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Last pushed: 16 hours ago
Short Description
OpenDroneMap is a tool to postprocess drone, balloon, kite, and street view data to geographic data.
Full Description


What is it?

OpenDroneMap is an open source toolkit for processing aerial drone imagery. Typical drones use simple point-and-shoot cameras, so the images from drones, while from a different perspective, are similar to any pictures taken from point-and-shoot cameras, i.e. non-metric imagery. OpenDroneMap turns those simple images into three dimensional geographic data that can be used in combination with other geographic datasets.

In a word, OpenDroneMap is a toolchain for processing raw civilian UAS imagery to other useful products. What kind of products?

  1. Point Clouds
  2. Digital Surface Models
  3. Textured Digital Surface Models
  4. Orthorectified Imagery
  5. Classified Point Clouds
  6. Digital Elevation Models
  7. etc.

So far, it does Point Clouds, Digital Surface Models, Textured Digital Surface Models, and Orthorectified Imagery. Open Drone Map now includes state-of-the-art 3D reconstruction work by Michael Waechter, Nils Moehrle, and Michael Goesele. See their publication at

Users' mailing list:

Developers' mailing list:

Overview video:


Help improve our software!

  1. Try to keep commits clean and simple
  2. Submit a pull request with detailed changes and test results

Build and Run OpenDroneMap in Ubuntu:

(Requires Ubuntu 14.04 or later, see for running on Windows in a VM)

Support for Ubuntu 12.04 is currently BROKEN with the addition of OpenSfM and Ceres-Solver. It is likely to remain broken unless a champion is found to fix it.

Build OpenDroneMap

Start with the following:

git clone

Next, open the ~/.bashrc file on your machine and add the following 3 lines at the end. The file can be opened with gedit ~/.bashrc. Be sure to replace the "/your/path/" with the correct path to the location where you cloned OpenDroneMap:

export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/your/path/OpenDroneMap/SuperBuild/install/lib/python2.7/dist-packages
export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/your/path/OpenDroneMap/SuperBuild/src/opensfm
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/your/path/OpenDroneMap/SuperBuild/install/lib

Now, enter the OpenDroneMap directory and compile all of the code by executing a single configuration script:

cd OpenDroneMap    

For Ubuntu 15.10 users, this will help you get running:

sudo apt-get install python-xmltodict
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/

Run OpenDroneMap

First you need a set of images, which may or may not be georeferenced. There are two ways OpenDroneMap can understand geographic coordinates. First, the images can be geotagged in their EXIF data. This is the default. Alternatively, you can create a GCP file, a process detailed here

Create a project folder and places your images in an "images" directory:

|-- /path/to/project/
    |-- images/
        |-- img-1234.jpg
        |-- ...

Example data can be cloned from

Then run:

python --project-path /path/to/project

There are many options for tuning your project. See the wiki or run python -h

View Results

When the process finishes, the results will be organized as follows:

|-- images/
    |-- img-1234.jpg
    |-- ...
|-- images_resize/
    |-- img-1234.jpg
    |-- ...
|-- opensfm/
    |-- not much useful in here
|-- pmvs/
    |-- recon0/
        |-- models/
            |-- option-0000.ply         # Dense point cloud
|-- odm_meshing/
    |-- odm_mesh.ply                    # A 3D mesh
    |-- odm_meshing_log.txt             # Output of the meshing task. May point out errors.
|-- odm_texturing/
    |-- odm_textured_model.obj          # Textured mesh
    |-- odm_textured_model_geo.obj      # Georeferenced textured mesh
    |-- texture_N.jpg                   # Associated textured images used by the model
|-- odm_georeferencing/
    |-- odm_georeferenced_model.ply     # A georeferenced dense point cloud
    |-- odm_georeferenced_model.ply.laz # LAZ format point cloud
    |-- odm_georeferenced_model.csv     # XYZ format point cloud
    |-- odm_georeferencing_log.txt      # Georeferencing log
    |-- odm_georeferencing_utm_log.txt  # Log for the extract_utm portion
|-- odm_georeferencing/
    |-- odm_orthophoto.png              # Orthophoto image (no coordinates)
    |-- odm_orthophoto.tif              # Orthophoto GeoTiff
    |-- odm_orthophoto_log.txt          # Log file
    |-- gdal_translate_log.txt          # Log for georeferencing the png file

Any file ending in .obj or .ply can be opened and viewed in MeshLab or similar software. That includes pmvs/recon0/models/option-000.ply, odm_meshing/odm_mesh.ply, odm_texturing/odm_textured_model[_geo].obj, or odm_georeferencing/odm_georeferenced_model.ply. Below is an example textured mesh:

You can also view the orthophoto GeoTIFF in QGIS or other mapping software:

Build and Run Using Docker

(Instructions below apply to Ubuntu 14.04, but the Docker image workflow
has equivalent procedures for Mac OS X and Windows. See

OpenDroneMap is Dockerized, meaning you can use containerization to build and run it without tampering with the configuration of libraries and packages already
installed on your machine. Docker software is free to install and use in this context. If you don't have it installed,
see the Docker Ubuntu installation tutorial and follow the
instructions up until "Create a Docker group" inclusive. Once Docker is installed, an OpenDroneMap Docker image can be created
like so:

git clone
cd OpenDroneMap
docker build -t packages -f packages.Dockerfile .
docker build -t odm_image .
docker run -it --user root\
     -v $(pwd)/images:/code/images\
     -v $(pwd)/odm_orthophoto:/code/odm_orthophoto\
     -v $(pwd)/odm_texturing:/code/odm_texturing\
     --rm odm_image 

Using this method, the containerized ODM will process the images in the OpenDroneMap/images directory and output results
to the OpenDroneMap/odm_orthophoto and OpenDroneMap/odm_texturing directories as described in the Viewing Results section.
If you want to view other results outside the Docker image simply add which directories you're interested in to the run command in the same pattern
established above. For example, if you're interested in the dense cloud results generated by PMVS and in the orthophoto,
simply use the following docker run command after building the image:

docker run -it --user root\
     -v $(pwd)/images:/code/images\
     -v $(pwd)/pmvs:/code/pmvs\
     -v $(pwd)/odm_orthophoto:/code/odm_orthophoto\
     --rm odm_image

To pass in custom parameters to the script, simply pass it as arguments to the docker run command.

User Interface

A web interface and API to OpenDroneMap is currently under active development in the WebODM repository.


Here are some other videos, which may be outdated:

Now that texturing is in the code base, you can access the full textured meshes using MeshLab.
Open MeshLab, choose File:Import Mesh and choose your textured mesh from a location similar to the following:
reconstruction-with-image-size-1200-results\odm_texturing\odm_textured_model.obj. Long term, the aim is for
the toolchain to also be able to optionally push to a variety of online data repositories, pushing hi-resolution
aerials to OpenAerialMap, point clouds to OpenTopography,
and pushing digital elevation models to an emerging global repository (yet to be named...). That leaves only
digital surface model meshes and UV textured meshes with no global repository home.


For documentation, please take a look at our wiki.

Docker Pull Command
Source Repository

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