How to Geotag Images with the 3DRobotics Solo

1 Sep

The new 3DR Solo drone, combined with a GoPro is an amazing platform for mapping applications once you figure out the process to properly geotag images. I’ve pulled together a workflow for you that is relatively straight forward. Note that this does not require the gimbal.

1. Configure your GoPro

Enable the WiFi on your GoPro and connect with the mobile device you’ll be using with Solo. In the settings you need to select the option to set the time on the GoPro, which will sync the GoPro clock to the device. While you are in here, go ahead and configure your capture settings too (I typically do timelapse, 12mp, 1 second interval). Once complete, disable WiFi on the GoPro.

2. Fly

I use the Tower application on Android to automatically generate my aerial surveys and control the Solo. Don’t forget to turn on your GoPro, with WiFi off, before your flight.

3. Pull your TLOG

[Update: It may be easier to get the copy of your TLOG from your Android device where it is copied after flight.  See the comments for directories people find these files in]

After your flight, you can turn off the Solo, but leave the controller turned on so we can download the telemetry logs.  We are going to transfer the logs using a protocol called SCP (secure copy) from the Solo controller to your computer.  First, from your computer, connect to the Sololink Wifi.

If you are on a mac/linux machine, launch Terminal and use this command to copy all logs to your current directory (represented by the final “.”).

scp [email protected]:/log/* .

If you are on a Windows PC, use WinSCP to connect to 10.1.1.1 with username “root”, and copy the files from the /log directory.

The password for the root user is: TjSDBkAu

You’ll likely end up with several log files from recent flights.

4. Copy your GoPro images to your PC

Just put them wherever you’d like – But don’t alter them in any way yet.

5. Use Mission Planner to GeoTag

On a Windows Machine launch Mission Planner.  You can use the telemetry logs tab to replay the logs to verify you have found the correct one.  The one named solo.tlog is your last flight, while the numbered ones are previous flights.  Change the extensions to .tlog to open in Mission planner.

Once you know which log matches the photos, press Control+F in Mission Planner to open the “secret” tools window.  Select “Geo ref images” from the tools list.

Choose your TLOG file and images directory, and select “Time Offset”.  If your camera time was set correctly then a “Seconds Offset” of 0 should be close enough.

Press “Pre-Process” and verify that most of your photos match the log times.

Press “GeoTag Images” to Geotag.

That is it! Enjoy!

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12 thoughts on “How to Geotag Images with the 3DRobotics Solo

  1. Nice write up Stefan. I did not know that the GP would sync time on a WiFi connect and will try that this evening. Regarding retrieving logs, I stumbled on them last month on the android tablet used for Solo. It retains every log since day 1. The file is written when the tablet is powered off. So after a flight, just turn Solo and controller off then the tablet.

    There is a directory called “com.o3dr.solo.android”. The full path on my Nexus 7 is: \Nexus 7\Internal storage\Android\data\org.droidplanner.services.android\files\tlogs\com.o3dr.solo.android
    Open it up and there is every single log from Day 1 ! Nice to know where you can go to get these. And the extender does not need renamed either, so you can just double click on one to open MP.

  2. This is great info on getting the logs from the Solo app, as I was struggling to find them.

    Now if you use the Tower app for waypoints instead of the Solo app I wonder if the logs are still recorded in the same location? I’ll try it out soon.

  3. I have Samsung Galaxy tab and looks like tlogs are under

    Android -> Data -> org.droidplanner.services.android -> Tlogs

    It has one folder named com.o3dr.solo.android which is guess is creating when i used solo app vs other folder org.droidplanner.android folder represent tower app tlog file?

    • I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Tab A. The logs are in Galaxy Tab A | Tablet | Android | data | org.droidplanner.services.android | files. I believe the Solo app’s tlog is in com.o3dr.solo.android. The Tower app’s tlog is in org.droidplanner.android.

    • The instructions above are for pulling them from the Solo, but they are also (ideally) present on the Android device. I recommend using a file browser application on your android device, like ES File Explorer, and looking in the directories that other comments recommend – this is what I have started doing.

  4. what happen when the telemetry got cut off somewhere along the way?
    *and we set the failsafe to “continue mission anyway” if signal is lost.

  5. Hi Stefan. I tried taking photos manually, using the Solo app, getting the tlog from the Android device, and then geotagging using MP. The geotags are way off. Have you seen this problem?

  6. I tried this methodology today, but I failed in something: My 3DR solo comes with a GoPro 4 Black and a Gimbal.
    And i failed in the first step, I don’t Know how to take pics every second, I don’t see the option.
    Could you help me to do it?
    Also this works with the Gimbal?
    Thanks

    • Since this was published there is native support using the Tower app on Android with the latest Solo firmware to take pictures automatically instead of trying to do a timelapse with the camera. I would recommend trying that app out. Definitely works with Gimbal.

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