5 Best Laptops for Drone Mapping and Photogrammetry
One drone technology that I think is really starting to take off is photogrammetry. It has its roots in computer vision and is a process where we use a drone to photograph a scene and extract a 3D map by comparing the images to one another. In this post, I will walk you through the process of setting up a drone + photogrammetry program + drone + computer vision + computer + 3D modelers + 3D printer + 3D printer + 3D printer + 3D printer + 3D model.
Drone mapping and photogrammetry both utilize a combination of drone technology and a laptop to produce a 3D model of a space. The computer is used to capture aerial images of the space to be mapped, and the drone is used to capture the images from different angles to ensure full coverage. The computer is also used to stitch the photos together to make a 3D digital model of the space. This process may require multiple drones to capture a 360 degree view of the space, and can be used to cover a wide variety of spaces, from construction sites to large sporting events.
Photogrammetry is a new and growing industry that is quickly taking off. There are some really great and some not so great tools available to the public. I am going to try and cover both. But first lets see if we can get a handle on what photogrammetry is all about.
What are the best computers for photogrammetry and drone mapping? Drone mapping and photogrammetry is a technique that is used to create zone maps for a variety of industries, including farming, mining, remote sensing, and more.
Drone mapping and photogrammetry are unique arts that need specialized talents, expertise, and, of course, technological assistance from a laptop.
However, don’t expect everyone with a laptop to be able to perform drone mapping.
The laptop, on the other hand, should have features and specifications that perfectly combine science and art.
Professionals that specialize in drone operation should ideally do drone mapping and photogrammetry. As a result, you may believe that any laptop will suffice.
You will be better off if you have a gadget that comes with an amazing collection of physical components, as true as that may be.
A basic or low-cost system will not be able to help you. The good news is that there are several excellent computers for drone mapping and photogrammetry on the market.
The bad news is that you’ll have to devote a significant amount of time to studying them.
The good thing is that with an article like this, selecting the finest laptop for your drone mapping and photogrammetry requirements will be simple.
Do you need more assistance? To make the best choice, read the purchasing advice as well.
Drone Mapping and Photogrammetry Laptops – Cost
240Hz 15.6″ FHD 3ms IPS ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7-10875H CPU, NVIDIA…
17 new items starting at $1,609.99
From $1,619.63, 6 were utilized.
2:45 p.m., September 2, 2021
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, Intel Core i7-10750H 6 Core, Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop 2020…
3 new items starting at $1,999.99
From $1,370.00, 4 were utilized.
2:45 p.m., September 2, 2021
Silver Surface Book 2 by Microsoft 15″ (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB)
3 new items starting at $2,349.00
5 times since $1,198.99
2:45 p.m., September 2, 2021
2019 MacBook Pro (Apple) – Space Gray (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7)
3 new items starting at $2,239.92
2:45 p.m., September 2, 2021
The information on this page was last updated at 2:45 p.m. on September 2, 2021.
What Role Do Laptops Play in Drone Mapping and Photogrammetry?
In more ways than one, a laptop can assist with drone mapping and photogrammetry.
To begin, it assists in determining the precise height of the terrain or an item by using the drone camera to extract the X and Y coordinates of each.
As a result, it’s easier to rapidly create a digital model of the landscape or item with reference to the ground plane.
It also aids in the creation of three-dimensional digital models. With the photos obtained by the drone at various time intervals, you may build two such models of the same landscape. These high-quality models aid in determining the height disparity.
The laptop will also aid in the creation of digital terrain models of regions that are under water, as well as the determination of point density by changing the color difference that signals changes in weather conditions, using specialist tools.
To make a landscape appear smooth, all of the pictures and models may be connected into an orthophoto mosaic. The image is then scaled up and uploaded into a GIS or CAD program, where it is utilized as a background for drone mapping.
Agriculture, construction, architecture, mining, land surveying, and public safety are among sectors that utilize drone mapping.
