User:Balrog/Aerial Imagery

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This page will hold information about my (or other people's) efforts in acquiring aerial imagery relevant to OpenStreetMap. So far I'm trying to only use cheap, generally accessible hardware and free/open-source software so that anyone can replicate the process. Note that even the cheap amateur hardware can cause damage if used inappropriately and consumer-level flying toys and other flying stuff can easily interfere with airspace law.


  • See this page (TO DO) for the hardware I use or have used or would like to use for lifting the camera in the air.


  • I wrote a basic HowTo about ortho-rectifying aerial imagery using Hugin once you have acquired imagery, in order to save it in a format usable for web clients or OSM editors. (Note that many people privately own aerial photographs of their locality that they have no intention to use for mapping and would be happy to give it to OSM users when asked, this can be used too)
  • I am experimenting with wikipedia:SLAM-related algorithms for more automated building of the recified map. They are especially interesting because at the same time as they attempt to find the position and orientation of the camera (the pose), they build a 3D model of the world. At some point it may be possible to automatically extract building outlines and other features.

Results so far

  • See this external page in firefox to browse some of the rectified imagery I made so far. Most of the time I have a lot more images on my harddisk waiting to be geo-rectified and tiled, but the process is boring and CPU-heavy especially with the current lack of good software, while going out and "acquiring imagery" is fun, especially when the weather is nice. I would love to host other people's images on this website too, so we can get better coverage. Currently coverage is mostly limited to Warsaw, Poland with even smaller patches in some other localities. I would like to upload any of this imagery that happens to match any possible quality criteria to OpenAerialMap when/if that project is revived and starts accepting imagery sets on local level.