After receiving an interesting request for drone usage from Japan, we decided to share it with you.

Oftentimes even before starting the construction of a building, the company needs to make the idea gain interest and acquire orders from potential customers. While the inside view of the apartments can be rendered in CAD, to illustrate the view from windows it makes a lot more sense to actually take the pictures instead of rendering them.

To take photos of the view from windows / balcony of apartments of buildings which are yet to be built, a drone with an automatic camera trigger can be used. 

The first image of the post is the sketch of the idea by Keitaro Sugiyama.

This idea can be easily brought to life by using UgCS ground station for flight planning. This is how the flight plan would look in UgCS:


The creation of this route took only about 30 minutes using the distance measurement tool in UgCS and calculating all the exact locations and placing the waypoints along with camera trigger actions. However, after a 5 minute flight you will get excellent and accurate marketing material for potential clients.

Get UgCS here: www.ugcs.com

Safe flights,
UgCS Team


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  • Very cool implementation UgCS. Was the solution used by the client/user?

    @mods, can we get the spam under control re: Darius Jack hijacking this Post.

  • @ Delerious Jerk,

    Why don't you make like a failed drone and Buzz Off.  .. sorry, I couldn't help it.

  • Developer

    Yeah, really cool.  Copter-3.4 should include support for absolute and google-earth (or other data provider's) terrain data based altitudes in missions (and even Guided mode).  I don't immediately see how it helps but it might make it easier to specify the mission.

  • Moderator

    I love seeing new, niche flight modes for specific commercial purposes. Thanks for sharing. 

  • follow up

    Google Earth API script examples

    Camera script


    Camera move


    more script examples


    more script examples 2



    In 2008 or 2009 I developed remote controller to work with Google Earth

    to let you select lat, long, alt, zoom in/ pan remotely

    Good Google Earth API by Google

    Could you recall me the name of another 3D Earth mapping system offered by ESA, promoted at DIYDrones ?

  • @benbojangles,

    Camera scripts are available from this place


    Unfortunately, use of API has been limited




    Announcing deprecation of the Google Earth API

    Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014     

    Over six years ago we introduced the Google Earth API, enabling developers to build rich 3D mapping applications in the browser, using JavaScript. And over the years, developers have built quite a number of fascinating applications.

    However, the Earth API is built on a technology called the NPAPI plugin framework, and recently, for security reasons, both Chrome and Firefox have announced they’re removing support for this framework. These security reasons, combined with dwindling cross-platform support (particularly on mobile devices), had made building applications that leverage the Earth API untenable for developers.

    Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided to retire the Google Earth API. Per our deprecation policy, the API will be supported until one year from today and will be turned off on December 12, 2015.

    For the duration of the deprecation period, the set of supported browsers is as follows. Because of the recent Chrome and Firefox announcements, support on those browsers extends only to the latest browser version that supports NPAPI. 

    Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7, and 8)

    Google Chrome 5.0-39.0 (32-bit)

    Internet Explorer 7-9, and 10-11 with Compatibility View (32-bit) (Note that the Windows 8 browsing mode with Internet Explorer does not support plugins.)

    Firefox 11.0-34.0

    Apple Mac OS X 10.6 or later (any Intel Mac)

    Google Chrome 5.0-39.0 (32-bit)

    Safari 3.1+

    Firefox 11.0-34

    Google Earth has a proud legacy, which continues with the new Google Earth for Android, powered by a brand new renderer. 3D is in our blood, and while we can’t announce anything just now, we look forward to sharing more exciting product news in the future.

    Posted by Ken Hoetmer, Product Manager, Google Maps APIs


  • :) Good work Darius, keep learning. Looking forward to some scripts if you can manage it. Best wishes.

  • ok,. ok

    got it finally,

    I am not retarded ;)

    You need to shot 3D panoramas for every window since otherwise you can only get 

    balcony view in a single direction.

    I would like to write a script to support geolocated balcony view from virtual buildings, geolocated with Google Earth.

    For many geolocations you can get high resolution, natural landscape view, based on Google Earth's imaginery.

    got it got it, finally  ;))))

  • @Olivier

    I am not retarded but could you clarify what do you plan to shot if the building is still virtual ?

    How can you make real drone to shot virtual building ?

    Virtual camera is already supported by Archicad, Autodesk and others,

    so no need for real or virtual drones.

    To learn more virtual cameras you can visit virtual CNN studio at SecondLife.


    The first image of the post is the sketch of the idea by Keitaro Sugiyama.


    I exactly designed buildings in Sketchup and geolocated in Google Earth 10 years ago,

    as described above.

  • Great idea!

    @Darius>  Flying a real drone close to a real building can be dangerous due to shading and GPS signal lost.

    That's not what they are doing. As pointed out in the post, the idea is  to take real photos of what the view would be like from different spots of the building,  *before* construction. Much better than renders done with CAD.

This reply was deleted.