In the end, drone mapping and photogrammetry outperform traditional aerial photography.
However, utilizing a good laptop, ideally one of these five, improves its effectiveness, speed, safety, and accuracy.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Drone Mapping and Photogrammetry
An Intel Core i5 CPU, ideally from the most recent generation, with a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz is the bare minimum system needed for drone mapping and photogrammetry.
In terms of visuals, an Intel HD 4000 or higher integrated graphics processor or an OpenGL 3.2 compliant standalone graphics card are needed. It should also have at least a 12-inch screen and 4 GB of RAM and 10 GB of free hard drive space.
Greater RAM, bigger and better storage, a fast CPU, and an efficient graphics card are required for higher and more complicated projects including as many as 2000 pictures at 14 MP or more.
If you follow the recommended system requirements listed below to make your laptop futureproof for drone mapping and photogrammetry, you will get your money’s worth.
Minimum system requirements: Intel Quad Core i7 CPU of 7th generation or higher| 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD storage| Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD comparable graphics card | 15-inch screen or larger | 1920 x 1080 pixels screen resolution
9th generation Intel Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or more | 512 GB SSD or more | Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or higher dedicated graphics card | 16-inch screen or larger | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution
5 Best Laptops for Photogrammetry and Drone Mapping:
Best Overall: Asus ROG Strix Scar G532LWS Asus ROG Strix Scar G532LWS Asus ROG Strix Scar
Asus ROG Strix Scar G532LWS
Bottom Line: With a 10th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX Super graphics card, enough RAM, and a fast SSD storage, this laptop guarantees that you receive the greatest overall performance while using it for drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks.
- 15.6-inch display
- 1 TB PCIe SSD storage
- DDR4 SDRAM (16 GB)
- Intel Core i7 10875H processor, 10th generation
- Windows 10 Home is the operating system.
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Supercomputer GPU
- The laptop’s display is beautiful and has a thin bezel on three sides.
- The keyboard’s per-key RGB illumination is stunning.
- The cooling and thermal management are excellent.
- The system is very substantial, weighing in at over 5 pounds.
- It’s possible that the noisy fans will irritate you.
- The system does not have an optical drive.
This laptop is also one of the finest drone mapping and photogrammetry computers on the market.
It comes with not only one of the finest sets of hardware components, but also a dependable and robust software to back up its performance during mapping.
This model is a little hefty, but it comes with a beautiful 15.6-inch display with a thin bezel on three sides that gives you more real space to work on your maps.
With a 240 Hz refresh rate and 3ms reaction time, this IPS display’s full HD resolution guarantees sharper images and a smooth viewing experience.
The 8 GB dedicated GDDR6 Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card has ROG Boost, which guarantees better and quicker picture output at a base speed of 1140 MHz and a maximum of 1380 MHz.
The most recent Intel Core i7 CPU is the 10th generation, which is capable of processing data at a high speed of 5.1 GHz.
It works with DDR4 SDRAM with a bandwidth of 3200 MHz and a large and fast PCIe SSD storage, as well as the Windows 10 Home operating system, which has a number of helpful capabilities for drone mapping and photogrammetry.
Thanks to the ROG Intelligent Cooling Thermal system, the system remains relatively cool even when utilized for extended periods of time. Thermal Grizzly Liquid Metal compound is included to provide better thermal management.
With its per-key RGB backlit keyboard and ROG Aura Sync System with light bar, the system looks fantastic. Despite the lack of a distinct number keypad, the trackpad functions as one, making data entry simple.
The device’s connection options include Gigabyte+ wi-fi 6 network communication with Range Boost and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility.
One RJ 45 connector, one HDMI 2.0B port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port with DisplayPort 1.4, three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and an audio jack are among the system’s interfaces.
