GCP Points from Google Earth


Has anyone successfully imported GPS points from Google Earth into WebODM? I’d like to get X, Y, and Z points from Google Earth Pro and put them in a format that WebODM can read. Also, is it easy to match the images I have with the GPS points?

There is an example on YouTube that demonstrates the benefits but the host doesn’t show the details on how to.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Might work but what do you intend to do with the result?

Improve the location of the images versus what’s on Google Maps overlay in WebODM.

Do you mean the ortophoto?

Google earth isn’t very accurate though

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Yes…in essense I’m trying to line up the drone photos more accurately with the overlay in WebODM. If you look at the video above, it shows how using fake GCPs improves photo line up. It may not have much use but I presume but it may. I did a flight the other day using Dronelink and created a model in WebODM. It was off by quite a bit from the WebODM overlay and you could clearly see it as you change opacity.

You can geo reference an ortophoto or just an image pretty easily in QGis against a wms service like google or bing

I use GCP’s all the time, but it seldom line up with bing or Google because they aren’t very accurate

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So are you saying that I should just get the GPS coordinates from QGIS and line those up with the drone images I get in WebODM’s GCP interface?

No, your images already have gps data even though it’s a bit of. You can still get an output.

What I suggest is that you geo reference in post.

Ok…how can I do that?

Geo reference the ortophoto in QGis against known points or a wms.

Can you point me to a tutorial on how to do this? Thank you

Hope this helps. It can be tricky getting appropriate settings.

There has to be an easier way than this. All I want to do is pick appropriate landmarks on my images that match known coordinates in a more accurate map. That is how accurate mapping is done no? I can’t believe this stuff needs to be this difficult.

Is there no visual tutorial one can follow or has been done to make this process much less burdensome?

Maybe on YouTube.

Things are hard if you don’t know how.

Yes exactly. So that’s why it’s important for someone to show us who don’t know how, how it’s done. I appreciate your feedback but this is the issue with community help most of the time…people just point to links to instructions that are vague and esoteric. A simple 10-20 minute visual tutorial showing step by step processes is all it would take to clear things up.

Well it’s many parts in this.

There’s many different projections and different ways to do the transformation.

It’s hard to condense 17 years of knowledge into something short. Been a construction surveyor for that long.

It took me over a year to grasp most of the photogrammetry techniques and I still feel that I’m not sure about everything.

So take your time learning. Read about map projections and transformations.

Community forums are hard, but we resource them here, which is something we do differently, and will continue to expand upon, so: expect this to get easier here.

But also, community forums can be tiring for those who respond to lots of posts. Usually, if someone responds in what you think is a vague way, they’ve probably given you the special words you need to continue the research, for example:


Once you have reviewed some of the videos above and discerned the process, I hope you’ll make an OpenDroneMap + QGIS one for this community and post it. It would make an excellent contribution.

And thanks for joining on this journey! Lots of good mapping yet to be done.


I appreciate your feedback but I think you’re approaching this very differently than what I’m looking for.

I’m not looking to be a surveyor or absolute expert in photogrammetry. Nor am I looking to spend years learning it. It’s not necessary to dive that deep.

It’s a bit like learning how a car is put together and built in order to change the battery.

All I’m trying to do is more accurately reference my WebODM output to an accurate map. Maybe it’s not important our there’s no point doing it for me I guess

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Thanks for the reply. Yes exactly…just sometimes a follow along video or two is all it takes to figure something out. Trying to learn this stuff via documentation is next to impossible.

I have already made a project using WebODM and I can post my results here…i.e. post my assets. You can see my results and then perhaps show me how the QGiS part is done. I’m still unclear what QGiS is even used for frankly.


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I like documentation more than videos, so we have different ways of learning.

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