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FAQ: What is Skycatch and how does it work?


What is Skycatch?  

Skycatch is an end-to-end solution for generating 2D and 3D data products from data captured using unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles (aka drones). We provide you with all the tools you need to successfully capture, process, and utilize your data to make actionable decisions and share that data with others.

The Skycatch ecosystem, in a nutshell, works something like this: 

 

Plan (Skycatch Flight App) → Capture (Explore1/ other Drones) → Upload and Process → Viewer

 

How much or how little of the Skycatch ecosystem you choose to use is ultimately your decision. If you already own a drone and only want to use our data processing pipeline to generate your data products, Skycatch supports that. If you only want to use our flight app to capture aerial imagery using your DJI, Skycatch supports that as well.

 

What is photogrammetry? 

Photogrammetry is the process of using multiple, related imagery to extract measurements and 3D positions of surface points to construct an accurate 3D representation of the world. This is achieved by locating an matching distinct features within each photo.

A line of sight (or ray) can then be constructed from the camera location(s) to that feature. Once two or more distinct rays have been drawn to the same point, it becomes possible to estimate the height of that point. And by repeating this process millions of times we can accurately reconstruct a 3D world from your 2D imagery.

How does our pipeline work?

The Skycatch Data Processing Pipeline is the factory that turns your 2D imagery into 3D objects through the process of photogrammetry. We break this into three main stages:

 

Pre-processing → Processing → Post-Processing

  • Pre-processing - In this stage we analyze and prepare your data for Projector, Skycatch's in-house photogrammetry engine. Among things we do is the adjustment of the hue and saturation values of your images, auto-tag Ground Control Points (GCPs) and Checkpoints (CHPs), and parse RTK logs (if applicable). These are all done to improve the accuracy and quality of the final data products.
  • Processing - In this stage, Projector does its magic and is responsible for stitching the imagery submitted by you into 2D and 3D data products
  • Post-processing - In the final stage, we prepare your data for delivery. This includes reprojecting your data into the projection of your choice and transforming your data into a format that can be displayed and accessed through the web.

Get Started!

Download the free Skycatch Flight1 App and visit Use Flight1 App with your DJI if you have a compatible DJI drone for easy mission planning and automated flying. You can then upload your geotagged images, whether or not they were collected using our flight app, via the Uploader at app.skycatch.com.

 

After your images have been processed, you can view and analyze your map in the Skycatch viewer using our suite of data analysis tools.

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