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Geo-Referenced Mapping interface for ROS/RVIZ

asked 2013-03-06 06:33:34 -0500

Raptor gravatar image

updated 2013-03-28 08:10:15 -0500

Hi Guys,

I found this video on Youtube of a QuadCopter mapping a building on a Georeferenced Map:

The interface looks to be RVIZ, with the map laid across the ground plane.

Does anyone know how to import a georeferenced Map, such as a geotiff, into RVIZ to get this same effect???

I am looking for a mapping interface that can take geo-referenced maps of satellite imagery and plot the robots path and sensor information on top of it, just like the video. I would also like to select GPS waypoints on the map, and send those to the robot to navigate too.

This needs to be done without connection to the internet.

The only other things I have found are:

rosworldwind - World Wind is not supported very well in Ubuntu

ground_station - Related to QuadCopters, and is no longer being updated

gpsd_viewer: Does not zoom in very good and is no longer being updated

marble_plugin: No high resolution Satellite images.

Google Earth/Maps: Google Earth/API has a lot of limitations and there licenses strictly forbids its use with autonomous vehicles. See section 10.2.C at

osm_cartography: It displays map features from Open Street Maps into rviz. OSM though does not provide satellite imagery unfortunately.

Looking for your guys thoughts/ideas.

Thank you


Some packages to maybe look into for implementation into rqt are: OSSIM ( a QT geo app. Here is an example of their viewer: . Also some others:

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answered 2013-04-09 08:49:21 -0500

ReedHedges gravatar image

Maybe qGIS would be an option ( too. It's not the easiest to use, but pretty powerful if you are familiar with GIS techniques and other GIS software (it uses GRASS internally to implement may of its geographic processing tools). It's been around a while and is pretty mature and stable. It's similar in purpose to ArcGIS, and maybe OSSIM (but probably with more of a vector map emphasis than imaging); it's a general GIS toolbox not just a viewer.

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How did you use qgis? Did you have to write your own rviz plugin?

strike_eagle_iii gravatar image strike_eagle_iii  ( 2019-10-10 21:37:41 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-03-24 12:02:51 -0500

Dani C gravatar image

I just found this plugin.

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I just tried this plugin out in noetic, and it works!!! (demo mode), so this code is still working and maintained.

l33 gravatar image l33  ( 2020-10-26 17:13:43 -0500 )edit

answered 2013-03-06 07:34:01 -0500

130s gravatar image

Although my answer might be just fyi since integrating with RViz isn't an option and this might require internet connection, I'm asking opinions and putting together requirements for rqt plugin that plots gps_comm msgs.

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rqt would also work, and would just use rqt_rviz ( to embed rviz into it. I have also looked into Google Earth/API, and found that it has a lot of limitations, also there license forbids any systems or functions for automatic or autonomous control of vehicles

Raptor gravatar image Raptor  ( 2013-03-06 07:52:48 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-03-06 06:33:34 -0500

Seen: 11,168 times

Last updated: Mar 24 '15