The Microsoft UltraCam Team is super excited today to announce that the long-awaited UltraMap 3.0 end-to-end photogrammetric workflow software is officially released and immediately available! With UltraMap 3.0, UltraCam customers can now generate and deliver high-density point clouds, digital surface models, and orthomosaics.
Here’s how it breaks down:
UltraMap is modular to allow customers to, in a sense, customize the package to meet their needs. The base module (pictured below) allows users to ingest the raw, Level 0 UltraCam data and stitch the individual images from each camera cone into 1 frame image (Level 2). The viewer allows you to visualize the data and is an example of how access to Microsoft software expertise and developments benefits the UltraCam program. It leverages Microsoft Seadragon Technology which is at the core of other Microsoft visualization technologies including Photosynth and Silverlight. What Seadragon brings to UltraMap is extremely rapid and smooth viewing of UltraCam imagery, both in terms of viewing images within project context or zooming in to examine details in individual frames. You can either then already export as a JPEG or TIFF Level 2 image or go on to do radiometric corrections, remove hotpots and atmospheric haze, color balance across the project block, and export as Level 3 TIFF or JPEG. An AT module is available for doing tie-point collection and bundle adjustments.
With UltraMap 3.0, there are now two new modules customers can add for additional processing capabilities: the Dense Matcher and Ortho Pipeline modules. The first of the new modules, the Dense Matcher module, requires that the AT module is installed and allows UltraCam customers to create high-density point clouds (on the order of several hundred points per square meter) and export in LAS format. It also enables customers to create and export digital surface models, and create digital terrain models. Note that today you cannot export the DTMs but look for that in a future version of UltraMap. For now, it is important to create the DTM to generate what we are calling DTMOrthos (also known as traditional orthos) in the second new module. This second new module—the Ortho Pipeline—requires the Dense Matcher module (and hence the AT module) and allows you to ingest your DSMs and DTMS to create what we call DSMOrthos (also known as true orthos) and the DTMOrthos just mentioned.
It is important to note that the technology behind these new UltraMap modules being released today is not new to Microsoft–this is proven technology that Microsoft has been developing and using for its own Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth) program since the acquisition of Vexcel in 2006. And key to the sucess of that program was the ability to process the data as automatically as possible due to the amout of data and the agressive agenda for publishing it to the Bing Maps web site. Given this, all the UltraMap 3.0 processing I have mentioned above is highly automated so that your end-to-end digital photogrammetric system, that begins with efficient data collection via UltraCam sensors, can provide time and cost savings to your photogrammetry projects.
– Jerry Skaw, Sales & Marketing, Microsoft UltraCam Team