Brand new drone owner (DJI Mavic Air 2) interesting in hobby photogrammerty / mapping

I’ve currently got zero experience and zero software other than the DJI Fly app.
I’d like to do hobby photogrammerty around my house / town and try mapping my property.

Hoping there’s a free way to do that with the drone I have.

I believe from what I have read that DJI has not enabled the MA2 to run automated flights/photos ‘in the drone’ and that means I need to get software that can do it via the controller. (is that correct?)

Not looking to do any commercial / paid work, just tinkering, so don’t want to spend a bunch more money on software, especially if there’s a way to hack together something cheap/free.

3 Likes

Welcome!

Correct, but there’s a wrinkle:
Nobody can enable flight planning functionality with DJI hardware until DJI releases the model-specific SDK for that sUAS. Until that happens, you have no flight planning capability anywhere.

So, you’re fully manual with your Mavic Air 2 until DJI says otherwise.

3 Likes

I found reference to a couple of programs that claim to be able to fly the drone from the controller by replacing dji fly with their own software, but they are all paid software and I don’t even know if/how well they would work for me, and appear to be geared toward people using drones for commercial work so they want a fair amount of money for them. Will keep looking.

1 Like

I don’t know what sort of area you wish to cover, but if you can set it running to take photos say every 2 seconds, just fly it manually over the area of interest, ensuring you have decent overlap.

I believe you can use third party software like DroneLink to fly waypoint missions as the DJI SDK has been released for the Air 2. Alternatively as, mentioned you can fly manual missions with the camera set to capture still images every 2 seconds. This is what I do with a Mini 2 (no SDK support yet) and then produce orthophotos and 3D models with ODM. The results are perfect for my use case. You can see the resulting orthphotos on OpenAerialMap: OpenAerialMap Browser

1 Like

Only need to do paths with way points as a grid ,distance of lines 10-15 m ,flight altitude 50 m speed 3 m/sec , and time for shuter 3 seconds, of course the cam with -90 degrees . Cover about 3000 m2 of surface and process with ODM , with 40-60 pictures is enought for training later you can change the parameters a example with fimix8 2020.imagen. imagen . learn with qgis to do maps imagen

2 Likes

I’m unfamiliar with qgis. Can I use that to create a waypoint mission file?

You could, absolutely, provided your flight planning software can load it.

Mostly for reading the mission files after collect and creating other products and doing analysis, I think was ricardo’s intent for recommendation.

1 Like

Not directly, you can do a template with the tools of QGIS , with a layer of Google maps in mode satélite, can mesure an draw paralel lines and after you manually draw a waypoints path on DJI app or do a direct path of waypoints on the DJI app if you can apreciate the distance betwen lines, in way point mode you can program hight and speed and in the shuter the interval in Time for pictures…The rest of the work Is done by the mágic of ODM…

1 Like

I figured out how to do grids ‘on the cheap’!
I loaded up my area in flylitchi.com/hub on my computer and dropped in some approximate waypoints.
I then exported that to a CSV.
I was then able to compare the 4 corners of my dropped waypoints to do the lat/long math to divide up that into a perfect grid.
I then imported that into Maven for DJI Drones and it shows up perfectly!

3 Likes

The Copterus app ($5) allows you to do waypoint missions with the Air 2. I did my first yesterday and it worked great!

1 Like

Have you tried with 3D Survey Pilot?

1 Like

I also use Copterus to fly grid missions with a Mavic Air 2. It is $5 USD and is only available for Apple OS but works great for me. Very similar to Pix4D Capture App, as least on the user interface side.

So I’m in the same boat here with the air2s I understand the sdk hasn’t been released so I can’t use apps like drone link etc, can I manually do mapping with the hyperlapse feature and manually setting my waypoints?

Welcome! You can, but manual flight planning is quite difficult for getting sufficient overlap and sidelap.

2 Likes

Thanks! Do I shoot in raw for the open drone map software or does it not care?

It should not care.

The are quite hefty, so unless you aren’t bothered by the extra space and/or upload time if using Lightning, I would say you don’t need to.

1 Like