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back to article Kickstarter hopefuls promise high-res aerial maps for the masses

San Diego-based Drones Made Easy is nudging the Kickstarter target of $30,000 it needs to bring "mapping to the masses" with an site allowing people to "upload raw aerial imagery for processing into high quality stitched aerial imagery". The idea is to take the grunt work out of creating your own stitched imagery "at up to 20 …

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PTGUI

I just use PTGUI.

chuck 100+ stills at it and it works a treat.

He does seem to be redesigning the wheel somewhat....

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Re: PTGUI

Yeah, he's placed the wheel in the cloud & will be charging by the turn rather than for the whole wheel.

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Black Helicopters

Black helicopter sourcing

I'll fly a drone over Aldermaston, just up the road from me, to see how well this works.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Black helicopter sourcing

"Pull!"

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Re: Black helicopter sourcing

That said a quick wikipedia does show that They don't have shotguns, then again They would say that, wouldn't They?

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Value of the Imagery?

Shouldn't they be paying me for my images?

With the caveat that I haven't read past what's in the Reg article, isn't there an opportunity to save all of the images and make them available online, like a crowd-sourced aerial mapping site? Then flip the points around so that they pay us instead.

Call me suspicious, but logically the only benefit of doing this stitching "in the cloud" would be to get some raw processing speed... the benefits of which will be entirely lost by having to upload and then download all of those images. Which surely means they're only doing it because either 1) they can, and some people will pay, or 2) they're going to keep your imagery anyway!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Value of the Imagery?

> Call me suspicious, but logically the only benefit of doing this stitching "in the cloud" would be to get some raw processing speed

Dave, suspicious is not quite the word I had in mind.

Why not run a quick exercise: get yourself a GPS and camera-equipped drone and take it out for a short flight, then produce a georeferenced, rectified image from the data you have acquired. Give it to a surveyor for checking, and repeat the process until you get it right.

I trust that after you have done that, you will have gained more of an appreciation of the work involved and will be in a better position to assess the benefits or lack thereof of the proposal in question.

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Re: Value of the Imagery?

But are these guys actually doing that?

And how many people actually care if, when zoomed to the size of a field or less, if the picture is slightly distorted?

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Boffin

Maps?

Ok, stitching the images is a good first step, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence on the Kickstarter page that the software does any mapping at all! How is the image segmented? How are map elements identified?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maps?

Orthorectifying images (what their service would do with the crowd-sourced data) is indeed a cartographic (mapping) discipline.

The complexity of the work is non-trivial, especially where dissimilar, non-photogrametric cameras are involved, and ground control points may not be available (thus relying entirely on the sensors' imperfectly reported positions and attitudes.)

While the technology is becoming a lot more mainstream, doing this on an industrial scale still requires serious a) processing power, and b) skill.

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Re: Maps?

Cartography is a process that draws maps. Mapping is a process that associates real world features with symbolic representations*. A map is composed entirely of symbolic representations. This service produces composite, corrected images. I'm not for a moment suggesting that their service isn't complex, powerful and useful. However, it's not mapping, it's image processing. (Computer vision systems do produce maps.)

*Of course that's only a subset of what mathematical mapping encompasses.

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This post has been deleted by its author

I have a fantastic business opportunity for me, I just need your money...

I can't be arsed to risk a poxy $30k of my own money, so donate yours to me and I will build a service that I will charge you to use and I will then monetize your hard work by combining it with that of others to make me more $'s. Win-win... for me.

Not only that, I will create a marketplace where you and other tools who donate can get together and resell/upsell my service between yourselves to make me even more moolah. Win-win-win... for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I have a fantastic business opportunity for me, I just need your money...

Don't forget that if it's successful, I'm gonna cash out and receive 100% of the payout, for you assuming 100% of the financial risk when you backed me!

And people wonder why I don't back things on Kickstarter...

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