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Flat Maps

Tudor -

Ever get sick of covering large areas with a ton of overlap when you don't really need all that detail? Sometimes you don't need all the 3D stuff. Map at 10% overlap and cover HUGE areas quickly.


Starting in 2021 (because it just has to be better than 2020, right?) Maps Made Easy offers standalone processing of Flat Maps and provides the use of Flat Maps to patch areas of normal 3D maps when insufficient overlap is available.

Flat Maps do not rely on matching features from a bunch of different angles to give an answer the way photogrammetry does. Flat Maps use the camera's pointing angles and sensor/lens parameters combined with our terrain data to find out where the images were taken of to provide a quick and dirty output that is used to fill in the gaps.


New optimizations in Map Pilot Pro will make things line up better than most data collection apps. 



115 acres (47 hect) covered with only 55 images. (Mavic 2 Pro at 400 ft and 10% overlap - 9 minutes)




  • Super quick coverage - faster than 12 acres per minute (5 hect per minute) at 400 ft (120 m).
  • Cheaper to process - frequently 10% the cost from the same altitude.
  • Fast processing - data in minutes, not hours/days.
  • Known results - you will get a result, guaranteed. No insufficient overlap dropout areas. 
  • Cover the 'hard stuff' - works in trees, water, snow, crops, sand, low light, darkness.
  • Works with existing data - pretty close results from any data collection app (Map Pilot Pro is optimized for Flat Maps).
  • Works with single pass linear missions - requires a single look (max resolution/GSD limited).

The drawbacks of Flat Maps include less on-ground precision (usually within a couple meters), not orthographic view, slightly disjointed sections, no 3D outputs. 

But sometimes you don't need all that.



Reliable results in hard places

Areas that commonly have problems being mapped:

  • Water
  • Trees
  • Crops
  • Snow

Due to the complexity, motion, reflectivity or lack of fixed features these areas are problematic for a photogrammetric approach.

This is where Flat Maps come in. A Flat Map is called that because it does not provide any 3D outputs. The trade off is that you will get reliable results in a fraction of the time/cost per given area that a photogrammetric approach would take.



Works well with Thermal

In addition to being good for water/trees/crops/snow, Flat Maps work great with thermal data. Due to the low resolution of most thermal cameras they do not tend to work well with most photogrammetry engines. This limitation doesn't matter when making a flat map. 


Sample map taken using a Mavic Enterprise Dual. Hide the thermal layer to see how it lines up with the visual layer. Radiometric JPG images are supported with data set equalization or just use whatever coloration is needed with regular JPGs.  


Handles single (or limited) pass Linear Missions

Usually you would need have at least 3 passes with a lot of overlap for a linear mission to lay out properly. With Flat Maps not having any overlap requirements at all you can just do one pass and all the images will get placed.


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