MAP4CAT: tandem car/drone for road 3D mapping of the Catalan region

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MapKITE brings together two recent mapping revolutions (aerial robots and mobile mapping systems) in an innovative operational scheme: a mapping drone autonomously following a mapping car to deliver simultaneous air/ground 3D geo-data of corridors (roads, railways, waterways...) In this novel concept, the highest (surveying) costs inherent to corridor mapping are lowered by leveraging computer vision, trajectography and kinematic geodetic techniques. In mapKITE, an enhanced follow-me software virtually tethers the aerial mapping robot from the land mapping vehicle in a mission-efficient way. Market-wise, MAP4CAT mitigates the current bottleneck connecting high-potential technology to the 3D mapping market by gathering a drone services operator, technology supplier and an end-user (local road authority support) through a technology demonstrator validating its technical/economic viability in the target user domain of “road, rail & infrastructure connected with cities.”

In global (Earth) terms, corridor mapping of transport infrastructure is, today, a 70-million-km challenge (95% roads, 3% railways, 2% waterways), nested within top critcal elds as civil engineering, cadastre and cartography, pavement monitoring, signal inventory, environmental and energy pipeline monitoring, mapping afer natural disasters, etc. Upcoming, not futuristc, big-boom demand will arise from urban air mobility, urban air delivery and driverless cars, which all commonly need accurate, detailed and updated, 3D geo-informaton of corridors (ultmately, streets and their surrounding infrastructure). In this panorama, the addressable market ranges from public transport infrastructure management agencies, private concessionaires/operators of public corridors, public/private energy companies, to driverless cars and drone service operators/manufacturers. MAP4CAT links to a market representative, the Barcelona’s Road Service of the Generalitat de Catalunya, willing to support the project.

The project has been highlighted in the RIMA network webpage, as one of the "Selected Projects for the Road and Rail Sector".

GeoNumerics is a research and development (R&D) intensive small-and-medium-enterprise (SME) company specialised in geomatics and accurate navigation.

Octocam-maps is a branch of Octocam-vision devoted to aerial surveying work based in drone technology.   Octocam-maps and GeoNumerics already partnered in the application of mapKITE to coastal dune monitoring in the HYCOS project.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union (EU) research and innovation programme ever with nearly 80 B€ of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It couples research and innovation with emphasis on excellent science and industrial leadership, and tackles the EU societal challenges. H2020 goal is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Acronym: MAP4CAT
Title: Tandem car/drone for road 3D mapping in the Catalan region.
Period: 2020-08-24 to 2021-01-23
Funding: European Commission (EC) grant 824990, Horizon 2020 (H2020) H2020-DT-2018-2020/H2020-DT-2018-1, RIMA 1st Open Call (2019 Edition)
Coordinator: GeoNumerics (ES)
Other participants: Octocamvision S.L. (ES)
Related Links:

H2020 web:
RIMA web:


The project MAP4CAT has received funding from the European Community's Horizon 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement 824990. MAP4CAT is a supported project of the RIMA project (grant agreement No 824990).