05 Dec Sentera Software with Free Stitching for faster, more accurate crop health data
Sentera Software to Offer Free Image Stitching
As you may have heard, Sentera recently announced that we’ll be offering free image stitching to our software subscribers.
I have to admit, I was skeptical we could pull this off when we began researching how we might integrate a free orthomosaic stitching solution for users of our platform. Entire companies have been formed around the idea of paying for drone orthophotos, and we were attempting to offer this to our customers — for free!
However, as we began researching the underlying technologies, we found two interesting things that drew us forward:
- a very robust set of open source tools that are integral to the image stitching pipeline, some of which share lineage with many commercial stitching products, and
- a global community of developers organized into the open source OpenDroneMap project, which is working to create an integrated experience around these tools.
Leveraging open source technology
OpenDroneMap (ODM) makes fully stitched mosaics available to anyone, for free. Their work has been incredible, and has completely disrupted the pay-to-play stitching market. After we evaluated their progress, we knew this was the right tool upon which to base Sentera’s free image stitching solution, and that’s what we’ve done.
Making orthomosaics more accessible
For so long, stitching has been an expensive, cumbersome barrier involving third parties and rate plans. With ODM running seamlessly inside our software platform, Sentera’s subscriber community is totally free to focus on the products that actually matter — NDVI analysis, zone mapping, plant population, and weed pressure, to name a few.
Furthermore, the accuracy of these maps is extremely high, so our subscribers can confidently perform field operations based on these results.
Advancing the OpenDroneMap project
We’re seamlessly integrating Sentera software with ODM to make free, local stitching a reality. But Sentera is also supporting the ODM project in many ways, both with money and with time invested by our own development team. The improvements that we make and that we fund go right back into the open codebase.
I am super proud to bring free image stitching to our community. And, working with the ODM team, I can tell you that it’s only going to get better. We will continue to invest in higher quality maps, faster turnaround times, improved accuracy, and expanding the feature set of this important function so Sentera can cement its leadership position at the intersection of cost, functionality, analytics, and service.
About the Author:
Reid Plumbo is Sentera’s Director of Product Management. Prior to joining Sentera, he spent 8 years developing unmanned aircraft for Lockheed Martin, and 4 years at Target managing product development for owned-brand goods. Reid is passionate about transitioning technology from research spaces to commercialized products, and connecting consumer needs with solutions.