UAV Mapping Using CHDK, VisualSFM, and CMPMVS – Skywalker Air Frame

UAV Mapping Using CHDK, VisualSFM, and CMPMVS – Skywalker Air Frame

This is an overview of image post processing using VisualSFM and CMPMVS open source photogrammetry software. I flew a mapping mission with my UAV (APM 2.5 on a skywalker platform), capturing 251 images of the Oceanside Marine Study area. The mission was flown 250ft altitude in a “lawnmower” pattern generated using Mission Planner GCS.

I used all images in post processing whether they were clear or blurry, orthogonal or oblique. I wanted to test the process with captured data “as is” and see what the output would look like, knowing that I can improve the inputs from future missions. The process was very exciting and the outputs are to me, very impressive.

As many of you know, my intent is to solidify a workflow for UAV mapping that is 100% open source. I am making good progress and I believe this ill be feasible. However, I have a long way to go. Please be patient with me and I promise to share the resulting workflow and all necessary steps to everyone.

Acknowledgements and Resources:

I have to give thanks to Mark WiIllis (Palentier), Chanchang Wu (VisualSFM), Michal Jancosek (CMPMVS) and Michael James (SFM_georef) for there contributions.


  1. justinR

    I look forward to seeing your complete workflow, as I am starting to think I might be stuck wtih Agisoft photoscan, which greatly increases my budget for this work. Thank you for your work on this.

  2. Skipper

    Whats the distortion like on the mosaics? Is it usable over a large scale in ArcGIS and other GIS software (Obviously needs georeferencing first though)

    • subarooturbo

      I thank you very much for this information it will keep me out of trouble for a while.

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