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An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground. The term "drone" encompasses a range of UAV's including the microcopter, mini UAV or small UAV, Micro Air vehicle (MAV), rotor-UAV or RUAV, quadrocopter, hexacopter, octocopter, Bi-copter, Tri-copter, helicopter and Fixed wing planes.

This wiki page is intended at presenting the rationale for the incorporation of UAV* image data in OSM.

We will focus here on a small UAV Framework less than 2 kg,the size is up to 1.5 m and the cheapest price as possible using open source autopilot and software as seen in the table below.

As of 2013 many standard cheap off the shelf drones exist like the DJI Phantom 2 Vision with 25 minutes flying time[1], or another open framework drone with a HD WiFi camera like the Gopro Hero or Hero3[2] or 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020[3], improvements on parts are readily available[4] and in quality for DSLR aerial photography up to HD live video.[5] See some example of an aerial photo done with an UAV swinglet cam, resolution 4cm):[6]

Please note even for recreational use, safety must come first and foremost. UAV's are not toys. Use extreme caution when operating a UAV. Avoid flying over crowds or over people as far as is possible. Follow a UAV ground course. Consider getting UAV insurance. Check for and follow local laws at all times.


Time-lapse (intervalometer) fixed-lens cameras which can take pictures continuously are available in the market[7], but as First Person View with a permanent link is preferred to see where you fly if the UAV goes out of sight the HD WiFi cameras and cell phones with wireless and GSM are getting more common at the moment. For multi purpose cameras, The US Agricultural Research Service en Science Applications International Corp reduced the costs of near-infrared spectroscopy by using a standard 12-Mpixel camera that didn't use a hot-mirror filter to block the NIR spectrum and added an additional optical Wratten number filter.[8] Considder the gimbal suspension and side protection frames to protect your camera on landings.

Range Extenders

To extend the range standard HDMI Long Range Wireless Extenders[9] (Wireless (Wifi) Repeaters) are used up to 984 feet (400-450 m) line-of-sight. Cellular GPRS modems can be used.[10] A cheap solution is to combine a CC3D and EzUHF 4-Channel RX with PPM.[11] A tracking station comes in different sizes.[12] An omni type antenna for short range and your directional antenna like a helical, yagi or patch.

Data import to OSM

OpenStreetPhoto used its OpenStreetPhoto/QuadCopter for UAV image data in collaboration with Opengeo [13]. In a later stage it moved to a Fixed Wing configuration. The Vertical_Aerial_Photographs#Homebrew section has some links on how to import.

Image recognition software

Consider using image recognition software to spot roads in the software.(and call your local emergency number if you spot a fire) [14][15]




What's the benefit of using aerial imagery rather than satellite imagery?

When updating cartography over disaster or slum area, the resolution of images is an issue. A one-hour UAV flight can provide a coverage of 2 km² with a pixel resolution of 4 cm and a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) at 10 cm resolution. In contrast, satellite imagery can cover a large area (20*20 Km) for one tile with a resolution of 50 cm.

So both satellite imagery and UAV/aerial photos are essential to have a better accuracy in a specific area — they are complementary.

With an UAV, the only weather-related constraint is the wind and the rain, but it is still possible to take pictures e.g. under clouds.

See also


UAV components

Categorie Description liens Commentaires

UAV Range Extender

UAV Range Extender
Name Description link Commentaires
EzAntennaTracker System V1
Tiny Telemetry http://www.product-details.php?fpv_product=3
Graupner MX-20 HoTT UHF 4 km
Scherrer LRS UHF 10 km
Dragonlink UHF 10 km
Mikrokopter Wireless
xtreambee xbee Wireless
phonedrone GPRS
Drone Cell GPRS
FATBOX GPRS2 420 gram

UAV Camera

UAV Camera Check your wireless functions, some might use wireless only for downloading images. Considder the gimbal suspension and side protection frames to protect your camera on landings.
Name Description link Commentaires
Hero3 HD Wireless
Liquid Image Eco HD Wireless
Black Magic Design
Sony hdr-as30v HD Wifi
Garmin Virb Elite HD Wifi
iON Air Pro 2 HD Wifi
Beardevil black HD Wifi
Canon sx230hs HD Wifi
Nokia Lumia 1020 HD Wifi and GSM
Pentax Optio WG-2 Fixed lens
Pentax Optio WG-3 Fixed lens
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 Fixed lens, WIFI
Nikon Coolpix P510 Fixed lens
Ricoh GR Fixed lens

UAV Others Sensors

Name Description link Commentaires
3D LADAR Camerals 3D LADAR cameras are based on a focal plane array
Imaging FLIR Camera this module gathers mechanically and digitally stabilized real-time MPEG-4 video

UAV frameworks

Autopilots with hardware and software
Name Description link Commentaires
Embention Veronte Autopilot Control System for UAVs from
The Paparazzi Project GNU licencing, Google, MS Maps and Openstreetmap
PX4 BSD license, (Google Earth support
Slugs (Google Earth support
Virtual Robotix
OpenPilot (Google Earth support
UAVOS (Google Earth support
Ardupilot (Google Earth support
Uav Factory
Uas Trimble