth or in a Geographic Information System (GIS) like ArcGIS. Currently, export to Google Earth (KML and KMZ), JPEG world files (*.jpgw), and Leica Photogrammetry Suite's "initial exterior orientation" file format (.dat) are supported.

Palentier is available for free (as in please donate) at

Palentier is written in Java and was created by M. Stange and Mark Willis (willis D0T arch AT gmail D0T com).

Views: 5307

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 28, 2010 at 12:56pm
Wow, fantastic
Comment by Eric T on September 28, 2010 at 1:22pm
looks great! is there any merging and blending of the image files into one seamless image?
Comment by Ravi Gaddipati on September 28, 2010 at 3:59pm
May be able to help in development!
Comment by Chris on September 28, 2010 at 4:58pm
looks as main thing missing from the image is blending and light balancing
Comment by Mike on September 29, 2010 at 1:35am
nice work I can see you have been busy?

I just read the manual and have a couple of questions:
1. no mention of IMU telemetry - is that used?
2. data format required for non-MK users (I am using UDB)
3. I like the nudge facility but it would be great if this was applicable to individual images as well as the group. One could then align each image in GE and get better matching between each image and the GE base.

Do you intend to take this further - similar to Enso etc.?

Comment by Mark Willis on September 29, 2010 at 5:34am
To answer the questions:

1. The telemetry that is used is: latitude and longitude (GPS based obviously), altitude above take off location (barometer based), and compass bearing. On the MK these data along with Yaw, Pitch, and Roll are recorded twice a second.

2. I have not tested the data on non-MK yet but it should work with minor modifications to the UDB output or to Palentier's parsing. The GPX (xml) tags it currently looks for are: trkpt lat="##.#######" lon="##.#######", ele, time, and compass. In theory, a new "airframe/data logger" model could added to the software to allow this to be changed on the fly.

3. Nudging individual images would be nice a function to add. I'll look into it.

Yes, I would like to take this further by adding SURF based control point generation, 3D feature extraction, color correction, etc. I grok the mapping concepts and the math (egad!) enough to push this to another level but my programming skills are feeble.

Ravi, any help in the development would be much appreciated. That's part of the reason why we wanted Palentier to be open source.

Thanks for all the kind comments.

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on September 29, 2010 at 6:06am
If I double click on JAR I got 'pom' uner windows.
Got java 1.6.
WHen I run from command line, got this:
$ java current.jar
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: current/jar
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: current.jar
at$ Source)
at Method)
at Source)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
Could not find the main class: current.jar. Program will exit.

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on September 29, 2010 at 6:06am
Looks like malformed package?
Comment by Mark Willis on September 29, 2010 at 6:28am
Krzysztof, I think I see the problem. I had a symbolic link called "current.jar" to the actual zipped file. If you go back to the link, it should now download "" instead of "current.jar". Sorry about that. My fault for not testing the website fully.

Please let me know if that doesn't work.
Comment by Don LeRoi on September 29, 2010 at 7:36am

Very nice work.

I didn't see the source code. Is it available?

- Don


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