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GeoPhoto was created to address the issue of elevation accuracy for high precision drones. Our customer base was frequently looking for a shortcut to moving their data from ellipsoidal heights to NAVD88 elevations. There are a lot of tools out there to easily do this with typical geospatial data from more conventional positioning systems; however, to make this work with a drone required exporting/ importing log files and doing the conversion in some other tool.
GNSS (which is a catch-all for GPS like positioning satellites) systems reference their z position in an easily implemented model called the ellipsoid. However, most people want something in sea level, and more specifically NAVD88. To convert from one to the other, we use something called a geoid which relates ellipsoidal heights to elevations based on an X-Y position. A lot of popular image processing software apps do use geoids, but, unfortunately, they use large global geoids which are less accurate in the US. In the US, we specifically want to use Geoid12 or Geoid18, which are products of the US National Geodetic Service that take into account a lot of individual measurements by folks on the ground.
GeoPhoto takes the images from a high precision drone (like the Phantom 4 RTK or the Matrice 210 RTK V2) and reads location info from metadata in the photos (EXIF) of an entire folder that a user selects. It takes the XY location of the photo and uses the geoid separation from the geoid at each location to determine the offset information for the photo point. It then, without changing any aspect of the photo, writes the corrected value into the metadata from the photo. It also changes the name of the photo a bit so it’s clear to the user that the photo has been adjusted, and it writes an entry into a log file that it creates. Make sure you are on a mostly unimpeded network as the software does need the internet for validating the time at the start and also for contacting an NGS server.
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There are a couple more important notes that we would like to make…
If you receive a license, please do not forward the download if you want to share this with someone (that’s against the EULA). Instead, please direct them to this license form (it’s free anyway, so why not?). This is VERY important as it helps us gage interest which will help us know to continue development.
We plan to license this yearly, but the license will expire every year on 12/31. The free version should persist, but at some point we do plan to have a customer-only version which will include a lot more functionality and it should be A LOT faster.
Also, if you use this tool and you’re not a customer, please consider us on your next drone purchase (or Autodesk license).
If you have any comments, questions, or bugs, please send us a message.