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API Introduction

DroneMapper Cloud API is an API for photogrammetric processing of aerial images. The API allows a developer to programatically interact with our Drone Mapping algorithms to generate georeferenced Digital Elevation Models, Orthomosaic Maps and Point Clouds with or without Ground Control Points (GCP).



Getting Started

Processing Imagery

The steps below outline what is required to process imagery via the API into a georeferenced Digital Elevation Model, Orthomosaic Map and Point Cloud.

import requests
res ='', 
                    data={'username': 'API-USERNAME',
                          'password': 'API-PASSWORD'}).json()
token = res['token']

First, we authenticate with DroneMapper API. A token is returned when authentication is successful.

res ='', 
                    headers={'Authorization': 'JWT {}'.format(token)},
                    data={'name': 'My First Project'}).json()
project_id = res['id']

Next we create a Project. We pass our token via the Authorization header. If we don’t pass this header, the system will not authenticate us and will refuse to process the request. We also assign a name to our project.

images = [
    ('images', ('DJI_0001.JPG', open('DJI_0001.JPG', 'rb'), 'image/jpg')),
    ('images', ('DJI_0002.JPG', open('DJI_0002.JPG', 'rb'), 'image/jpg')),
    # ...
options = json.dumps([
    {'name': "null", 'value': "null"}

res ='{}/tasks/'.format(project_id), 
            headers={'Authorization': 'JWT {}'.format(token)},
                'options': options,
                'name': "Optional Task Name"

task_id = res['id']

We then create a Task. The only required parameter is a list of multiple, multipart-encoded images. Processing will start automatically as soon as a Processing Server is available. It is possible to specify additional options by passing an options value, which is a JSON-encoded list of name/value pairs. Several other options are available for advanced API users.

while True:
    res = requests.get('{}/tasks/{}/'.format(project_id, task_id), 
                headers={'Authorization': 'JWT {}'.format(token)}).json()

    if res['status'] == status_codes.COMPLETED:
        print("Task has completed!")
    elif res['status'] == status_codes.FAILED:
        print("Task failed: {}".format(res))
        print("Processing, hold on...")

We periodically check for the Task status using a loop.

res = requests.get("{}/tasks/{}/download/ORT-DrnMppr.tif".format(project_id, task_id), 
                        headers={'Authorization': 'JWT {}'.format(token)},
with open("orthophoto.tif", 'wb') as f:
    for chunk in res.iter_content(chunk_size=1024): 
        if chunk:
print("Wrote ./orthophoto.tif")

The Orthomosaic, Digital Elevation Model and Point Cloud is ready to be downloaded. A variety of other assets, including Orthomosaic and DSM tiles are also available.



Authentication Basics

Get authentication token:

curl -X POST -d "username=testuser&password=testpass"


Use authentication token:

curl -H "Authorization: JWT <your_token>"

{"count":13, ...}

Use authentication token via querystring (less secure):


{"count":13, ...}

POST /api/token-auth/

Field Type Description
username string Username
password string Password

To access the API, you need to provide a valid username and password. You can create users from the DroneMapper API Administration page.

If authentication is successful, a token is issued. All API calls should include the following header:

Authorization: JWT your_token

The token expires after a set amount of time. See Token Expiration for more information.

Since applications sometimes do not allow headers to be modified, you can also authenticate by appending the jwt querystring parameter to a protected URL. This is less secure, so pass the token via header if possible.

Token Expiration

The token expires after a predefined amount of time. The expiration time is dependent on DroneMapper’s settings. You will need to request another token when a token expires.

You know that a token has expired if any API call returns a 403 status code with the JSON body {'detail': 'Signature has expired.'}.


Example project:

    "id": 2,
    "tasks": [
    "created_at": "2016-12-07T02:09:28.515319Z",
    "name": "Test API Project",
    "description": "",
    "permissions": [

A Project is a collection of Task items.

