DROTAG x for Geotagging

../_images/geotagging-drotagx.jpg

DROTAGx makes geo-tagging easy by recording the vehicle’s position directly into the images on the camera.

  • Images are geotagged with the vehicle’s Latitude, Longitude and Altitude (above sea level) at the moment the photo was taken. These value can be viewed with any EXIF viewer
  • Two text files are also created which include the image name, lat, lon, alt above home, altitude above sea level, roll, pitch and yaw
  • Captures picture every 1.6 seconds
  • Includes a Hotshoe which connects between the flight controller and your camera’s flash to improve the accuracy of the geo-tagging

More details can be found in the official DrotagX manual (web, pdf) including pre-flight checklists, detailed explanations for diagnosis and other tips.

Setup, Configuration

  • Connect the Drotag’s 6-pin JST connector to one of the flight controller’s serial ports
  • Connect the micro USB connector to the Sony camera’s “MultiPort”
  • Set the following parameters in ArduPilot (assuming the Drotag is connect to Serial port 1) and then reboot the flight controller
    • SERIAL1_BAUD : 115
    • SERIAL1_PROTOCOL : 1
  • Turn on the camera
  • Power the flight controller and Drotag
  • If all goes well the following will happen:
    • Drotag’s red LED should blink twice quickly about once per second
    • The camera should switch to “mass storage” for about 30 seconds (or less) and then return to regular shooting mode
    • If a Mavlink Inspector is used (available in MissionPlanner and QGC) a “Component 2” should appear and send heartbeats once every 3 seconds
../_images/geotagging-drotagx-comp2.jpg

Testing

Test the Drotag is working correctly by doing the following

  • Connect with Mission Planner and right-mouse-button-clicking on the map and select, “Trigger Camera Now”. The camera should emit a click as it takes a picture. Normally a green circle will also appear on the map.
  • Arm the vehicle, trigger another picture, then disarm the vehicle. The camera should momentarily switch to “Mass Storage” mode as Drotag geotags the images and writes the text files
../_images/geotagging-drotagx-testing.jpg

Retrieving Geotagged Images

Drotag writes the location information directly into the .jpg images files using EXIF and also into two accompanying files on the camera’s SD card

  • Connect the camera’s USB port to your PC or remove the SD card and download to your PC
  • The location can be viewed with any EXIF viewer including Window’s file property viewer
../_images/geotagging-drotagx-image-properties.jpg
  • The PIX4D_xxxx.txt includes the image’s lat, lon, alt, roll, pitch and yaw information as shown below

    DSC00027.JPG,36.3242995,138.6392682,938.0399780,0.3200000,0.1200000,-24.9599991
    
  • The tagging_xxxx.log file has the following information

    {
        filename: "DSC00027.JPG",
        time: 1571822099701000,
        latitude: 363242995,
        longitude: 1386392682,
        alt_msl: 938.039978,
        alt_rel: -0.310000,
        roll: 0.320000,
        pitch: -0.120000,
        yaw: 24.959999,
    }