UgCS has two very important features when it comes to mapping. The first is that UgCS supports geotagging. This means that UgCS is able to sync the telemetry data from a flight to pictures taken during the fligh
This information can then be used in software such as Pix4D to stitch the pictures together to create a map overlay. This map overlay can then be fed back into UgCS as a custom map layer using Mapbox.
The steps for this procedure are the following:
1. Fly a mission using UgCS to scan an area and take pictures. This is best done using our Area Scan tool. Select it and draw an area on the map. UgCS supports different cameras, with the most popular cameras having pre-set profiles so that the area scan is automatically calculated according to the desired overlaps and ground resolution. Furthermore you are able to select a desired angle of the area scan. To set a desired starting point, insert a waypoint before the area scan.
You are also able to set various actions for the drone to do while flying the area scan mission, the most useful for mapping being the “Set camera by distance / time”. In case the camera trigger is not set up on the drone, you can simply set the camera to take the pictures each X seconds. However, before doing this, check that the time set in the camera corresponds to the time in UgCS.
Keep in mind that, if you are flying your drone in manual mode instead of a mission with UgCS, you need to set a take-off point altitude for the geotagging to work correctly afterwards.
2. Geotag the images using our in-built geotagging tool. The telemetry recording of each flight is saved by UgCS. To access and replay your flights, go to the Telemetry player. In the Telemetry player add your drone, then go to the drone tooltip and click on Geotagging. A window will open asking you to select the images from your computer to be geotagged according to the telemetry data.
3. After the images have been geotagged, they need to be stitched together. For this purpose we suggest using the software Pix4D.
If you are doing this in Pix4D, after the images have been selected, go to Process → Options → DSM and Orthomosaic and make sure that Google Maps Tiles and KML and Mapbox Tiles are checked.
From Pix4D you need to export the file with the extension .mbtiles
4. Add the .mbtiles file to UgCS as a new Map provider. To do this, in UgCS enter Menu → Configuration and under Map providers click “Add” and select the type “MBTiles”. Then just click Browse, find the file and click save.
5. Add the newly created layer as a map overlay in UgCS. In the main menu of UgCS go to layers and add it as an overlay. The resulting overlay should look similar to this.
UgCS can be downloaded from our site here: www.ugcs.com
More detailed steps on Pix4D rendering as well as the option of using the online service mapbox.com for hosting the map layers can be found here:
In case you have any questions, feel free to either send us a PM or e-mail us at email@example.com
Justin - I do agree, the UI definitely needs improvements. This is why we have been working on a new UI, it should be ready in the beginning of next year.
The software seems great but the UI is just so old school that I cant justify using it until that is overhauled. Hopefully one day it will look as good as Qground control