Field Type Description
id int Unique identifier
tasks int[] List of task IDs associated with this project
created_at string Creation date and time
name string Name of the project
description string A more in-depth description
permissions string[] List of actions that the current user is allowed to perform. See Permissions Values

Create a project

POST /api/projects/

Parameter Required Default Description
name * “” Name of the project
description “” A more in-depth description

Update a project

PATCH /api/projects/{id}/

Parameters are the same as above.

Delete a project

DELETE /api/projects/{id}/

Upon deletion, all Task items associated with the Project are deleted also. The operation is irreversible.

Get single project

GET /api/projects/{id}/

Get list of projects

Project list:

    "count": 1,
    "next": null,
    "previous": null,
    "results": [
            "id": 2,
            "tasks": [
            "created_at": "2016-12-07T02:09:28.515319Z",
            "name": "Test API Project",
            "description": ""

GET /api/projects/

Parameter Required Default Description
page 1 Page number
id “” Filter by id
name “” Filter by name
description “” Filter by description
created_at “” Filter by created_at
ordering “” Ordering field to sort results by

Example: Filtering by name

GET /api/projects/?name=hello

Retrieves projects that have a name of “hello”.

Example: Sorting

GET /api/projects/?ordering=-id

Sort by project ID, descending order.


Example task:

  "id": 1,
  "project": 3,
  "processing_node": 1,
  "images_count": 48,
  "can_rerun_from": [],
  "available_assets": [
  "uuid": "4338d684-91b4-49a2-b907-8ba171894393",
  "name": "Task Name",
  "processing_time": 2197417,
  "auto_processing_node": false,
  "status": 40,
  "last_error": null,
  "options": [],
  "ground_control_points": null,
  "created_at": "2017-02-18T18:01:55.402551Z",
  "pending_action": null

A Task is the basic processing unit of DroneMapper. To compute an orthophoto, point cloud and textured model from a set of images, you need to create a Task.

Field Type Description
id int Unique identifier
project int Project ID the task belongs to
processing_node int The ID of the Processing Node this task has been assigned to, or null if no Processing Node has been assigned.
images_count int Number of images
can_rerun_from string[] List of possible “rerun-from” options that this task could restart from, given its currently assigned processing node. If this is an empty list, the task can only be restarted from the start of the pipeline.
available_assets string[] List of assets available for download
uuid string Unique identifier assigned by a Processing Node once processing has started.
name string User defined name for the task
processing_time int Milliseconds that have elapsed since the start of processing, or -1 if no information is available. Useful for displaying a time status report to the user.
auto_processing_node boolean Whether DroneMapper should automatically assign the next available Processing Node to process this Task. A user can set this to false to manually choose a Processing Node.
status int One of Status Codes, or null if no status is available.
last_error string The last error message reported by a Processing Node in case of processing failure.
options JSON[] JSON-encoded list of name/value pairs, where each pair represents a command line option to be passed to a Processing Node.
ground_control_points string Currently unused.
created_at string Creation date and time
pending_action int One of Pending Actions, or null if no pending action is set.

Create a task

POST /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/

Parameter Required Default Description
images[] * “” List of multipart-encoded images (2 minimum)
processing_node null The ID of the Processing Node this Task should be assigned to. If not specified, and auto_processing_node is true, a Processing Node will be automatically assigned.
name “” User defined name for the task
auto_processing_node true Whether DroneMapper should automatically assign the next available Processing Node to process this Task.
options “[]” JSON-encoded list of name/value pairs, where each pair represents a command line option to be passed to a Processing Node.

You assign a Task to a Project by passing the proper project_id path in the URL.

Update a task

PATCH /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/

Parameters are the same as above.

Get list of tasks

Task list:

        "id": 6,
        "project": 2,
        "processing_node": 2,
        "images_count": 89,
        "uuid": "2e8b687d-c269-4e2f-91b3-5a2cd51b5321",
        "name": "Test name",
        "processing_time": 8402184,
        "auto_processing_node": true,
        "status": 40,
        "last_error": null,
        "options": [],
        "ground_control_points": null,
        "created_at": "2016-12-08T13:32:28.139474Z",
        "pending_action": null

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/

Retrieves all Task items associated with project_id.

