Coordinate Reference System (CRS)

AirWorks software is compatible with most common coordinate reference systems (CRS) with an EPSG or ESRI code. There are still a few coordinate systems that are not currently compatible with AirWorks today due to varying entries in the transformation database. We are aware of this issue and are working for a fix in the near future. Currently these coordinate systems are not compatible with the AirWorks web application, and in particular AirWorks CAD:

  • Any local/arbitrary systems
  • EPSG:31468 – DHDN / 3-degree Gauss-Kruger zone 4

AirWorks software applies the CRS embedded in the user’s input data. Importing data with any of the above CRS’s may result in any of the following issues:

  • Your data (imagery and point cloud) may not upload properly
  • CAD linework may be shifted
    • If you are using the Automate product, the linework in the .dxf file will be accurate, but will appear shifted in our web app viewer.
    • If you are using our CAD product, the linework you draw may appear to be in the correct location in our web app, but will be shifted in the actual .dxf download.

If you are working with a CRS that is included in the list above, we recommend converting to another CRS that is not on the list (more on how to do that here: How to Apply CRS in QGIS). If that is not possible, please feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to provide support and find a way to work together!

AirWorks Software Release Notes

AirWorks Software release notes provide relevant information on the features and improvements in each new version of the application. This page includes a running list of updates, new features and, bug fixes added to AirWorks on a monthly basis.

For product questions or issues, feel free to contact our team at support@airworks.io.

2021

Upcoming bug fix releases

We are working on a solution to an ongoing issue that is preventing block references from being displayed in your drawing on the web app only. Users are still able to view and edit block references in their .dxf downloads.

Estimated bug fix date: August 30, 2021

Release Notes

June 2021

  • Topography intervals added to order form page. Users are now able to select their desired topography intervals (major and minor contours), ranging from 0.25 to 10 ft, before submitting an order for processing.
  • Email notifications for completed orders. Users will now receive an email confirming their order is complete and has been delivered in their account at project completion.
  • New confirmation page added to the ordering experience on the platform. Users will now see an order confirmation page after placing an order for processing which includes the project details.
  • Contours from breaklines now a standard layer offering in all processing bundles. Consolidated previous processing bundles into a new offering that delivers breaklines for every project without additional cost. Users will no longer need to select contours from breaklines as an add-on layer, as every deliverable generated by the platform will automatically have these included.  

How to Apply CRS in QGIS

(tif only)

1. Install & open QGIS.

2. In the bottom right corner, you will see the project coordinate reference system represented as an EPSG code (in this example, you will see “EPSG: 4326”. Click the code to open the “Project Properties – CRS” window. In the CRS tab, under “Filter”, enter the details for your coordinate reference system. Once you select the correct CRS under “Predefined Coordinate Reference Systems”, the text box will populate with metadata and a map displaying the selected CRS information. If everything looks correct, click “Apply”.

3. Under the “Browser” tab, you should see ‘XYZ Tiles’. Expand this option to display ‘Open Street Map’. Click and drag ‘OpenStreetMap’ to the ‘Layers’ tab. If you do not have this option, follow the instructions on how to load Open Street Map into QGIS. https://opengislab.com/blog/2018/4/15/add-basemaps-in-qgis-30 This step is not required but is a good check to see if the image moved to the correct location.

4. To add your tif file, navigate to the folder where your tif file is located and drag/drop the file into the ‘Layers’ tab. Your tif file should be on top of ‘OpenStreetMap’ to properly display on top of the base map.

5. When you import a tif file that is missing CRS information, a “?” should appear on the right side of the file name under the ‘Layers’ tab. Click the “?” to open the “Coordinate Reference System Selector” window.

6. Under “Filter”, enter the details for your coordinate reference system. Once you select the correct CRS under “Predefined Coordinate Reference Systems”, the text box will populate with metadata and a map displaying the selected CRS information. If everything looks correct, click “OK”.

7. Go back to the layers tab, right-click ‘OpenStreetMap’ and select ‘Zoom to Layer’ and then right-click your tif and select ‘Zoom to layer’ and check to see if it is displaying in the correct location over the map.

8. Once complete, go back to the layers tab, right-click your tif, select ‘Export’ > ‘Save As’, and save the new version of the GeoTiff to your folder. Check the EPSG code under “CRS” matches the CRS you set.

How to Export from Leica Infinity

1. To create a new project, go to ‘New Project’ and fill in the project details, Units, and Coordinate Reference System. When complete, click ‘Create’ to open your new project.

2. Once your project is open, go to the ‘Home Ribbon’ and select ‘Import’. Navigate to the folder with your GeoTiff, select the file, and set the ‘Units’ and ‘Coordinate Type’ under ‘Import Settings’ and click ‘Import’. Repeat this process for your las file. If you already have a project with a tif and las, you can skip to the Export step.