2. Scar III by Asus – Second Place
Asus ROG Scar III
Bottom Line: Despite having more RAM and a bigger screen, this laptop on the list has an equally excellent dedicated graphics chip and SSD storage as the previous laptop. However, it is the 9th generation CPU that makes it the second best for drone mapping and photogrammetry.
- 17.3-inch display
- 1 TB NVMe SSD storage
- DDR4 SDRAM (32 GB)
- 9th generation Intel Core i7 9750H processor
- Windows 10 Home is the operating system.
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU
- The system has a large and quick storage capacity.
- A separate numeric keypad is included with the keyboard.
- The screen is big and has a small bezel, as well as a fast refresh rate.
- The system is very substantial, weighing in at over 6 pounds.
- At times, the fan may be very noisy.
- The trackpad is moved to the left, which may make typing more difficult.
This laptop has everything you’ll need for drone mapping and photogrammetry.
This gaming laptop is equipped with the newest 9th generation Intel Core i7 9750H CPU, which has six cores, 12 MB cache, 45W capacity, and a clock speed of up to 4.5 GHz.
It can handle the DDR4 RAM at 2666 MHz and the massive NVMe SSD storage.
The laptop’s dedicated GDDR6 Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card has 8 GB of memory, allowing it to create pictures quicker and show them on the big screen, which has a narrow bezel, full HD resolution, 240 Hz refresh rate, and 3ms reaction time.
The 64-bit architecture of the Windows 10 Home operating system makes it much more helpful.
With its reasonable key travel and Asus Aura Sync adjustable RGB lighting, this laptop’s keyboard is both pleasant to write on and attractive.
The ROG Intelligent Cooling thermal technology allows you to utilize the system for extended periods of time while keeping it cool. It has two 12-volt fans with selectable fan settings and dust-reduction technologies.
This laptop has enough ports and slots for serious content production and gaming, as well as drone mapping and photogrammetry. It has one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port, three USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports, one HDMI 2.0B port, one RJ 45 connector, and a headphone and microphone combination connection.
The system supports wireless 802.11 AC connection as well as Bluetooth 5 technologies for connectivity. Check out our review of the Asus ROG Strix Scar III.
3. Base Razor Blade 15 – Good Value
Razor Blade 15 Base
Bottom Line: When the price to performance ratio is considered, this laptop provides better value for money due to its relatively high level of performance for drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks. Our laptop’s specifications and features are on par with the others on this list, making it a capable performer.
- 15.6-inch display
- 512 GB SSD storage
- DDR4 SDRAM (16 GB)
- 10th generation Intel Core i7 10750H processor
- Windows 10 is the operating system.
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max Q design GPU
- The keyboard is attractive and illuminated, allowing you to type in the dark.
- The system has a large number of ports.
- The display has a small bezel and a fast refresh rate.
- The system is very substantial, weighing in at almost 9 pounds.
- The system does not have an optical drive.
- On the keyboard, there is no separate number keypad.
This laptop is one of the finest for drone mapping and photogrammetry, as well as other demanding computing jobs like 3D modeling and more.
It has a 10th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, which provides greater power.
The laptop’s six cores and 16 threads, as well as its 2.6 GHz base and 5.0 GHz maximum Turbo speeds and 12 MB L3 cache, guarantee the highest degree of performance.
The specialized Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card in this system has a Max Q design, and the Nvidia Turing GPU architecture boosts its performance even further.
This allows it to produce cinematic-quality pictures on the screen at a considerably quicker pace.
This system’s screen is of outstanding quality, with not just a slim bezel but also full HD resolution, a fast refresh rate of 144 Hz, and up to 100 percent s-RGB color compatibility.
During drone mapping and photogrammetry, all of these characteristics of the screen will allow you to view crisper, clearer pictures with more information.
Due to its tiny design, the CNC aluminum unibody frame makes this system highly robust to use outside with the lowest footprint possible.
With wi-fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, USB Type A and Type C connectors, and HDMI ports, this device is designed to connect.
