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 (Paletier), Chanchang Wu (VisualSFM), Michal Jancosek (CMPMVS) and Michael James (SFM_georef) for there contributions.

About the author


I am a geospatial technology professional with 12+ years experience. My career has been comprised of applied geospatial technologies including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, AVL, GPS and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).

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

  1. Admin says:

    Here is an extensive list of opensource GIS related links

  2. Skipper says:

    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)

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