3. In the Navigator tab, under ‘Source’, highlight the file to be exported. In the Home Ribbon, select ‘Export’ and then ‘Selection’. This will open a new export window. Set the Output type at the bottom of the window to “Georeferenced Images” and set the ‘Export Settings’ in the right window pane to the correct coordinate type, units, GeoTiff, and the desired ‘File Sampling’ and ‘Compression Type’ settings.

4. Repeat Step 3 with your .las file, selecting ‘Point Cloud – LAS’ for the ‘Output Type’ and the correct Units under ‘Export Settings’.

5. Repeat Step 3 with your Coordinate System file, selecting ‘Coordinate System – TRFSET.DAT’ for the ‘Output Type’.

6. Go to the save location of your Coordinate System .dat file, right-click, and open with Notepad++ (free) or a similar application. Read the coordinate reference system to verify the EPSG code.

How to Export from DatuBIM (by Datumate)

  1. Start by creating a new project, click ‘New Site’ in the top left corner.

1a. This will open the Create New Site window and bring you to the Site Info tab. Fill in your site name, type, address, description of the flight collection or project details, project start date, and end date, and click Next to move to the Settings tab.

1b. On the Settings tab, enter the Units, Volume Units, and Coordinate System for the project and select Next to move to the Users tab.

1c. Enter the name of the account user associated with the site and click Create Site to close out of the window.

2. In the left pane, select the new site. This will open a new Upload Flight Data window. The first step is to add your images by dragging & dropping the selected images into the grey pane on the left labeled Drag and Drop images here, or by selecting Select Images and navigating to the folder that contains your images.

3. After your images have uploaded, you will see a list of the number of images and a thumbnail for each image in the left grey pane. If you are missing images, you can select Add More Images at the bottom. You will see a warning notification in the bottom left if there are any issues with your data, as well as dots on the map representing each image location and a red bounding box around the area. Once you have verified all images are uploaded, in the correct location, and don’t have any warnings, you can click Continue in the bottom right to move to the Flight Info & Preferences tab.

4. In the Flight Info & Preferences tab, fill in the flight details with the date the project was flown, the camera model it was collected with, toggle the RTK field on/off if you did/did not use an RTK system, note the operator, and any comments about the flight collection procedures. In the Georeferencing section, select one of the three options based on the nature of your control (see 4a-4c below). In this example, we selected 4b. Drone GPS & Manual GCP markup. Once selected, click Continue to move to the Model Pre Processing tab.

4a. Automatic geo-referencing based on your previous flight is only valid if you have a previous collection of the same area that was processed in DatuBIM. The images will use the previous control points and imagery as control.

4b. ‘Drone GPS & Manual GCP markup’ uses a control file (uploaded as a .csv in the specified format) to insert control points in the window and requires manual selection of the aerial target in a minimum of two photos per target.

4c. ‘Automodel based on drone GPS’ will process the imagery with no external control points and use the location information from the drone

5. In the Model Pre Processing tab, you will see the status of the uploaded images. Do not exit this page before the upload is complete. When the images are uploaded, your status will change to ‘the Model Pre-Processing has started’ and you can click ‘Close & Notify’ to close the window. You will receive an email notification when the processing is complete.

6. Once the ‘Model Pre Processing’ is complete, you will move to the GCP Marking tab

6a. Upload your csv file by clicking Import GCPs in the bottom left corner. Your csv should be in the format below (name, n, e, h) which is (name, northing, easting, height).

6b. Once you select your file, it will start processing assumed locations in the imagery. You can wait for it to finish or click ‘click here’ to start tagging your GCP locations manually.

6c. Once all GCPs are loaded, you will see the location displayed on the map and can adjust each GCP to the location of the aerial target in each image by clicking the GCP name. Select if they are to be used as GCPs or CPs under the Checkpoint column.

6d. When you select the GCP, a new window will pop up with the estimated location as a pink triangle and a cyan blue cursor. Mark the center of the target (in this example, the intersection of the two orange triangles) with the cyan cursor and click next to continue marking in all images. Click ‘Save Marking’ when all images with that GCP are marked. Repeat this step for all GCPs.

6e. Once the GCP marking is complete, click ‘Check accuracy’ to move to the Model Generation tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

File Related Questions:

Why can’t I see my .tif?

Files like these are large and take time to render on the map. The larger a .tif file is, the longer it will take to display correctly on the map. If you do not see any tiles within 20 minutes of a completed .tif file upload, please contact support.

How many .las or .laz files can I upload?

The limit does not exist! We accept multiple versions of both .las and .laz files.

Can I upload compressed files?

We don’t recommend you upload compressed files like .jpeg as it reduces the quality of the output that we can deliver. If you have them, we’d prefer you to upload your .laz or .las files.

