Scanning the world with OpenDroneMap or Ne’er cast a cloot til Mey’s oot

In previous posts, we’ve scanned whole cities, cliff faces, down to small things like ukuleles. Such work is getting some to claim that the project needs renamed. Maybe… :

Now, for a new problem space: plant identification.

Crataegus in Germany, bluehender Weissdorn, Vers. 3-3, Mai 2015.jpg
Attribution: BlackIceNRW

The background

There are a few challenging plant groups to identify in the US. Among the ones I heard about in freshman biology: sedges (think: like grasses but with triangular stems and other distinguishing features), willows, and hawthorns (or Crataegus). A colleague of mine, John Reinier, has mastered the sedges to the point where I joke he can identify them in the dark with his eyes closed (where most people need a dichotomous key, 5 years of training, and a hand lens). He has started to botanize Crataegus, which require a season of observing flowers and fruit, collecting and carefully preparing the stones called pyrenes within them and observing their shape.


Test Project

So, a question he asked was: can we photograph these and reconstruct them in OpenDroneMap? Then the 3D models we could send to experts to review and voucher without having to ship the actual pyrenes (or in advance of sending the physical vouchers).

Hawthorn pyrenes shot in BW mode with Sigma Quattro H in grayscale mode and processed in OpenDroneMap

Voila! It’s not a bad first pass. We will do some more testing, and maybe try scanning with a camera attached to a microscope as well.

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