With Razer Chroma, you can even change the color of the keyboard’s backlights. The greatest aspect is that you can increase the RAM thanks to the system’s architecture.
There is also an open M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, which allows you to expand the storage capacity of the laptop as needed. Razer Blade 15 Base Review may be found here.
4. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Improved Usability in a Variety of Modes
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Bottom Line: The specifications of this laptop provide a good level of performance for drone mapping and photogrammetry operations, but the device’s flexible design makes it even more suited for such tasks. Because of the removable touchscreen, it provides considerably greater use in as many as four distinct modes.
- 15-inch display
- 512 GB of storage
- 16 GB RAM
- Intel Quad Core i7 Processor
- Windows 10 Professional (OS)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU
- The display is excellent and has a touch function.
- Both the front and back cameras are of excellent quality.
- The system’s versatility allows it to be utilized in four distinct modes.
- The keyboard does not have a separate number pad.
- When the primary graphics card isn’t recognized, the system switches to the less powerful Intel graphics card.
- Even with modest use and low settings, the power life quickly depletes.
This laptop is powerful enough to satisfy all of your drone mapping and photogrammetry requirements, thanks to its 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 CPU.
It also includes a fast storage device to guarantee a faster system startup and enough RAM to enable multitasking.
The system’s performance is further boosted by a specialized Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card with 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory from the GTX series.
This system is four times more powerful than previous versions thanks to all of these features and hardware specifications.
The PixelSense technology adds to the performance of this laptop by providing a big and vivid display.
This system’s architecture enables you to utilize it in four different modes.
You may use this sleek and compact powerhouse as a laptop to operate and make the most use of complicated app and software applications, allowing you to accomplish even the most demanding jobs with ease.
The big and snappy trackpad, comfortable keyboard, and touchscreen make drone mapping and photogrammetry even more efficient and simple.
You can carry it anywhere by detaching the beautiful display and using it as a tablet.
Furthermore, owing to the natural orientation, you can fold the screen to use it in studio mode and draw, sketch, and make changes to the pictures right on the screen with the Surface Pen.
During a presentation, you may use the view mode to share the contents on the screen with others. All you have to do is press a button to remove the screen, turn it, and reconnect it.
Using voice commands, the Windows 10 Professional operating system enables for simple navigation and operation with the interactive Cortana. Check out our review of the Microsoft Surface Book 2.
5. Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Larger and Better)
Apple MacBook Pro
Bottom Line: This laptop will provide a more clearer and sharper picture with vibrant colors, which is essential for drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks. The bigger and better Retina display has a thin bezel and an IPS screen, which allows for a wider viewing area and higher resolution.
- 16-inch display
- 512 GB SSD storage
- 16 GB RAM
- Intel Core i7 processor
- Macintosh Operating System
- AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU
- The display is excellent, with a very narrow bezel all the way around.
- The sound system is very excellent.
- SSD storage is lightning fast.
- The system is missing a variety of port kinds.
- Under intensive usage, the battery life does not last as long as promised.
- There is no separate number keypad on the keyboard.
One of the finest Mac laptops for drone mapping and photogrammetry is this one.
It has an Intel Core i7 processor, plenty of RAM, and SSD storage for multitasking and quicker booting.
The laptop’s 16-inch Retina display has a thin bezel on both sides, allowing for a wider viewing area.
For accurate drone mapping and photogrammetry, you can view the pictures more clearly with all of the details.
This LED-backlit display has IPS technology for a wider viewing angle, as well as a native resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels and a pixel density of 226 pixels per inch. It can handle millions of hues, making pictures seem more vibrant.
With automated graphics switching to Intel UHD Graphics 630, the 4 GB GDDR6 AMD Radeon graphics card creates pictures quickly. The Mac operating system aids in the seamless operation of the required applications.
The CPU has six cores to make the most of the shared L3 cache of 12 MB, and it runs at speeds of 2.6 GHz to 4.5 GHz with Turbo Boost.