Why are my files taking so long to upload?

Large files take time to upload, especially on networks with limited bandwidth, shared networks, or home networks. The larger a file is, the longer it will take to upload, which is why we recommend tiling your files so that each is 3GB or less. This also reduces your upload times.

Do you accept other types of files besides .tif and .las? Ex: .tfw

Right now, we only accept .tif, .las, .laz and .kml files. That being said, we are looking to expand that list in the future and will announce it when we do.

Project Related Questions:

When is my project going to be ready?

We’d love to give every customer the same timeline but the truth is, it depends. Generally, our projects are delivered between 48-72 hours after you submit it for processing, but that may vary depending on the specifics of your site, as well as the size of the deliverable you requested.

I am unable to complete my project processing order.

A project can only be sent to processing when there is at least one data file (.tif/.las/.laz) uploaded and a valid boundary file (.kml) either drawn or uploaded. If you have uploaded your files and still cannot send your project to processing, you may not have an adequate number of acres for the size of the boundary you have defined. In this case, you will need to upgrade your plan to get access to more processing acres. If this is not the case, please contact us for assistance.

Account Related Questions:

I forgot my password. How do I change it?

Please visit our section on how to reset your password to read more. You can always click on the Forgot Password? button to receive an email with instructions on how to access your account again.

I can’t find my reset password email.

Did you check your spam folder? If you have and it’s been more than 10 minutes since you requested your password reset, please contact us and we will assist you!

Image Distortion

Types of Image Distortions 

Image distortions happen when images are not well matched or stitched during the photogrammetry process. This usually happens due to a lack of clear distinguishable common features in each image.  

One of the most common errors we see happens during stitching due to wrong overlap settings. For images to be stitched together successfully, there need to be lots of common points within them to ensure that your photogrammetry software can place them correctly. This often results in distortions at the edge of sites, as well as around tall objects. Setting correct image overlap settings is particularly important when you have tall objects in your site, as the taller an object is, the less likely it is that you will have an image with a similar viewpoint of said object.  

Another cause for distortions in images is errors in stitching images of homogenous sites, such as dense forests, large bodies of water, etc. In these cases, there are usually not enough distinguishable features between the images to match them correctly during the stitching process. A third common reason for image distortion is poor image quality, which can arise for a variety of reasons. If the wrong settings are selected during the data collection process, images collected during your flight could end up distorted. Images that are grainy, blurry, or too dark will not stitch correctly and cause issues. 

Please refer to our section on image overlap settings to learn how to avoid distortions in different site settings. 

How are artifacts treated in the data processing stage?  

If your images happen to have a large number of artifacts, we, unfortunately, will not be able to safely distinguish between artifacts and true site features.  To deliver accurate and valid results, the site should be surveyed again with the correct image collection settings ensured.  

Currently, the only artifact that the AirWorks software can identify is terrain which is obstructed by foliage.  In these cases, AirWorks communicates with you to inform you that while we can proceed to process a site that is obstructed with foliage, the 3D contours may not be robust. 

Avoiding Image Distortions 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to avoiding image distortions, but it ultimately comes down to proper image collection and choosing the right settings. These will all vary depending on the type of site, time of day, type of camera, etc. You should consult with your drone pilot or service provider before flying a site to communicate the necessary setting and parameter requirements for successful image-stitching and photogrammetry, as well as for autonomous drafting with AirWorks.  

Please refer to our section on data collection to see our recommended flight parameters for the best CAD output results. 

Point Cloud (3D) Point Spacing

Please note that you should only use point spacing for LiDAR data.  

In a LiDAR point cloud dataset, points are located throughout the site with a fixed distance between them as they repeat in a grid-like pattern throughout the site. This point spread metric measures the largest distance between either the rows or columns of points, which ensures full coverage of the site and guarantees accuracy.  

This image shows a LiDAR point cloud file with good point spacing.:

ex: bad point cloud spacing.

This image shows a LiDAR point cloud with bad point spacing: 

ex: good point cloud spacing.

Noise & Ground Thickness 

Every point cloud file will have a thickness that determines its accuracy. This thickness should be measured on a hard surface like a paved road and should be less than 1/5 of the desired contour interval.  So, if 1-foot contours are requested, the thickness should be under 0.2 feet.   

Currently, there is no simpler metric to follow in terms of thickness, so the 1/5 rule should be maintained to ensure that the data is accurate.  

ex:

File Size Limits

Technically, there are no file size limits when preparing data to upload to AirWorks. That being said, large files negatively impact workflow and will increase file upload and processing times. Anything larger than 4GB will likely incur this issue, which is why we recommend that you tile both your orthomosaic and point cloud files of large sites so that each file remains under 3GB. This will allow for easier upload and processing.