Drone 3D Mapping

Drone 3D Mapping Made Easy With This Quick Guide

Drone 3D mapping is highly efficient when it comes to delivering accurate mapping results. And this commendable efficiency that makes it a great asset for several sectors including agriculture, mining, construction, real estate, and infrastructure inspection.

Having an accurate photograph or 3D model of your projects complete with in-depth data plays a vital role in making an informed decision. Not just that, drone mapping is also comparatively cost-effective and less tedious. If you have set your sight on it, here is the quick drone 3D mapping guide to getting started on the right note!

What is Drone 3D Mapping?

Drone mapping takes advantage of an innovative technique called photogrammetry to acquire essential data or gather measurements. For those unfamiliar, photogrammetry is the technique that enables you to take measurements from photographs.

Thanks to the drone’s rapid speed of data acquisition and advanced software, you can now create survey-grade (ASPRS Standard) data a lot faster and with better proficiency.

Depending on your needs, you can show the derived data as an orthomosaic, topographical map, a point cloud, a digital terrain model, or even a digital surface model. Moreover, the data can also be visualized through a 3D textured mesh.

Read – What 3D Modeling is All About and Why It’s So Important for Your Business

How much does drone mapping cost?

Gone were the times when drone mapping was considered quite an expensive proposition. Thanks to the introduction of cost-effective yet exceptionally advanced drones like Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced Plus (starting price $1350), drone mapping will no longer burn a hole in your pocket.

Drone Mapping

So, whether you are a farmer, a land surveyor, or a real-estate businessman, you can make the most of a drone to carry out the essential tasks faster. And that too without having to break the bank or sweat!

Which drone mapping app should you choose?

Unlike before, the market is flooded with a ton of drone mapping apps that allow you to transmit and process the data in the cloud. As to which one should you choose entirely comes down to your requirements and budget.

Based on functionality, there are three types of drone mapping apps in the market: Acquisition Software, Processing Software, and All-in-One Drone Mapping Software.

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Acquisition Software: It is handy for planning missions to garner aerial imagery. Pix4D Capture and Maps Made Easy are some of the notable examples of acquisition software.

Processing Software: It enables you to create maps, orthomosaics, point clouds, as well as other deliverables from imagery with the help of photogrammetric calculations. PhotoscanAgisoft, Inpho, Pix4D Mapper are some of the well-known examples of processing software. 

Sticky Note:

  • A point cloud is basically a compilation of points or coordinates on an object’s surface. You can use the compilation of points to create a 3D model of an area.

All-in-One drone Mapping Software: As the name itself suggests, it’s a powerful and high-end software that’s designed to take care of all the tasks related to drone mapping. Be it the ability to transmit the data to a cloud server or the skill to automatically process the data in the cloud to create the desired output, it’s got you fully covered.

DroneDeploy has long been a top-notch drone mapping software. What sets it apart from many other rivals is the ability to excel in several fronts including the ability to make digital terrain models, orthomosaics, garner NDVI data, and even generate 3D models. It’s aimed at three industries like farming, surveying, and construction.

Pix4D is a robust suite of photogrammetric software. It consists of several different versions like Pix4DMapper for mapping, Pix4Dbim for construction, Pix4Dag for agriculture, and Pix4Dmodel for 3D modeling.

Furthermore, Pix4D also offers a handy mobile app (PIX4DCapture) to let you automate the mapping process with both DJI drones and Parrot drones.

Read Also – Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

360° Photography

Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

When it comes to immersive viewing experience, nothing comes closeto a 360° photo. With the deep insight into the surrounding, it capturesthe attention right away. If you are charmed by 360° images and are looking for the pro tips to get started with 360° photography, you are at the right place!

What is 360° Photography and Why It’s So Exciting?

In an age where Facebook and Instagram dominate the sphere and smartphones like iPhones and Galaxies challenge the supremacy of DSLRs, sharing stunning images has become an order of the day. While businesses share eye-catching shots of their offerings to stay in the hunt, netizens share their memories to win attention.

Thanks to the ability to deliver vivid detail, 360° photography has become a rage today. For those uninitiated, 360° images are a series of still images snapped in a sequence, presenting a remarkable view of not just the subject but also the background.

Read – The Top 4 Predictions for the Future of Photography

What sort of gears do you need to capture 360° shots like a Pro?

The key to capturing top-notch 360° photos is to have an armory of solid gears. If you don’t want to compromise with the quality of the shots, invest in them.

DSLR or flagship smartphones like iPhone and Pixel

Though smartphones like iPhones, Pixels, and Galaxies have come a long way in terms of camera quality, they are still not in the same league as DSLRs. So, get one to deliver top-of-the-line visual appeal.

A robust tripod

You should go for a robust tripod for better control. It can let you install your DSLR or smartphone perfectly to capture desired shots from different angles.

Cayer AF2451 ($164.99 on Amazon) is one of the better professional camera

tripods.Constructed with high-grade aluminum, it sports a durable appearance. What puts it ahead of the curve is the ability to offer 360°-panning and +90/-70° tilt.

