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The best 3D mapping software for UAV applications


       Which is the best 3D mapping software for aerial survey and georeferencing?

Well, it depends on many factors and prepositions. It depends on what platform are you going to use, which goal you need to achieve or what kind of information you need to obtain from the 3D model. In other word, though 3D mapping software and drones are the best things since sliced bread, you should make your own opinion which combination suits you most accurately. Obviously, we won´t tell you which software is “the best”, but we can definitely present you some of the most interesting solutions which we have tested and developed a taste for. As the first 3D mapping software, we can only recommend Agisoft PhotoScan, if you need to generate high-resolution georeferenced orthophotos or extraordinarily detailed DEMs. The workflow is fully automated, along with easy integration to the Q-Pods system, which is enabling even a non-expert to process and analyses thousands of aerial images. With PhotoScan you will be able to produce professional class photogrammetric data with your own desktop computer. Just imagine how you may improve your business or scientific practices if you could get surgically accurate and immediately actionable informations about your lands anytime you want. I bet you will definitely never approach work the same way again once you see your work from above.

      This 3D mapping software automatically creates a 3D model from multiple obtained digital photos of any space you need to map. Moreover, this program is using airborne GPS data in order to fulfill the georeferencing task. If you need a better accuracy, into the 3D model can be imported and matched GCP (Ground Control Points). Agisoft PhotoScan coupled with UAV aerial photography is undoubtedly a capable tool for processing of models which are suitable e.g. for site monitoring, publications or for museum virtual displays. A considerable level of usefulness is added thanks to the rotating ability of the image. Last but not least, this 3D mapping software is also easy to install and simply to use, which mean it can be appreciated not only by professionals, but also by enthusiasts into 3D modelling. It is a very robust and reliable tool, providing you with an ability to export in a range of recognised file types, including pdf, Wavefront OBJ, 3DS Max, PLY and many others.

       The second 3D mapping program I would like to present you today is Virtual Surveyor. With this solution you will be able to handle large volumes of data from UAV ortophotos by bringing them into a virtual environment. This exciting simulation of a real world will enable you to map as if you were in terrain for real, including making of contour profiles or determining of coordinate points A toolset for surveyors to maintain the workflow they generally apply included. This software presents to be a uniqe linking between UAV data and traditional geodetic surveying. Using the TerraExplorer technolgy, you will be able to explore obtained 3D view of your choice. This is possible thanks to a combination of a UAV ortophoto and a digital elevation model. Moreover, it includes features like realtime calculation of elevation contour lines, drawing backlines and reference points in a 3D environment, performing of volume analysis, slopes and slope directions, direct export to CAD or GIS and many more. Virtual Surveyor gives you a chance to explore your land easily with your drone and laptop as if you were in terrain and could see every detail with a surgical accuracy.


Are you tempted to enter the exciting world of 3D mapping? Learn more informations about Agisoft PhotoScan or Virtual Surveyor and keep flying.