I have aerial photographs taken by a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). I want to do ortho mosaicing and DEM creation to do volumetric analysis. Are there any open source tools that process the UAV images?


4 Answers 4


I have been using three different programs for that: AirPhotoSE, VSfm and OpenDroneMap. All of them are easy to work, specially if default values give good results for your pictures.

AirPhotoSE is the slowest one (it is an old project that it is not active yet), but it works well and gives good results, both for orthophotos and point-clouds (and even DSMs).

VSfm is much faster and is based in an easy to use and appealing GUI.
OpenDroneMap is also fast and efficient, but only based on command line (although still easy). The orthophotos are a bit noisier than those of AirPhotoSE, but it is an ongoing project with a promising future.
gomapping has already given the links.

Hope this helps!


Here a "work in progress" answer...

We are currently developing bundle block adjustment support in the orthorectification chain of GRASS GIS 7. It will be usable for aerial photos and UAV imagery. A prototype will hopefully be available in early 2014. If you are interested and willing to test, please contact me directly. It is an enormous amount of work, so it will yet take some time to become a "production ready" extension of GRASS GIS.

  • Great work Markus, I am really interested in your product
    – Sandhya
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 3:59
  • Maybe drop me an email (see my profile) so that I can notify you once available. For sure we'll announce it, too.
    – markusN
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 11:46
  • 1
    Does this answer need an update? Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 12:30
  • We are still seeking for a programmer...
    – markusN
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 9:57
  • Did you finished developing this product markus?
    – Sandhya
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 4:52

You wont be able to find a plug and play solution, but there are many options if you have the time.

Here's a guy to look into, he's got a blog where he plays with Bundler, PMVS2 and all the other nice software and puts it together in a way that makes it reasonably easy to run: http://www.visual-experiments.com/demos/sfmtoolkit/

These guys have a trial, and the software looks easy: http://pix4d.com/

AutoDesk have a bit of free software: http://www.123dapp.com/catch

I think you can upload imagery for processing with these guys: http://dronemapper.com/

This is the original structure from motion software package, don't use this, use the visual experiments one. https://www.cs.cornell.edu/~snavely/bundler/

It's not easy, but if you're motivated then you can do cool things!


I would seriously check out opendronemap it looks really good right now it is capable of:

-Point Clouds

-Digital Surface Models

-Textured Digital Surface Models

-Orthorectified Imagery

But is set to do more.

The project page is: http://opendronemap.github.io/odm/

Here is a video explaining how to run it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2qp3o8caPs




That is a start...


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