Mapping with Aerial Robots

Commercially available aerial robots or “drones” have grown exponentially in popularity over the past five years. One of the key possibilities that this new technology makes possible is the democratization of high-resolution mapping through aerial imagery. Community health workers, aid professionals, environmentalists, citizen scientists, and many others, using off-the-shelf robotics technology plus widely available software, can build, share, and analyze their own accurate 2D image-based maps and 3D models. This microlab will convey how to use a DJI Phantom Pro to capture high-resolution imagery for mapping and to build simple orthorectified maps.