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Mapping 101

RickGleason

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Good afternoon

I’m new to this forum and looking forward to picking everyone’s brain. I currently have my 107 certification and I’m looking into getting started with mapping. Unfortunately, I’m not sure where to start. I know that DARTdrones offers a class, but unfortunatly one is not being offered in my area.

Ive played around a little with DroneDeploy and have gotten back some pretty interesting 3D models. Lol

Long story short - I need training, but not sure where to get it. I like doing structural type of mapping, but I’m open to all areas.

I would even be willing to shadow someone during the learning process and maybe developing a partnership of sorts - everything is negotiable right.

Thanks
Rick
 

dronecyclops

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Good afternoon

I’m new to this forum and looking forward to picking everyone’s brain. I currently have my 107 certification and I’m looking into getting started with mapping. Unfortunately, I’m not sure where to start. I know that DARTdrones offers a class, but unfortunatly one is not being offered in my area.

Ive played around a little with DroneDeploy and have gotten back some pretty interesting 3D models. Lol

Long story short - I need training, but not sure where to get it. I like doing structural type of mapping, but I’m open to all areas.

I would even be willing to shadow someone during the learning process and maybe developing a partnership of sorts - everything is negotiable right.

Thanks
Rick
Hi Rick you might want to put your location down
 

Nitz

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Good afternoon

I’m new to this forum and looking forward to picking everyone’s brain. I currently have my 107 certification and I’m looking into getting started with mapping. Unfortunately, I’m not sure where to start. I know that DARTdrones offers a class, but unfortunatly one is not being offered in my area.

Ive played around a little with DroneDeploy and have gotten back some pretty interesting 3D models. Lol

Long story short - I need training, but not sure where to get it. I like doing structural type of mapping, but I’m open to all areas.

I would even be willing to shadow someone during the learning process and maybe developing a partnership of sorts - everything is negotiable right.

Thanks
Rick
Welcome Rick,

Before you go paying people like DARTDrones, I would recommend checking out some youtube videos on Photogrammetry. There is a great reddit (/r/photogrammetry) with great resources and a wonderful community to help you out. Additionally, there are TONS of great FREE resources on youtube to help out to get started on the basics.

I do a lot of orthomosaics (imagery maps), so if that is what you're interested in I can kind of help out. I'm not as versed as some of the pilots who are also surveyors and use GCP, but I manage :)

The most expensive part will be the rendering hardware/software. I'm not comfortable having the companies render for me (cloud based), so I paid for on-prem software, but it required me to have a more robust CPU/GPU. If you're okay with the cloud rendering, then there is software (like dronedeploy) that will do it for you.

Good luck :)
 

R Martin

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Thanks........... R
Before you drop any money on software I'd look really hard at the hardware requirements and also take into consideration the amount and size of the photos you are going to attempt to process. I cannot speak for AgiSoft but Pix4D and a few of the others I have tried all have recommended processing machine builds that should be taken seriously. The average desktop computer is not built to run jobs with any speed.
My last workstation was kneecapped by the addition of our new aircraft. A 3300 image job was still running one week after I set it up and I finally pulled the plug on it. We have since ordered another machine to do the big jobs.
 

Keule

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Thanks........... R
As @R Martin already said in post #9, I fully agree with his statements about hardware requirements.
Before you are going to invest $$$$ in new, powerful hardware, go for either a monthly or yearly subscription model of one of the big providers such as DD, Pix4D, 3DR sitescan and so forth.

I personally run only small jobs, something less than 200 images, on my workstation. All others go to Pix4D cloud services for processing.
 

HAWK-i.us

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Good comments. My mapping jobs also run in the 300-500 image range. I've been with DroneDeploy (all cloud service), but need earthworks features that only are offered in the $11k+ annual subscription. Am currently in a trial period with Pix4D and will be running some existing captures shortly on my desktop. It's not a latest-and-greatest, but it is a former gaming machine with multi-threaded processor, a good GPU, and lots of RAM, so I'm hopeful that it'll handle it. We'll see. I'll try to check back in here and give an update.
 

HAWK-i.us

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A side note -- Pix4D appears to be more expensive that competitors, but the month-to-month subscription can be turned on/off a month at a time so you don't have to have the meter running when you don't have billable work.
 

