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Images with Measurements

Fred Garvin

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I normally only provide images for others to analyze or to use in Marketing efforts, but I was contacted by a landscaping company who wants overheads or aerials with measurements so they can plan their efforts. For example, an overhead of the property or section of the property with an accurate dimensions so they can plan, 20' of shrubs, a 5x10 section for roses, a 10' pathway....etc.

How is this normally done? Is there software that ingests your images and calculates....or is this where you have GPS systems with ground control points and such? It's new territory for me and I'm not equipped at this point for it. (I told them this and that I'd look into it and get back with them, and if I couldn't do it, I know someone who could.)
 

Fred Garvin

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Okay, NM.....with a little effort on my part...

I found a website that walks you through simple calculations using the camera/sensor specs (which I easily found) and then measuring pixels (with GIMP) to get a Ground Sample Distance. Knowing the altitude it's a simple matter to calculate a reasonably accurate distance between two points. I don't think they need survey-grade measurements.
 
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Fred Garvin

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Okay, after spending the better part of a day on this, I'm a bit more versed on the subject and what they're looking to do.

Currently, they use Go iLawn, a subscription-based service that like many others, uses satellite (Google Maps) imagery and does not accept user-generated images. I think what they're wanting to do is get away from the $$$$ cost of iLawn and come up with a system or software that allows you to provide the images and enables you to go in and do all the measuring off of that image.

I'm not really finding anything, but I've only just started looking and I'm not sure how much effort I'm willing to put forth on this. I'm seeing big gaps from a manual method (counting pixels in GIMP) to satellite services like iLawn, iPave.....to Pix4D and DroneDeploy which are full-on $$$$ Photogrammetry services.
 
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Meta4

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I'm not really finding anything, but I've only just started looking and I'm not sure how much effort I'm willing to put forth on this. I'm seeing big gaps from a manual method (counting pixels in GIMP) to satellite services like iLawn, iPave.....to Pix4D and DroneDeploy which are full-on $$$$ Photogrammetry services.
You really need to use photogrammetry rather than working from a single image if you want to have accurate measurements.
It's pretty easy to output from Metashape to a KMZ file and read that in Google Earth and use their measuring tools.
I did that to calculate the amount of turf I'd need when I moved to a new house.
The shapes were irregular and hard to measure on the ground.
Here's an example from a 120 acre site to show how it works
1. Orthophoto stitched from 380 images
.
2. Opening the orthophoto in Google Earth overlays it on GE base

3. Using GE measuring tools you can calculate lengths for fences, pipelines etc or areas of complex
shapes
 

BigAl07

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@Meta4 excellent demonstration. Getting it into GE is a great idea as I use their measure tool all the time. Now I'm thinking about other possible business products to offer :)
 
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Kklix

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You really need to use photogrammetry rather than working from a single image if you want to have accurate measurements.
It's pretty easy to output from Metashape to a KMZ file and read that in Google Earth and use their measuring tools.
I did that to calculate the amount of turf I'd need when I moved to a new house.
The shapes were irregular and hard to measure on the ground.
Here's an example from a 120 acre site to show how it works
1. Orthophoto stitched from 380 images
.
2. Opening the orthophoto in Google Earth overlays it on GE base

3. Using GE measuring tools you can calculate lengths for fences, pipelines etc or areas of complex
shapes
Maybe a class or webinar would be good for this application for us NOT so savy folks that would like to learn this prossess
 

dougcjohn

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@Fred Garvin , Looking for a quick solution with minimal time or experience. The Metashape is an excellent product and the Pro version includes tools to measure and additional features. Download the Pro version, and an email address will provide full functionality for 30 days. Another one is RealityCapture (RC) by Capturing Reality. They have full functionality version for Free, and you purchase PPI credits to export any final products desired... nice part, the credits apply to the photos, not the project. You can reuse the photos in multiple renderings for zero cost.

Both are great, but the needle swings to RC for full features for minimal cost... plus for charge-out per Client case... PPI credits you use, gives a 1 to 1 cost per Client with your mark-up.

All workable but still have extended time in learning and becoming proficient.

There are 2 ways to approach the measurements: neither are Survey Grade but that's not part of the focus of your question... more in a quick simplistic approach to accomplish a task at a low cost & quick to provide to Client.

To place accuracy of the measured point relative to the point on Earth, the need for GCP and GPS ground Rover is needed for accuracy... absolute. Although if you're wanting measurements of a section of yard, distance from house, or distance between points on land piece for Landscaping projects to calculate a project's cost, estimate material or provide a visual of plant placement. Not directly tied to an absolute points on Earth, but more accuracy in the size or distance between objects within the 2D Ortho. This requirement can have a small tolerance in accuracy... similar to tape measure in yard and probably better than GE satellite images. Then MapsMadeEasy (MME) would provide at zero or minimal cost and esentially zero experience beyond what you already have in experience to fly a grid autonomously.

The use of MapsMadeEasy, is a great way to provide these requests and provides the Client the ability to make multiple measurements, screen captures and prints. You simply upload photos from you MA (or new model), provide the Client the URL Link to your MME shared project of the 2D Ortho. Within Chrome the MME measuring tools are available. Make a MME "Location" and place multiple aerial dates into Location and Client can click through a 2D time lapse. You control the Shared MME links, and can close if desired too.

