8.3 Software for Drones
There are several types of software that may be required for different types of drones and use cases. Here are a few examples:
Flight planning and control software This type of software is typically used to plan and control drone flights, it allows you to set waypoints, plan routes, and monitor the drone’s flight status in real-time. Some examples include DJI GO, DJI Ground Station Pro, and Pix4Dcapture.
Photogrammetry Software - This type of software is used to process the images captured by the drone and create maps, 3D models, and point clouds. Examples include Agisoft Metashape, DroneDeploy, and WebODM.
Ground control systems - Ground control systems, such as GNSS Base Stations are typically used for survey-grade drones, as it helps to improve the accuracy of the images captured by the drone, as well as process and analyze the data.
Geospatial Analysis Software - Once you have processed data from a drone, the next step is to analyze the data, commonly in within geographic information system (GIS) software. GIS software can be used for a variety of analyses such as 3D modeling, change detection, image analysis and surface analysis.
8.3.1 Photogrammetry Software
The choice between DroneDeploy, Agisoft Metashape, and Pix4D will depend on your specific needs and goals.
DroneDeploy is a cloud-based software that is easy to use and well-suited for creating detailed 2D and 3D maps and models of large areas, such as construction sites, mines, and farmland. It also includes features such as automatic flight planning and easy sharing of maps and models.
Agisoft Metashape is a photogrammetry software that is used for creating detailed 3D models, orthomosaics, and point clouds from drone-captured images. It is more advanced than DroneDeploy and it is intended for professional users such as surveyors, engineers, and architects. It offers more control over the processing and it can handle larger datasets and more complex projects.
Pix4D offers a complete solution for processing drone data and creating maps, 3D models, and point clouds. It can be used for a wide range of applications such as surveying, agriculture, and construction. Pix4D is known for its high accuracy, advanced features, and the ability to handle large datasets.
If you are a professional user that needs high accuracy and advanced features and have experience with photogrammetry software, Agisoft Metashape or Pix4D might be the best choice. If you are a beginner, or you have a specific use case such as creating maps for agriculture or construction, DroneDeploy might be the best choice for you.
WebODM is an open-source software for processing drone-captured images and creating 2D and 3D maps, models and point clouds. It is built on top of the OpenDroneMap (ODM) library and provides a web interface for running ODM on a remote server. However, it is not as advanced as the other commercial softwares.