Making use of DJI's new software development kit (SDK), Switzerland-based Pix4D has developed what it calls the first mapping app to turn drones into an autonomous mapping and measuring tool to create 2D maps and 3D models.
The company says its Pix4Dmapper is already used by DJI customers for surveying and measuring projects. DJI’s SDK allows Pix4D to offer a new feature available as a mobile app that enables users to take complete control of a mission, including the camera. This takes away the difficult part of mapping, Pix4D says.
The Pix4Dmapper app for Android (iOS coming soon) allows users to map areas by defining various types of flights. Users can select flight areas and heights to create a fully automatic mapping flight or fly the UAV using the remote control. The app automatically calculates in real time when to acquire images to cover the area optimally, as well as enhance image attributes and characteristics.
Once the images are acquired, the app guides the user on how to convert them automatically into orthomosaics, point clouds, elevation models or textured 3D models, using Pix4Dmapper on a PC or on the cloud (and, in the near future, on a tablet or phone).
For example, using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision and the Pix4Dmapper app, an architect can map a property of six acres in a 20-minute flight and – flying at an altitude of 150 feet – create a 3D model with a resolution of up to one inch, Pix4D explains.
“Our aim with the Pix4Dmapper app for Phantom 2 Vision is to simplify the user experience all the while guaranteeing the best and most accurate results achievable,” says Christoph Strecha, CEO and founder of Pix4D. “I believe that this will help to democratize UAS mapping for a wide range of professionals and, with their first experiences in hand, increase their confidence in UAS-based mapping.”