Skyward Mapping & Modeling, powered by Pix4D
Skyward Mapping & Modeling lets you harness the power of Pix4D’s photogrammetry image processing inside the Skyward environment you’re already using. You can already track, plan, and fly missions in Skyward -- now you can access Pix4D processing as well. This handy guide will help get you started.
Sample Data Sets
- Solar Project
- Office Building
- Quarry - Includes GCPs, attached to the bottom of this article are the needed .prj and .csv files
Creating a Project
Get started creating a mapping Project by clicking on the Project tab along the top navigation bar.
Click on the Add a Project button, and the Create a New Project window will open, allowing you to enter a Project name and description.
Click the Create button, and you will be brought back to the Project Page where you will see the tile for the Project you just created and named.
Next, click the Project tile for the project you just created, and you will come to the Media Upload page. Click the Upload Media button.
Select the images you want to process by either dragging and dropping the images into the Upload Media screen, or clicking the blue Select Images From Your Device button to navigate to the images you want to include in the dataset to be processed.
Note that Skyward Mapping & Modeling can only process .jpg, .jpeg, .tif, and .tiff file formats. Each Project is limited to a maximum of 4,000 images in each dataset, yet must include at least six images.
When your images appear in the upload window, confirm that each image has a green check mark under the Geolocation heading. Skyward Mapping & Modeling can only process images that are properly geotagged when they are captured. To begin the Upload & Process sequence, click the blue Next button.
In the Upload & Process screen you can select the Processing Type, which will determine the data product outputs you will generate. Map & 3D is the most common processing type, and generates a 2D Orthomosaic, Digital Surface Model (DSM), Point Cloud, and 3D Mesh. The 3D processing type only generates a 3D Mesh and Point Cloud -- this processing type should be used when you only need 3D elements.
Ground control points (GCPs) are places on the ground that have a precise known location associated with them. In photogrammetry, they are used to tie the map down to the Earth—matching the drone location data to the location data measured terrestrially.
To get started, click on Add GCPs.
If you are using square or diagonal targets, you can use the auto GCP detection built into Skyward. Propeller Aeropoints are also supported by auto detection.
Follow the supported CSV format outlined below. You can also download a sample CSV file containing the supported format. Once your CSV is ready, upload it into the project.
If you wish to provide additional accuracy, add columns titled XY accuracy and Z accuracy to the supported headings. Note that both columns must be included if you're going to include additional accuracy.
Once your GCP file is uploaded, you'll need to then upload a projection file to identify the coordinate system you're using. Click the epsg.io link and search for the coordinate system you're using.
After finding your coordinate system, click on Well Known Text as HTML under the Export section, then click Download. This will download the needed .prj file.
After the .prj file downloads, return to Skyward and upload it into your project. Then click Next.
Now you can review your GCPs. If this information is not correct, go back to a previous step to select a new GCP file, or exit the process. After confirming all the information is correct, click Save GCPs.
NOTE: A common error is for the Easting and Northing to be swapped in the CSV file. If this happens to you, click on double arrows to switch these two columns.
You'll be returned to the Upload & Process page. The GCPs section will now say it's ready for processing. Click Upload & Process to upload your images and begin the model building process.
You will see an overall progress bar and a counter showing how many of your images have been uploaded and how many remain. Each image will also show a progress counter -- when an image has been successfully uploaded a green circle with a check mark will appear next to it.
Uploading speed will depend on your local internet connection and speed. Once all of your images have uploaded successfully, the View Processing Status button in the lower right will turn blue. Clicking this button will bring you to the Project Detail page, which will show you a wide-angle map in the main page view with a side banner on the right of the page showing the processing status of Project Processing.
Please note that during this initial release there is no status bar showing the progress of processing, so you’ll have to check back to confirm the system is finished. Image processing can take several hours based on the size of the dataset being processed -- plan for processing to take 30-45 minutes for every 100 images included in your dataset.
If the system alerts there has been an error in processing, you can download a processing log file to get more information about why the processing failed. To get this log file, click the three dot symbol in the upper right of the screen, and select the Processing Log option.