I’ve started getting into capturing on Mapillary and have found it to be incredibly helpful for mapping on OSM. I wanted to go through my setup in case it’s interesting for others.
- I prefer to capture 360 images
- I use the LG360 (R105)
- I bought two LG360 cameras off ebay, $125USD and $90USD. The LG360 is on the cheaper end of the scale compared to some of the others on the market.
- Though there is a flaw in one of the cameras I bought which is a shame as you can see the left half of the image (front camera) is blurry.
- I’m happy with the image resolution and quality. I wouldn’t want it any worse though. Most of the time street signs and parking signs aren’t readable, but speed limits and destination signs are.
- The LG360 is unreliable, sometimes it stops capturing, connecting to your phone can take several minutes and attempts before finally working, there can be gaps in the GPS tagging where it will use the last location for maybe 30 seconds (even though the GPS log might have data; in this case I end up using gpscorrelate, however I’ve found you have to play around with the time offset and even then you might get it right for the start of the trip but it will be out at the end).
- I think the battery should last for around 1hr 45min at a 2 second capture interval.
- I’m happy with the 2 second capture interval, but wouldn’t want anything not supporting at least 2 seconds.
I’m using a 64GB Micro SD card XC I U1. Photos are about 5MB so you should get around 10,000 photos or 6 hours give or take.
I capture on my bicycle. I have a rack mounted which I attached an old broom stick I found on the side of the road to, which I then attach the Monopod to. It’s all held together with Duct tape. The broom stick I’m using is light weight but does give some flex (if the camera had a built in gyro it could correct for it in software, I mean it’s a 360 camera after all!).
- I use this phone mount. It’s great. Very easy to attach/detach your phone, has a Silicone band to hold you phone in place (I’ve had my phone come out of the claw once going over a pothole, and the band ensured it didn’t come out). There is this ball joint which is stiff enough that you can just change the angle of your phone and it usually stays in place. I got mine for $2.10 USD.
Originally I used a selfie stick like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Extendable-Handheld-Monopod-Tripod-Mount-For-GoPro-Hero-4-3-3-2-1-Intriguing/282407340369, but you need to be careful as if used a while or if you run into tree branches it will come apart. I also found it would sometimes not stay extended. Lastly there are two kinds of this selfie stick, some don’t have a ridge so the camera will start turning around which means the orientation ends up being wrong.
I upgraded to this $12.60USD Yunteng YT-188 Self Picture Monopod. It’s much better it doesn’t feel flimsy and it’s rigid with no flex. The clamps prevent it from collapsing or rotating. The only flaw is I needed to tape up the top as it was loose.
This pole is longer than the previous one. All the 360 photos on my Mapillary profile to date have been with the shorter pole. I’m still working out the best height to use. The higher the camera then the less I obstruct the view, but the more tree branches, signs etc I run into.
The main problem at the moment is it’s a real pain uploading to Mapillary when you have something like 10GB a day and can only do around 90KB/second. I end up using rsync to a remote server as rsync doesn’t mind being interrupted a hundred times and it’s easy to limit the bandwidth. I also use lepton to compress the JPEGs further. WebP would be even better! The scripts I use for this are at https://github.com/andrewharvey/lg360-mapillary-helpers
If you get lucky on ebay parts are around $105 USD + duck tape, a bike, a phone and a Micro SD card.