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UAV Drone Photos to Google Street Contributor

Learn how to go from taking photos with your drone to publishing beautiful panoramic photos on Google Streets.
3.5 (4 ratings)
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16 students enrolled
Created by Mike Smith
Last updated 2/2016
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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This course is for drone pilots (or soon to be drone pilots) that want to learn how to take photos that will be stitched together into one, near 360 degree panoramic shot that can be shared with the world through Google Streets. I fumbled through the process when I first started and I wanted to share what I learned in the process. This process will be demonstrated using a DJI Phantom 3 Professional, a Samsung S6 phone, and a PC laptop, but almost all of what will be discussed can be applied to any photo-taking UAV and devices. Learn how to share unique locations with the world in stunning detail! Adding photos (contributing) to Google Maps is easier with the Android App, but can be done without the app with some restrictions.

Who is the target audience?
  • Open to fliers of any photo taking UAV (drone)
  • Instructions will be specific to DJI Phantom 3 Professional Owners and PC users, but will be able to be applied to any photo-taking drone and platform (including iOS)
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What Will I Learn?
Students will take a series of photos from a drone, stitch them together to form a panoramic photo, and post to Google Streets so they can be shared with the world!
View Curriculum
  • Students will need to know how to download drone photos to their PC or Mac
  • Students will need to download free stitching software like Hugin (
  • Students should have a Google Account if they wish to post the panoramic photos on Google Streets
  • Students will need to understand that there are some limitations if not posting with the Android App
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 15 Lectures Collapse All 15 Lectures 01:23:08
Introductions and Overview
2 Lectures 07:50

Students should know the presenter and know the devices the presenter will be speaking about. Students can have different devices, but the examples will be done with the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, the Samsung S6, the Apple iPad 2 Air, and a PC laptop.

Preview 03:40

Students should know the scope of the course and what we are attempting to create.

Preview 04:10
Suggestions for Photo Taking
1 Lecture 13:26

The students will understand some basic settings for taking the photos and should understand how to plan for the photos. This will include the positioning of the UAV, camera settings, and camera angles / row options. They will see the process from the DJI Go app and the Android view of the Litchi app. (The iOS Litchi app does not have the automatic panorama setting at the time of this course creation but it is supposed to be on the way.)

Preview 13:26
Stitching the Photos Together to Form a Panoramic Photo
6 Lectures 29:40

There are many options are there that will take the photos and stitch them together for our purpose. Students will understand the process of uploading their photos into the software of their choice. The presenter will be showing all examples using the free, cross-platform program, Hugin.

Importing Photos into Software

The students will understand how to use the automated process to align the photos for stitching. Errors and adjustments will also be discussed.

Blending the photos together

The students will understand the process of fixing bad attempts by the automated stitcher.

How to Fix Automated Errors in Stitching

The students will understand the process of creating and saving the project and the final product(s).

Saving the Final Product

The students will understand some options for the further editing of the final product.

Photo Editing - PreUpload

Students will understand an option for editing photos after they have been published to Google Maps / Streetview. Students may want to watch after the Uploading section of the course so they can try the technique if they are interested in this.

Photo Editing - Post Upload
Uploading and Viewing in Google Streets
4 Lectures 19:43

Students with a Google Account and PC access will understand how to import their panoramic photos into Google Streets. Students will make sure the data is correct and will understand how to publish their project to be seen by the public.

Uploading to Google Streets through Android App

When a user wants to upload a photo without using the Google Streets Android app, there are a number of restrictions for some reason. First, the place needs to be a saved location in Google Maps. If you are uploading a panomatic photo of a building that is on the map already, the process is pretty straight forward. It is much more difficult to add a photosphere to a point in a field. Students will understand the process and will be pointed in the right direction for more research about adding photos to unsaved points on a map.

Uploading to Google Streets through Google Maps

The students will understand how their public projects can be viewed and searched online. Different viewing options will be discussed. The students will also see how the viewing stats can be viewed. Sharing options will also be discussed.

Viewing Options

Students will understand how to view their photos on the computer and the viewing statistics and contributor benefits will be discussed.

Viewing options on computer
Bonus Section: Errors!!!
2 Lectures 12:29

Viewing from the phone app, students will see some of the final products of the instructor and the errors will be discussed. Hopefully this helps the students in avoiding them!

A number of mistakes will be shown

During the recording for this course and because I tried to import photos with multiple methods, my contributions were "lost" from the public Google Maps. After working with the fine folks from Google, we identified a bug and found a way to fix the issue. Students will learn what to do if this happens in their experience.

Problem Resolution with Photos Not Showing Up
About the Instructor
3.5 Average rating
4 Reviews
16 Students
1 Course
What can I learn today

I currently am an educator, football coach, and department chair of math at a suburban high school of Chicago where I have been employed since 1993. I am married with two teenage daughters. My hobbies tend to lean toward technology. I began flying UAVs (drones) in 2014 and I love all aspects of the hobby. Currently, my main device is a DJI Phantom 3 Professional. Most of my classess will involve this craft. I use both an Android phone and an iPad to fly and use PC laptops to edit the pictures and video.

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