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4everaerial

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I hit up Autel CS the other day asking about mapping software support. They replied that they had a "limited" SDK release earlier this year and they didn't know exactly who was developing......but they also said to check with dronedeploy as a bunch of folks were asking for Autel support. Maybe it's wishful thinking....but my take away was..... that DD is one of the "limited" folks with the SDK and we need to pester them hard enough to convince them it's worth development.

What do you all think?
 
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TAMU1996

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I'm all in for making this toy into a tool.

I, foolishly, expected Autel to release improvements to make the pumpkin at least on par with the P4's capabilities. Autel copied DJI in SO many ways, why not copy the functionality? It appears that the only way we'll see advances is from the SDK, and that doesn't seem to be gaining any traction with DD, Kittyhawk, etc.

Unfortunately, Autel's tiny (and shrinking; no more marketing staff, hello?!) slice of the UAS market pie is likely too small for DD and others to justify the expense of developing mapping tools for the XSP. For little to no ROI....I wouldn't either.
 

WildDoktor

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I'm one of the ones on DroneDeploy asking for Autel support; "a bunch" is a bit overblown...I think there are about 15 requests total. :) If you want this support, by all means spin up an account at DD and add your voice!
 
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4everaerial

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I think the lack of Drone Deploy support is one of the biggest hurdles for Autel getting into the commercial space. Autel Management ought to lean on DD a little or develop their own as it would greatly increase sales. Its obvious that Autel was not originally intending to be a Consumer drone company only. Heck they even were paying for peoples Part 107 test. By the way.....where are those 500 Part 107 pilots?? It half of those pilots were serious about Commercial use they would be screaming for mapping software. My suspicion is that Autel does have their own software in development for enterprise use with the Kestrel when it comes to market. my 2c
 
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Tuna

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It's a chicken and egg problem - if Autel is not known as a 'mapping drone' manufacturer there's little reason for people with mapping needs to buy it. So long as only a handful of people with Autel drones ask for mapping, it's not going to be a huge commercial priority for the big names.

It's possible to 'do mapping' with almost any drone, without the help of Drone Deploy or the others - so long as you can prepare a simple grid flight, you can gather photos and there are options for processing that will accept any valid (GPS tagged) photos. If you want a properly supported online service though, you've got to get the critical mass that makes it worthwhile to spend the time setting up servers and writing the 'glue' apps that make it an easy process.

To some extent it's up to Autel. They've focused heavily on image quality to date, and less so on survey/inspection markets. If they want to cover those bases, they either have to invest themselves, sponsor third party support, or aim to convince one of the big names that they intend to play a larger part in that type of market.
 

4everaerial

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Any ideas why Autel is not freely sharing their SDK? It seems 3rd party apps would help drive sales. I nearly purchased DJI due to this very fact.
 

TAMU1996

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It's a chicken and egg problem - if Autel is not known as a 'mapping drone' manufacturer there's little reason for people with mapping needs to buy it. So long as only a handful of people with Autel drones ask for mapping, it's not going to be a huge commercial priority for the big names.

It's possible to 'do mapping' with almost any drone, without the help of Drone Deploy or the others - so long as you can prepare a simple grid flight, you can gather photos and there are options for processing that will accept any valid (GPS tagged) photos. If you want a properly supported online service though, you've got to get the critical mass that makes it worthwhile to spend the time setting up servers and writing the 'glue' apps that make it an easy process.

To some extent it's up to Autel. They've focused heavily on image quality to date, and less so on survey/inspection markets. If they want to cover those bases, they either have to invest themselves, sponsor third party support, or aim to convince one of the big names that they intend to play a larger part in that type of market.

It all comes down to ROI, I agree.

I did run across a couple of older posts concerning mapping with the XSP and will give those a try.

Thank you.
 

WildDoktor

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I flew a waypoint mission over a test field, taking pictures every 5 seconds. Speed was about 19-21mph. 42 jpegs total. I uploaded these to dronedeploy to start my trial account and see what would happen.

A couple hours later I got a map! Looks like it worked just fine. Now I need to figure out what exactly I'm looking at. :) Not sure if this link will work or not: DroneDeploy - Put your drone to work!
 
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Tuna

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I assume you were fairly high there? That looks like quite a large area for 42 photos :)

Excellent job for a first map!
 

4everaerial

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Wild,

Did you use the VARI algo on this map? Also I am assuming that this field is un-planted fallow. Somewhere else in this forum I posted some guidelines that were shared with me on alt, speed and lane width for front and sidelap (I will find them and share here as well). Those numbers were shared by a guy who uses his XSP for NDVI mapping. It is definitely possible to make good maps with the XSP it just takes a lot more work and planning....
 

