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How to Choose a Drone Mapping Software

January 15, 2021

The process of choosing the right drone processing software for photogrammetry can be challenging.  Several aspects need to be considered since the product you choose will impact your entire production chain.  To facilitate your decision, there are five main criteria that you should keep in mind during your evaluation process.

Processing speed: For any project, time is of the essence.  A faster software will allow to generate outputs more quickly and deliver them in a timely manner.  Furthermore, it will increase your contingency time should anything unexpected arise during the entire course of your project.

Quality of results: Ultimately, the quality of the geospatial data that you produce will be the most important factor for the end-user.  Specific metrics include horizontal / vertical accuracy, spatial resolution and consistency across the project.  While results may be visually appealing, it does not necessarily imply that they are precise.   Quality in absolute or relative terms must thus be carefully estimated in your evaluation process.

Scalability: While your needs may initially be limited in terms of project size, they will grow as your business evolves.  Implementing a production workflow with a specific product requires an important investment, and the costs of changing it later maybe prohibitive.  This means that you should consider a software solution that can not only handle a small number of images, but also much larger projects.

Automation: Having the ability to automate processes is very important during peak production times.  The software you choose should allow to automatically process multiples projects or several subparts of larger projects.  You should also have complete control of the processing, with options for customizing every steps.

Editing capabilities: Different end-users have different needs for map data. The software you choose must thus have functionalities to be able to adapt outputs to specific requirements.  The ability to manually edit results is very important and several tools should be included in the photogrammetry product.

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