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I work in a Geography Department at a small university and we are looking at putting in a 3D Stereo Compilation systems. We have been looking at Stereo Analyst, PurView and Dat/em, but I was wondering if there are any Open Source alternatives, or a plugin for QGIS.

Any help would be appreciated.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You could look here for a complete Structure from Motion toolkit based on a workflow of several open source tools. This runs on Windows, but the tools it's based on will compile on Linux. I've not used it but the results seem pretty good.

Once you've got your pointcloud, you could do worse than use MeshLab to clean and polygonize your data. After that, if you want a DEM, you'll need to create a depthmap of some sort which may be achievable with MeshLab, and then you simply need to georeference it using the GIS tool of your choice.

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ParaView can be used to view 3D data, and has several optional stereo modes. You can either capture a screenshot, or start it with --stereo and --stereo-type="opts" command-line arguments.

Also check out how to integrate GRASS and Paraview (although I haven't done this myself yet.)

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There are OTB (with Monteverdi as a GUI), ILWIS and Optics. Not sure if Otics works with stereo. OTB is accessible from QGIS via SEXTANTE plugin.

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Thank you. I have had a chance to look at the software and the option provided by Mike Toews, but they do not seem to offer the option to perform 3D stereo compilation. What I mean by this, is digital photogrammetry, such as collecting 3D features from stereo imagery (ie: buildings, forests, contours etc). I will give it a better review. Thanks for sharing. – Ryan Garnett Sep 3 '12 at 3:32

Have a look at where stereo orthophoto images are delivered as a WMS and can be viewed in any GIS system without any need for plugins.


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If your looking for production level softcopy GIS, I'd stick with one of the out of the box solutions. I've used PurVIEW, Stereo Analyst and DAT/EM's Summit Evolution and DAT/EM is by far the best. It "hooks" into ArcGIS (also in microstation and CAD) rather than displaying within Arc as an extension. The result is unparalleled stability and a suit of innovated workflow solutions. It's more expensive than PurVIEW and about equal with Stereo Analyst (around 4K), but far exceeds it's competition with regards to functionality and support. Check them out

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The questioner asked for open source, and said he's already looking at DAT/EM. – andytilia Oct 25 '12 at 13:23
Andy you are right. I personally know the sales person for Datem in my area, and I am more than aware of PurView and Stereo Analyst. I am looking for open source solutions. If I do not find one (or do not find one that I am willing to stand behind), then a COTS solution will be my other option. – Ryan Garnett Oct 25 '12 at 20:21

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