The system’s four Thunderbolt 3 ports offer charging and expansion possibilities, despite their restricted quantity and kind.
It has charging, data transmission at 40 Gbps, and a DisplayPort connector. There’s also a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection with a 10 Gbps data transfer rate.
Wireless networking is supported by the system, which uses the 802.11ac standard.
It complies with IEEE standards 802.11a/b/g/n. Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology is also supported. Check out our review of the Apple Macbook Pro.
How to Pick the Best Laptops for Photogrammetry and Drone Mapping
If you don’t want to waste your money on a laptop that won’t fulfill your drone mapping and photogrammetry requirements, there are a few things to check for while purchasing.
These specifications are needed even if you do not want to purchase one of the above-mentioned laptop models and instead opt for a different model. This purchasing guide will make things easy for you and speed up the choosing process.
When buying for a system to be used for drone mapping and photogrammetry, the CPU of a laptop is one of the most essential factors to consider.
You should get a laptop with an Intel i5 CPU at the very least. Furthermore, the CPU should have a minimum of four cores.
This ensures that it has adequate processing power to handle all of the workloads and applications you’ll be running throughout the simulations.
If money isn’t a problem, a device with an Intel i7 CPU or even a high-end Intel Xeon processor, which usually has six cores or more, is a good choice.
Remember that the larger the number of cores in a CPU, the faster it will process data.
With the power of your laptop substantially enhanced, it will reduce time delays and problems when processing data.
A good quantity of memory or RAM is also required on your laptop. This will make the drone mapping and photogrammetry procedure go more smoothly. On your laptop, it will also enable you to multitask.
If you’re on a tight budget and your work just requires a few hundred pictures, a laptop with only 8 GB of RAM will suffice.
Alternatively, if your profession requires you to work on medium-sized projects with pictures ranging from one to five hundred, your laptop should have at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM.
On the other hand, although 16 GB of RAM will enough for the majority of your projects, you may need additional RAM, such as 32 GB or more, if you work on bigger drone mapping and photogrammetry projects.
A big project is defined as one that involves the use of a large number of pictures, ranging from 500 to 2000 or more, each of which is 14 MP.
For drone mapping and photogrammetry, a good graphics card is also needed in the laptop.
This is because the device’s graphics card must be compatible with OpenGL 3.2, which is required for these kinds of tasks.
If you select a laptop with an integrated chip, however, you must ensure that it is compatible.
Otherwise, if you want to be safe and perform a variety of drone mapping and photogrammetry tasks, you need have a machine with a specialized graphics card.
Make sure the graphics card has a minimum of 2 GB video RAM or VRAM when purchasing such a device.
Most current Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards have considerably more, making them compatible with all of those drone mapping and photogrammetry programs.
Just make sure it’s the most recent version, since this will ensure that your laptop is future-proof.
Internal laptop storage capacity for drone mapping and photogrammetry is another major issue, and it is just as essential as the other factors listed.
However, your decision will be influenced by the scale of the projects you manage.
If you just work on little tasks, a lesser quantity of storage, such as 128 GB, would suffice. Medium and big projects, on the other hand, will need at least 256 GB and 512 GB of storage, if not more.
When working on larger projects that need a large quantity of images, this figure will undoubtedly rise.
If your budget allows, a laptop with a mix of SSD and HDD storage, or one that also supports cloud storage, is a much safer and more productive option.
Aside from the quantity of storage, there is one other factor to consider while making your decision.
Even if it costs a little extra, you should always choose a solid-state drive over a conventional hard drive disk.
Solid-state drives are quicker, cooler, and quieter than traditional hard drives. It will not fail easy, and it will significantly enhance the laptop’s performance.
This will make it easier to store and retrieve a huge number of data, which is frequent in drone mapping and photogrammetry.
Life of the battery
You should always purchase a laptop that has an all-day battery life if you follow the rule of thumb.