(Pic Credit – Amazon)

Fisheye lens featuring 180° FOV

The fisheye lens with 180° FOV (field of view)is designed to deliver excellent visual distortion that plays a vital role in creating wide panoramic or hemispherical photos.

Shutter release cable or remote

We would suggest you get this one. Pressing the shutter button with the finger could cause the VR head to shift which might disarray the stitch alignment. Thus, get a remote without fail.

Pick the right software

There is no dearth of software for 360° stitching. However, the 360° photo stitching programs that are ahead of the curve are PTGui and Hugin.

Go for a neat VR head

A VR head comes in super handy when you want to set up your equipment to shoot 360° pics. And for this purpose, it’s Nodal Ninja Ultimate seems a touch better than many other counterparts.

Read – What 3D Modeling is All About and Why It’s So Important for Your Business

Best tips and tricks to shoot top-notch 360° photos

No matter how good your gears are, they can’t deliver the best, if you haven’t set them up properly. For starters, find the perfect spot for the camera and ideally set up the tripod in keeping with the theme and the sort of images you want to capture.

Another step is to fine-tune the camera settings like focus, aperture, white balance, and shutter speed in line with your needs. For instance, if you want to capture sharp and detailed images, always shoot 360 images at an aperture of f/8.

Shooting 360 photos with precision

Once you have customized the camera settings, it’s time to get started with the shooting. We are going to use the Nodal Ninja VR head powered by the Sigma 8mm fisheye lens.

To get a full-on 360° image, we will need to snap four photos at 0°, 90°, 180°, and 270°. Bear in mind, rotating the VR head counterclockwise could unscrew it. Therefore, always make it a point to rotate it clockwise.

After that, you can export your stitched panoramic image and share it with your friends or followers. If you wish, you can even turn it into a 360° virtual tour by using programs like My360 and Pano2VR.

Read Also – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

5 Smart Real Estate Photography Ideas

Did you know that more than 50% home buyers find what they are looking for on the internet? And in the online world, if you don’t use visuals to market your real estate, you will inevitably fall behind others and have a tough time in sealing a deal. The reason is quite obvious. High quality and relevant photographs grab attention quickly and stick to the potential buyer’s brain more than plain old text. A property that is marketed through visuals gets better recall and engagement. And no, even if you are a superb amateur photographer, always trust a professional to do the perfect job for you. The money you shell out will be worth it. However, here are some real estate photography tips that will help you to zero in on the right professionals and get the best results.

  1. Take a look at their portfolio and reviews – Knowing what the professionals have done in the past will help you decide if they can help you in the present. So, go through their past projects or portfolio and ask about how they plan their work. Things might be different if they have to simply take photos of your property or create a video. Also go through client testimonials to get an idea about their professionalism, ethics and communication norms.

  2. Ask if they can create custom virtual tours – Photography for businesses, including the ones in real estate, has become an extremely competitive field now. This means, just putting up beautiful and vibrant photos might not be enough to win brownie points. So, ask the photography professionals if they can create 360 degree virtual tours by “stitching” panoramic images of your property together. These tours are the latest in visual marketing and offer an exciting, immersive experience to prospective buyers. You can add them to your website, social media pages and even Google My Business listing to get more queries.

    Read – The Top 4 Predictions for the Future of Photography

  3. Find out what kind of lighting will work best for you – One of the timeless real estate photography ideas is to highlight your property in the best light. And what works for one might not be ideal for another. Also, while outdoor shots seem better, more crisp and close to the original colors at dusk, indoor photos should be taken in the middle of the day when the sun is bright. Moreover, night-time shots can look amazing if the right kind of artificial lighting is in place. So, request the professionals to explore your property and discuss what you want to highlight with them. Then ask about the type of lighting they plan to use and why.

  4. Remove clutter and stage the scene – This is one of those photography tips that all professionals recommend.  Before taking shots of any room, get rid of unnecessary items and clean up the whole place as much as possible. For example, remove pots and pans from the kitchen, laundry bins from the bedroom, cleaning accessories from the bathroom and that pile of newspapers from the living room. Ideally, only large and eye-catching furniture pieces and light fixtures should remain. Next comes the staging part. Here, real estate photographers will help you make the room attractive, by maybe adding a few pretty vases, cushions, throws or a painting. It will help the potential buyer to visualize your property better.  

  5. Find out about the photo editing basics – Professional real estate photographers usually edit the photos to make them more beautiful and appealing. For that, they might use a variety of tools, which you should get a basic idea about. You can also ask how they will make dull photos more vibrant, correct contrasts, or make the colors realistic. Ask how they intend to make your interiors look bright and cheerful. Editing tools are also available to reduce brightness, make edges sharper or softer and to balance the blacks and whites. 

All in all, the above realty photography will prepare you for the things professionals take care of while shooting a property for a quick sale. And if you are looking for experts who can handle various properties and create awesome photographs, videos or virtual tours in no time, email us at info@massinteract.com

Read Also – Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

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