R Martin

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Good comments. My mapping jobs also run in the 300-500 image range. I've been with DroneDeploy (all cloud service), but need earthworks features that only are offered in the $11k+ annual subscription. Am currently in a trial period with Pix4D and will be running some existing captures shortly on my desktop. It's not a latest-and-greatest, but it is a former gaming machine with multi-threaded processor, a good GPU, and lots of RAM, so I'm hopeful that it'll handle it. We'll see. I'll try to check back in here and give an update.
The more cores/threads the better. RAM is also important and a compatible GPU helps. We have opted for an Alienware Area 51 R7 as a replacement. 16 core 32 thread AMD threadripper CPU should handle the load we currently generate. We bought a license for Pix4D for $8900.00 if I remember right and pay $900.00 a year maintenance.
 

BigAl07

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The more cores/threads the better. RAM is also important and a compatible GPU helps. We have opted for an Alienware Area 51 R7 as a replacement. 16 core 32 thread AMD threadripper CPU should handle the load we currently generate. We bought a license for Pix4D for $8900.00 if I remember right and pay $900.00 a year maintenance.

I was lucky enough to see a machine (custom built for DARPA) last week that was running (I think) 64 cores. While I was having a melt down they said, "You should see the 128 core system we are building for the van now!"

They processed (again I think this is accurate) 600 images in roughly 8 minutes to create the maps for our SAR missions. To say I was dumbfounded is an understatement.
 
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R Martin

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I was lucky enough to see a machine (custom built for DARPA) last week that was running (I think) 64 cores. While I was having a melt down they said, "You should see the 128 core system we are building for the van now!"

They processed (again I think this is accurate) 600 images in roughly 8 minutes to create the maps for our SAR missions. To say I was dumbfounded is an understatement.
I'll be extremely happy if I can get my processing time down to 24-36 hours. We ran a job recently that spit out 3300 images of my Sony RX1R II that averaged about 16M each. I set the job up on Friday morning and the following Friday morning it was still churning away. I finally shut it down and ran some smaller jobs. I'm hoping to have the new machine in-house in six weeks or less.
I'd almost move up from state to federal level to play on the computers you mentioned above but that would require having the remaining half of my brain being removed. It might be nice being blissfully ignorant for a while though....
 
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AdoSA

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Currently running i7-4970 with 32Gigs of RAM and I'm seriously considering upgrade to latest AMD series processors with at least 64Gigs of RAM because it takes forever to process images, not to mention lags and slowdowns of inspecting finished product. I was looking at Agisoft Metashape hardware requirements and boy was I surprised to see that best looking and best quality jobs require up to 960Gigs of RAM ... da*n
 
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R Martin

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Currently running i7-4970 with 32Gigs of RAM and I'm seriously considering upgrade to latest AMD series processors with at least 64Gigs of RAM because it takes forever to process images, not to mention lags and slowdowns of inspecting finished product. I was looking at Agisoft Metashape hardware requirements and boy was I surprised to see that best looking and best quality jobs require up to 960Gigs of RAM ... da*n
An AMD Threadripper Ryzen CPU is a good upper-medium range choice. Or you could go all-out for a top of the line i9 Intel if you have money to throw away. RAM and the CPU are the most important because they do most of the work. The GPU is important as well but most of its load is on the mesh, so unless you really want to burn some money, you don't need to go all-out on a GPU. Compatibility is the most important feature you are looking for. That, and an SSD to run the work on.
 

AdoSA

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Curently, Intel is out of the game because latest Ryzen 3000 processors are better and cheaper than Intel's i9 series, especially on multi-threaded workloads... that combined with PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs to process jobs on, and combined with as much RAM as I can afford atm... that should be good for some time. Anyway... this is becoming more and more expensive profession by the minute :D
 

R Martin

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Curently, Intel is out of the game because latest Ryzen 3000 processors are better and cheaper than Intel's i9 series, especially on multi-threaded workloads... that combined with PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs to process jobs on, and combined with as much RAM as I can afford atm... that should be good for some time. Anyway... this is becoming more and more expensive profession by the minute :D
You're looking at this all wrong. You are making a sound business decision to upgrade your processing power which can be turned into a lot of time saved in order to process mre jobs which makes you more money to buy more high-tech equipment to process jobs even faster than the last to push more jobs through to make more money to buy higher-tech equipment to.....play the latest version of Call of Duty in 4K glory.
 

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