What is a map?
A map is the virtual representation of what has been seen by Dragonfly through the camera connected. It corresponds to a file that stores all the information describing a visual environment and enables the tracking of the positions of a camera in this environment.
The map file is created by Dragonfly during the mapping phase and is not human readable. A map file contains:
- the features related to the objects and shapes detected in your environment;
- the WGS-84 position of the visual/virtual markers (once the geo-referencing process has been performed).
Is your environment compatible with the use of Dragonfly?
Before starting the mapping process you need to make sure that your environment meet the requirements to be compatible with the use of Dragonfly. You can find those requirements inside this important support page.
Step 1 – Initialize the mapping
Once Dragonfly is configured properly you can initialize the mapping and then create a map of your environment. During this process the Dragonfly Web UI will:
- visualize the position of your camera as a drone moving inside a 3D plot;
- provide the position of your camera as un-dimensioned raw coordinates;
Follow these steps to initialize the mapping:
- Mount the camera on board the device choosing one of the mounting directions shown inside this page.
- Move with the device into a location on the perimeter of the venue.
- Select the Configuration tab inside the Dragonfly Web UI.
- Inside the configuration tab configure the MAP_CALIBRATION_METHOD to be ”No markers used (direct view only, no WGS84 coordinates possible)”.
- Click on Save Config and Restart.
- Select the Map tab and click on Reset Map.
- Select the Main tab.
- DO NOT activate the NAVIGATION checkbox!
- Press on Start Positioning. The Video Preview should be displayed.
- If you get an error message about the video stream not available please check the pages “Configure Dragonfly > Connect the camera” available in the left sidebar.
- If you get the error “NOT authenticated” please check this page.
- Move your camera with a translation movement (not a rotation movement!) towards a chosen direction to start detecting the features associated to the shapes and objects in your environment. By now the Status shown inside the Video Preview should switch from MAP INIT to NAVIGATION.
Inside the Dragonfly Web UI you will see:
- a 3D plot on the right where:
- the flying drone represents your camera.
- this RED thread represents the path followed with the camera.
- the Video Preview on the left that shows what is seen by the camera where:
- the BLUE dots represent the features associated to objects/shapes detected in your environment.
You can use:
- your mouse to zoom and rotate the 3D plot.
- the Show map checkbox to visualize/hide the features associated to the objects and shapes detected in your environment.
Information shown inside the Dragonfly UI
Below the Video Preview there are several information:
- Frame per seconds – it provides an indication about the speed at which the system runs (it must be higher than 15 FPS to produce good results).
- Markers – number of detected visual or virtual markers.
- Map Points – Number of features associated to objects/shapes detected in your environment and part of the current map.
- Current map – name of the current map (if already saved).
- Vertical, Lateral Horizontal – these are the un-dimensioned raw coordinates.
- Pitch, Yaw and roll – orientation of the device (more info inside this page).
Step 2 – Perform the mapping
Step 2.1 – Map the perimeter
Example of a well done mapping process inside a supermarket
The first thing to do during the initial mapping phase is to move with the camera along the perimeter of the area of interest and close 1 loop. To do so:
- Initialize the positioning process following the previous section.
- From a chosen starting point, move with the camera along the whole perimeter of the area you would like to map and then move back into the starting point. During this process if the status inside the Video Preview switches from NAVIGATION to LOST you have to move back to the area already mapped until the status switches back to NAVIGATION and then you can keep following the process outlined.
- At the end of this process you have closed your first loop and corrected the drift of the map! By now:
- The Video Preview will show “LOOP CORRECTION: 1”
- The Direct View will show “CORRECTION: 1”.
- Click on the Maps tab and Create a new map. You can save it with a name like: “warehouse1_loop1”.
- Go back to the Main tab.
During this process the RED thread inside the 3D plot should follow the path followed by the camera.
Drift of the position
Depending on the size of the venue during this initial mapping (when the environment is completely unknown to Dragonfly), you might notice a drift between:
- the location computed by Dragonfly (displayed as a flying drone inside the 3D plot).
- the real location of your camera.
This is a normal behavior and the drift is auto-corrected after the the first closure. If the drift is not corrected and you experience inaccurate location, please send us the information listed inside this page.
Step 2.2 – Map the internal areas
After having mapped the perimeter of the area of interest you can map the entire environment closing additional loops by following these steps:
- From a chosen starting point along the perimeter move with the Dragonfly camera towards an un-mapped area and then move back to the starting point. You have closed your second loop and corrected the drift of the map!
- The Video Preview will show “LOOP CORRECTION: 2”.
- The Direct View will show “CORRECTION: 2”.
- Click on the Maps tab and save the progresses done in the widget “Create a new map”. You can save it with a name like: “warehouse1_loop2”. Do not update the current map! Save a NEW map!
- Once you are back at the starting point, explore another un-mapped area following a new path and then move back again to the starting point. You have closed your third loop and corrected the drift of the map!
- The Video Preview will show “LOOP CORRECTION: 3”.
- The Direct View will show “CORRECTION: 3”.
- Click on the Maps tab and save the progresses done in the widget “Create a new map”. You can save it with a name like: “warehouse1_loop3”. Do not update the current map! Save a NEW map!
Keep following the process just described until the whole environment has been mapped.
!!! Save the progresses with NEW maps !!!
During the mapping process we encourage you to save the progresses done by creating NEW maps that contains all the progresses done until the saving processes. Doing so you can go back to a previously saved map in case of problems during the mapping process. If you have any problem during the mapping process please send us the information listed inside this page.
During this process the RED thread inside the 3D plot should follow the path followed by the camera. Once the whole environment has been mapped you can move freely inside it and Dragonfly will display your location without getting LOST.
At the end of the mapping you can click on the Maps tab and click on Update to add the new features detected during the mapping of the internal areas to the map previously saved.
!!! Variable lightining conditions !!!
If Dragonfly will have to be used inside venues with variable lightning conditions then the mapping will have to be done in various lighting conditions. This means that a map during with daylight will have to be extended with the features collected during an additional mapping done during the night. The instructions about this can be found inside this page.
Please send us the information listed inside this page.