Pix4D enables autonomous mapping with DJI Phantom

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series,  which profiles interesting information, thoughts and research into using  drones, UAVs or remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

Making use of DJI’s new Software Development Kit, Pix4D developed the first mapping App. The Pix4Dmapper mobile App allows to turn drones such as DJI Phantom 2 Vision into an autonomous mapping and measuring tool to create 2D maps and 3D models.

The most challenging part of UAV mapping is to take images in a specific way that ensures the best quality and accuracy possible for 2D maps and 3D models. DJI’s SDK allows Pix4D to offer a new feature available as a mobile App that enables users to take total control of a mission, including the camera. This takes away the difficult part of mapping and makes for an easy yet accurate tool for professionals.

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The Pix4Dmapper App for Android (iOS coming soon) allows user to map areas by defining various types of flights. Users can select flight areas and height to create a fully automatic mapping flight, or fly the drone using the remote control: the App automatically calculates in real time when to acquire images to cover the area optimally, as well as enhance image attributes and characteristics. Once the images acquired, the App guides the user on how to convert them automatically into orthomosaics, point clouds, elevation models, or textured 3D models, using Pix4Dmapper on a PC, on the cloud or in the near future also on a tablet and phone.


“More and more customers use the DJI Phantom to explore the possibilities of UAS mapping and modelling. Our aim with the Pix4Dmapper App for DJI Phantom 2 Vision  is to simplify the user experience all the while guaranteeing the best and most accurate results achievable. I believe that this will help to democratize UAS mapping for a wide range of professionals and, with their first experiences in hand, increase their confidence in UAS based mapping” says Christoph Strecha, CEO and Founder of Pix4D.

Using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision  and the Pix4Dmapper App, an architect can map a property of 6 acres in a 20 minute flight and – flying at an altitude of 150 feet – create a 3D model with a resolution of up to 1 inch. Or a construction surveyor can fly in 10 minutes over a stockpile of material, process the images and measure its volume, achieving equivalent results as with traditional techniques such as laser scanning, in a fraction of cost and time.

Pix4Dmapper can be used for surveying and measuring projects in sectors such as architecture, construction, agriculture emergency response and cultural heritage.

Watch the video to discover how DJI Phantoms are already used today for a wide array of mapping and modelling projects:

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