My plan is to use a drone and pix4d to map an area and produce a top down image. I have some position data that is in its own reference frame / Coordinate system.

My question is what suggestions or tools are out there where I can take the image I created and map it to mimic my coordinate system to my position data.

Id like to have the map of my area, and a plot of the position data super imposed on top of it.


If you are looking for open-source / free software I think you may want to check out the opendronemap. This software is actually aiming at producing point clouds and 3D models, but one of the middle steps is creating orthorectified imagery, which you may view in a simple browser viewer (where are camera positions shown, like in OpenSfM project) or QGIS or any other mapping software.

Another tool for creating 3D models that came into my mind is Bentley ContextCapture. As above, one of the steps to produce the models is to create orthorectified imagery and while viewing the model you can see camera positions. It is a professional and very powerful tool.

As for professional software, I think Erdas Imagine is best recommendation for processing aerial and space imagery. I'm not sure how to plot camera positions, but I guess this software is so powerful it may be possible. You may find older versions created by Leica Geosystems, now it's Hexagon.

  • I already have the 2d orthorectified image generate. My question is I have position data, (X,Y) in an non-specific reference frame. I would like to create a coordinate system out of my 2d, so I can plot the position data over the image.
    – ChipsAhoy
    Mar 27 '17 at 19:14
  • Somehow I understood you want to plot the positions of camera while you took the photo - now I see you mean you already have some position data - but can you please explain what do you mean that they are in an 'non-specific reference frame'? You must have some 0,0 reference for coordinates, even if they are in local system. Another thing worth to notice: when you open your orthos in mapping software (e.g. QGIS) you see they are in local reference system, where probably 0 is one of the image corners (depends how you opened it).
    – deevee
    Mar 27 '17 at 21:32
  • Non-specific meaning not earth based, like lat-long or North East Up/Down. The position data I have is a Cartesian based reference system where the solution came a mix of signals like IMUs. My guess is that I can make my coordinate system anything in my top down picture created from my drone. But I am confused at the steps to get there.
    – ChipsAhoy
    Mar 27 '17 at 22:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.