This is essential since you will most likely need to bring your laptop to the field for drone mapping and photogrammetry, where charging will be a major problem.
The greatest laptop will have a battery life of more than 15 hours, but this will come at a high price.
If you can’t afford such a gadget, go for one with at least 7 to 8 hours of battery life, but not less.
This means you may get a lot of work done on a single charge before needing to search for a power outlet to recharge it.
The majority of drone mapping and photogrammetry software is intended to operate smoothly and without any technical issues on the Windows operating system.
As a result, learn about the needs of the program you’ll be using the most so you may choose the best operating system for it.
However, not everything was created with Windows in mind. A few types of drone mapping and photogrammetry software are compatible with Mac operating systems.
It’s essential to remember at this point that choosing an operating system is just a question of personal choice.
However, the software’s requirements will have a major impact on the ultimate result.
Because you’ll be taking your laptop outside for drone mapping and photogrammetry, it has to be very portable.
At the same time, you should avoid sacrificing performance in the sake of mobility.
Unless you buy one of those very thin and ultra light laptops, which usually come with a hefty price tag, you won’t get all the power you need to fulfill all your needs in a portable laptop.
As a result, when it comes to a laptop’s mobility, there are a few factors to bear in mind.
The weight of the laptop, which should be between 3 and 5 pounds, has a big impact on portability. There are a slew of additional things to check for in the system you choose that are related to it.
The size of the screen, as well as the bezel surrounding it, has a significant impact on mobility.
In terms of viewing area and mobility, a laptop with a screen size ranging from 13 to 15 inches is sufficient.
Anything bigger than that will needlessly increase the weight of the item.
It will also be bigger than a typical laptop bag, making it harder to transport.
Resolution of the display
The screen’s resolution should be sufficient to enable you to properly view the pictures on it when working outside.
A full HD monitor is excellent for drone mapping and photogrammetry since you need to concentrate on the details in the pictures for better accuracy.
You may choose a higher resolution if your budget permits it.
The screen’s brightness should also be higher than the average of 250 to 275 nits.
Make sure the screen has a matte surface, is anti-glare, and is equipped with IPS technology for a wider viewing angle.
Why do drone mapping and photogrammetry need a laptop rather than a smartphone?
Using a laptop instead of a smartphone is considerably more convenient owing to the many functions it offers. It’s more powerful, and you’ll be able to connect more devices to it if you need to. The bigger screen real estate will enable you to view the pictures clearly and correctly modify them.
What is the best way to connect my laptop to my drone for precise mapping and photogrammetry?
To get the programming right, you’ll need to install a few pieces of software first. Python 2.7 and OpenCV2 are included. Then you’ll need to go to the PC-drone repository to get the code. Finally, you’ll need to execute this code with the USB camera attached to the correct port on the Arduino.
What drone mapping and photogrammetry software should I install on my laptop?
It will be determined by your prior drone mapping experience. If you’re a novice, the most basic Drone Deploy mapping program will suffice. Otherwise, if you have some expertise with drone mapping, you may use the Pix4D drone mapping program, which is developed specifically for experienced users.
Can I use my laptop to capture ortho photos for drone mapping and photogrammetry to determine actual distance?
Yes, you certainly can. An aerial picture that has been mathematically adjusted for lens distortion, camera tilt, topography relief, and perspective is known as orthophotography. Because they are realistic pictures of the things in the environment, you may use them to estimate actual distances and alter the earth’s measurements.
Do I still need a flight controller for drone mapping and photogrammetry if I use a laptop?
It is entirely up to you to make your decision. However, instead of a controller, a laptop may be used to control the fly in a far more efficient and easy way. This is due to the fact that improved flight control technologies may be used to make the drone more or less semi-autonomous. It implies you don’t have to be in charge directly.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- best laptop for drone mapping
- best laptop for drones
- best laptop for 3d modeling 2020
- best laptop for simulation softwares
- best laptop for rendering