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overlapping aerial imagery

Most aerial maps are made by stitching hundreds or thousands of photos together into a single image.  So then what is an orthomosaic map? An orthomosaic map be coolest word you learn today!  An orthomosaic map is just a fancy term for a 3D model of a piece of land (no matter how big or small).  What makes this different than a traditional 2D map is its ability to accurately measure distances. According to Wikipedia, “An orthophoto, orthophotograph or orthoimage is an aerial photograph or image geometrically corrected ("orthorectified") such that the scale is uniform: the photo has the same lack of distortion as a map. Unlike an uncorrected aerial photograph, an orthophotograph can be used to measure true distances, because it is an accurate representation of the Earth's surface, having been adjusted for topographic relief,[1] lens distortion, and camera tilt.”  

Pretty cool uh?An orthomosaic map is made by combining thousands of aerial photos (and sometimes ground photos) together to form a 3D model.  The software corrects each picture for lens distortion and camera tilt and stitches all the photos together.  This a tremendous computing task as each photo is analyzed and cross referenced with every other photo. This can take days or even weeks to compute, but the end result is pretty amazing.  Today’s orthomosaic software, such as Pix4D can make a orthomosaic map using only pictures. The accuracy of the map can be improved by geotagging each photo with the exact position and altitude it was taken at, by adding ground reference points and Lidar data (laser measurements).

With this data, the software can constructs a 3D map of your city, for example, with an accuracy as high as 1 cm! So what are the applications?  How is an orthomosaic map used?  The uses potential uses are seemingly endless.

City Engineers: The ability to accurately measure true distances (vertically and horizontally) is what makes orthomosaic maps so fantastic for city engineers and city planners.  Imagine being able to measure the height of everything in a city to predict how a flood would impact the city.  Imagine your city is hosting a county music festival.  Thousands of people will be parking in fields.  Now imagine being able to plan parking spots away from the low points in the field in case of a large rainfall.

Agricultural Uses:  Allows farmers to understand how their crops are doing and plan irrigation and water drainage systems

Police and Fire Department:  Mapping after natural disasters.  Planning for emergency situations included floods, wildfires, Tactical response planning, Accident Reconstruction

Construction:  Pre-construction planning and pricing, Volume calculations for moving dirt, Determining optimum routing for roads, pipelines, power lines, etc ,Construction documentation for potential liability mitigation, Showcasing property to stakeholders

Real Estate Marketing: Imagine being able to communicate the beautiful topography of a property using a computer generated map to potential clients.  

We hope that was helpful!!  Call or email us anytime!  Thanks

How does aerial mapping work and what is an orthomosaic map?

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