WildDoktor

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Thanks Tuna; I was at 197' AGL for that flight. Should I have been lower? Would that give better detail?

Looks like 4everaerial may have some input on this as well!
 

4everaerial

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found the info i got from the ag guy......he also can get the XSP Camera modified for NDVI ;-)

Someone was nice enough to share this with me so I will pass it forward to you guys. For good rule of thumb settings to use for mapping.

100' altitude.
7.0 mph
83' lane width

150' altitude
10.5 mph
124' lane width

I have not tested this but he said data captured will be 70% front and side-lap and works for drone deploy upload. I'm also assuming with a little math one could adjust this for 200, 250, 300, 350, and 400 depending on the resolution you are wanting.

I will be testing this soon and will report my findings.
 
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WildDoktor

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Check my thread over at DD: First map. Autel XSP. Suggestions?

Bottom line is, our birds work just fine for mapping with DD! Of course you have to fly the route and take the pictures without the aid of the cool DD autopilot/autocamera/autoeverythingelse, but big deal. It's totally doable.

Time to go find some clients and figure out pricing!!

4everaerial, I went looking for Autel camera modified for NDVI; I'm shocked that there is such a thing out there! Is your buddy either of these?

IRmods custom modified ir cameras and lenses
Aero Systems West | Custom Unmanned Drone Systems
 
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Delta Blue

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Anybody messed with this?:

Maps Made Easy - Home
After the previous reply I downloaded the sample Maps Made Easy DJI photos in its tutorial/help section, then uploaded them to have them stitched together, as I would with my own captured photos from my own mapping flight. After a while different models and maps were available for me to download in 2D and 3D. I plan to go out into the field to do some experimenting soon, creating a way point flight, then capturing photos I can have stitched together. Since smaller maps are free I see no downside to giving it a try. They offer Youtube videos for training.
 

AirmetTango

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By the way.....where are those 500 Part 107 pilots?? It half of those pilots were serious about Commercial use they would be screaming for mapping software.

I'm one of those "500" Part 107 pilots that uses the XSP - I didn't realize I needed to do mapping to be serious about commercial use. Frankly, I don't need mapping for the services I offer - what I do need is a drone that yaws smoothly while attempting to collect commercial quality video. I screamed for that since last August until my voice gave out - just waiting quietly now. In the meantime, I spend more time planning my shots and in editing to work around the yaw issue. It generally means I have to settle for less complicated shots than I would like.

As Tuna and others mentioned, there are ways to "do mapping" with the XSP if you want to put the effort into it, just like there are ways to generate equirectangular imaging without an automated app (I do that regularly).

Anyway, I sincerely hope you don't have to wait until the drone is obsolete before you get the automated mapping capability you'd like to see.
 

Delta Blue

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I'm one of those "500" Part 107 pilots that uses the XSP - I didn't realize I needed to do mapping to be serious about commercial use. Frankly, I don't need mapping for the services I offer - what I do need is a drone that yaws smoothly while attempting to collect commercial quality video. I screamed for that since last August until my voice gave out - just waiting quietly now. In the meantime, I spend more time planning my shots and in editing to work around the yaw issue. It generally means I have to settle for less complicated shots than I would like.

As Tuna and others mentioned, there are ways to "do mapping" with the XSP if you want to put the effort into it, just like there are ways to generate equirectangular imaging without an automated app (I do that regularly).

Anyway, I sincerely hope you don't have to wait until the drone is obsolete before you get the automated mapping capability you'd like to see.
I should think whether or not a pilot is commercial or not is irrelevant when it comes to doing mapping. Good thing about shooting straight down for mapping is that the yaw is not an issue at all. Not having a mapping app on one's tablet is neither an issue, as the pilot can snap photos enough at will to have enough overlap for the stitching process. Still, being able to do mapping commercially is not a bad feather to have in one's cap. I too have to edit the yaw problem at times. Sometimes re-flying the route without the yaw occurring solves the problem.
 

Drone

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I hit up Autel CS the other day asking about mapping software support. They replied that they had a "limited" SDK release earlier this year and they didn't know exactly who was developing......but they also said to check with dronedeploy as a bunch of folks were asking for Autel support. Maybe it's wishful thinking....but my take away was..... that DD is one of the "limited" folks with the SDK and we need to pester them hard enough to convince them it's worth development.

What do you all think?


Honestly I wish I new this before I bought my drone. My fault for not researching but now I want to return it.
 

ovrszd

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Honestly I wish I new this before I bought my drone. My fault for not researching but now I want to return it.


Maybe contact Autel about returning the Drone and the reasons why. They might let you. Or maybe you bought it from a distributor?
 

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