All quick, low cost (MME credits) and extremely quick to provide. If you shoot 350 photos, to see results, take every 3rd into a quick process batch and keep it under 250pts for Free Processing too. Let's you check results for free and it might even meet their needs too.

The measuring tools within MME are accurate to within a small tolerance within the 2D Ortho. Basically applying the math you were referencing above. Realistically, it doesn't matter if the landscape wall or shrub is spot accurate to the earth, as long as the length of wall or distance between shrubs is accurate.

And it's quick for you... your biggest time investment is flying the grid. The detail is much better than GE images, and it stays within your MME Acct if they later want a before/after comparison.
 
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dougcjohn

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Cost of MME Credits if purchase a larger number is minimal and they don't expire so no rush to use them. I can shoot a City Block construction site on 280-350 photos single grid or 500-700 double grid at 100 - 300 feet @ f11.

If quick batch... free, full detail cost of credits $18-$30. Pass that on with markup.
All low cost and processes during the evening ready to send URL link in the AM.
 

Ajkm

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Okay, after spending the better part of a day on this, I'm a bit more versed on the subject and what they're looking to do.

Currently, they use Go iLawn, a subscription-based service that like many others, uses satellite (Google Maps) imagery and does not accept user-generated images. I think what they're wanting to do is get away from the $$$$ cost of iLawn and come up with a system or software that allows you to provide the images and enables you to go in and do all the measuring off of that image.

I'm not really finding anything, but I've only just started looking and I'm not sure how much effort I'm willing to put forth on this. I'm seeing big gaps from a manual method (counting pixels in GIMP) to satellite services like iLawn, iPave.....to Pix4D and DroneDeploy which are full-on $$$$ Photogrammetry services.
Look at Measure Ground Control.
 

Meta4

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Maybe a class or webinar would be good for this application for us NOT so savy folks that would like to learn this prossess
It's not complicated.
I explained the steps already.
The only thing I left out was that I used DroneDeploy to plan the flights and acquire the images.
It's good because the client can open the KMZ file in Google Earth themselves and work with it.
I did one for a golfcourse and showed the non-computer-savvy greenkeeper how he could measure with it.
He said he could have done with it a week earlier when he took a whole day to calculate how much pipe he would need.
On the computer it took a couple of minutes.
 

dougcjohn

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Thanks! Really, really appreciate the explanations.

I'm pretty sure what they're looking for is something they can do themselves, just use my images.
Try it on your yard or park. Upload & process... won't beleive how simplistic & quick. You can use any app to fly the grid and collect photos.

If your upload project shows a cost, then go back to step 2 option and lower the quality. That reduces the points and will get ya under the free limit (250?).

The MME 3D images "onlne" are a bit entertaining but no high quality. Fun to rotate around and maybe even share with Client... but basically for fun. You can "download" the 3D model in a much higher resolution.

Few points meant to mention in above post:
Photogramatry programs such as Metashape produce nice results but don't offer a quick way to present to Client. They offer a "Viewer Player" but Client needs to download Metashape full version to obtain the "Viewer Player". Plus it carries a hefty price tag up front... the standard version is limited. The Client can install Full Pro Version for Free... and open processed files or use Viewer. They can't process files without license.

The few drawbacks of MME:
1) Credit tokens cost is "per processing" job.
2) Files are downloadable only for short time, if you want again... another credit process cost.
3) Not a lot of tweaking or options within product. (That's also a good thing for simplistic workflow).
 

Meta4

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Photogramatry programs such as Metashape produce nice results but don't offer a quick way to present to Client. They offer a "Viewer Player" but Client needs to download Metashape full version to obtain the "Viewer Player". Plus it carries a hefty price tag up front... the standard version is limited. The Client can install Full Pro Version for Free... and open processed files or use Viewer. They can't process files without license.
In the example I gave above, I gave the client a kmz file that they could open Google Earth without them needing anything else.
Simple and uncomplicated.
 
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dougcjohn

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In the example I gave above, I gave the client a kmz file that they could open Google Earth without them needing anything else.
Simple and uncomplicated.
That is available within the URL link from MME. Use Chrome / Firefox and measuring tools are on the Web page next to Ortho Image.

I will highly agree, DD is a beautiful product, creates wonderful reports, and the "live view" feature is fantastic! But to have that functionality, it's over $3000 per yr. If busy you can pass it on to Client, but I prefer a lower cost option or Own the asset for that yearly cost.
 
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Dave Pitman

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In the example I gave above, I gave the client a kmz file that they could open Google Earth without them needing anything else.
Simple and uncomplicated.

I had to smile. I've had clients that don't even want to mess with GE ! I send them a screenshot for confirmation.
 
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dougcjohn

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I had to smile. I've had clients that don't even want to mess with GE ! I send them a screenshot for confirmation.
Lol, agree... some just want the static image in an email size attachment.
 

Meta4

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I will highly agree, DD is a beautiful product, creates wonderful reports, and the "live view" feature is fantastic! But to have that functionality, it's over $3000 per yr. If busy you can pass it on to Client, but I prefer a lower cost option or Own the asset for that yearly cost.
DD costs nothing to plan and fly with.
 

dougcjohn

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DD costs nothing to plan and fly with.
Agreed, the DD app to fly is free, although to fly without the paid features isn't above any other app... in my observations isn't the best option. But the collection of photos isn't the focus... it's the processing.
 

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