Do we have a contact at Esri for the Drone2Map?

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05-11-2016 12:54 AM
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warrenroberts
Occasional Contributor II

Have some questions on the drone and the drone2map software.  I couldnt find a contact at Esri ?

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DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

If you look at the people page of the space, Jeremy might be a good bet since he is one of the owners and the vast majority of the members are esri employees Drone2Map for ArcGIS so my guess is one of them, but I would think your post might stir some attention

TimothyHales
Esri Notable Contributor

Jeremy Schuyler​ and Molly Zurn​ would probably be good to start with.

MichaelSeybert
Esri Contributor

I can also help with the Drone related questions if need be.

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warrenroberts
Occasional Contributor II

thank you!!

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JamesB_MapDude
New Contributor

Would an Intel Falcon 8 drone be good for Drone2Map?

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CodyBenkelman
Esri Regular Contributor

James

yes we have processed imagery from the Falcon 8

almost any modern drone camera will work fine in Drone2Map (regardless of the physical aircraft body that is carrying it)

Cody B

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JamesB_MapDude
New Contributor

Cody,

Thanks for the response, from my research the camera just needs to be able to have GPS capability, correct?

We are wanting to create a 3d model of the city and then eventually 3d print a scaled version of the city. Do you think drone to map would be an efficient, easy solution to this project?

James

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CodyBenkelman
Esri Regular Contributor

James

Your comment about cameras is generally correct, although the processing in Drone2Map must have knowledge about the camera (primarily the sensor size and lens focal length) as well as GPS, so if you had some unknown camera (with GPS) you might still run into challenges - but I know we have processed imagery from a Falcon 8 in the past, so I am ~90% sure this will work "out of the box".  However, I will admit I don't know intimate details of the Falcon 8, and if there are multiple cameras available, there is a SLIM chance we wouldn't have info about that camera in our database. 

There are ways to work around this but if in doubt and you want to be sure BEFORE buying the drone and camera, I'd suggest you request 3 sample images (ideally taken above ground, with overlap) and send them to me, and I can test and confirm

As to your overall project, there are a lot more issues to discuss - but it's good to know where you're going.  Here are some BRIEF thoughts, not intended to answer everything you need to consider:

  1. Yes, Drone2Map can build a 3D model that would (SHOULD) be suitable for printing as a 3D solid model.  However, this requires that one of our output formats for a 3D mesh is compatible with your 3D printer, and I can't answer that for sure.  I'd suggest a SMALL test area (and if you don't want to get the drone and do the processing, I could give you models to test - they just wouldn't be in your town).
    1. formats include *.i3s (this is our preferred format), OSGB, OBJ, FBX, Autocad DXF, PLY, and a 3D PDF.
  2. Second question for the 3D printer is "does it work well with something like building overhangs?" - e.g. think of an umbrella - would your 3D printout show the top surface of the umbrella then extend from the edges straight to the ground (essentially a solid cylinder) or would you really expect it to be an umbrella or mushroom shape?  
  3. 3rd is to explore the legal requirements on flying a drone.  You will need special permission to fly over pedestrians in the city. 
  4. 4th is total area.  I see Opelika is 60 square miles - that's not a big project for photography from a manned aircraft, but it is LARGE for a drone project.  Realistically it would take you many separate days of flying, and you'd run multiple overlapping projects through Drone2Map.  That should be doable, but merging many projects requires additional decisions.  And note you may end up with brightness and color differences across the city (bright sunny day in May for one flight, cloudy day in April for another...). 

If you look at this example http://esriurl.com/EsriCampus3D it will illustrate some of these issues.

  • This is 1/6 of 1 square mile, and required 3 drone flights to cover our full campus.  You could do more in one full day, and you could cover more area if you flew higher than we did but you'd get lower resolution.  I'm only estimating but you might need 60 days of flying (good weather, possible clouds & cloud shadows, etc.) to cover 60 square miles.
  • Also, look at the trees - you'll have many features in the 3D mesh that will have a small bottom and large volume overhead (my "umbrella" or mushroom comment above).  Also, there may well be some objects "floating" above the ground such as some of the tree canopy.  This would require editing before sending to a 3D printer...

I hope that is helpful
Cody B

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JamesB_MapDude
New Contributor

Cody,

Thanks for taking the time to go through that overview.

To clarify our END Goal is to produce a 3d virtual model of our historic downtown area. This area is only a few blocks, less than 1 square mile. Then the industrial and Tech parks. So only targeted areas for the drone.

We fly photography and LIDAR every 3 years. It is currently in progress for the new set. I have made a model in the past of clipped building footprints and the topography with some of the LIDAR, but that still only produces extruded features with randomized or targeted facades. I don't have the time or manpower to go through and create exact windows, material type etc. This leads me to the drone2map software. It seems from what I have read this product would produce a realistic virtual model more efficiently in less time.

As far as the 3d printer. the preferred file type would be a .STL file, but we can export that .OBJ file to what we need. Currently we have a Makerbot Replicator + , but in the future we will be looking to purchase a larger print bed.  Side bar to this, What would be my best platform to take lidar and other parametric data to produce a virtual 3d model. I used City engine in the past, but it was a bit of a learning curve. Can everything I need to do for the 3d model be done in Pro?

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