Download assets

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/download/{asset}

After a task has been successfully processed, the user can download several assets from this URL. Not all assets are always available. For example if GPS information is missing from the input images, the orthophoto.tif asset will be missing. You can check the available_assets property of a Task to see which assets are available for download.

Asset Description .ZIP of All Processed Products
orthophoto.tif Orthomosaic
dsm.tif Digital Elevation Model
pointcloud.ply Point Cloud

Download assets (raw path)

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/assets/{path}

After a task has been successfully processed, its assets are stored in a directory on the file system. This API call allows direct access to the files in that directory (by default: DroneMapper/app/media/project/{project_id}/task/{task_id}/assets). This can be useful to those applications that want to stream a Potree dataset, or render a textured 3D model on the fly.

Retrieve console output

Console output example:

curl -H "Authorization: JWT <your_token>"

[DEBUG]   /var/www/data/e453747f-5fd4-4654-9622-b02727b29fc5/images\n[DEBUG]   Loaded DJI_0219.JPG | camera: dji fc300s ...

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/output/

As a Task is being processed, processing nodes will return an output string that can be used for debugging and informative purposes. Output is only available after processing has started.

Parameter Required Default Description
line 0 Only display the output starting from a certain line number. This can be useful to display output in realtime to the user by keeping track of the number of lines that have been displayed to the user so far and thus avoiding to download all output at every request.

Cancel task

POST /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/cancel/

Stop processing a Task. Canceled tasks can be restarted.

Remove task

POST /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/remove/

All assets associated with it will be destroyed also. If the Task is currently being processed, processing will stop.

Restart task

POST /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/restart/

If a Task has been canceled or has failed processing, or has completed but the user decided to change processing options, it can be restarted. If the Processing Node assigned to the Task has not changed, processing will happen more quickly compared to creating a new Task, since the Processing Node remembers the uuid of the Task and will attempt to reuse previous results from the computation pipeline.

Orthomosaic TMS layer

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/orthophoto/tiles.json

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/orthophoto/tiles/{Z}/{X}/{Y}.png

After a task has been successfully processed, a TMS layer is made available for inclusion in programs such as Leaflet or Cesium.

Digital Elevation Model TMS layer

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/dsm/tiles.json

GET /api/projects/{project_id}/tasks/{task_id}/dsm/tiles/{Z}/{X}/{Y}.png

Pending Actions

In some circumstances, a Task can have a pending action that requires some amount of time to be performed.

Pending Action Code Description
CANCEL 1 Task is being canceled
REMOVE 2 Task is being removed
RESTART 3 Task is being restarted

Status Codes

Status Code Description
QUEUED 10 Task’s files have been uploaded to a Processing Node and are waiting to be processed.
RUNNING 20 Task is currently being processed.
FAILED 30 Task has failed for some reason (not enough images, out of memory, Piero forgot to close a parenthesis, etc.)
COMPLETED 40 Task has completed. Assets are be ready to be downloaded.
CANCELED 50 Task was manually canceled by the user.


DroneMapper comes with a standard model level permission system. You can check whether users are logged-in and have privileges to act on things model-wise.

On top of that, DroneMapper features a powerful row level permission system. You can specify exactly which things a user has or has not access to, delete, change, etc.

Changes to the permissions of objects can be handled via the Administration page.

We are planning to make it easier for users and developers to handle permissions via an API. This is a work in progress.

Permission Values

Permission Description
delete The object can be deleted
change The object can be edited
add A related object can be added to the object (a task can be added to the project)
view The object can be viewed (read-only)

Handling Errors

All API calls use the status codes as described in the Django REST Framework’s Status Code Guide, but generally you only need to check for success status codes (200 or 204), handle the special case of Token Expiration (403) and report an error otherwise.

Error Status Codes

This is not an exhaustive list, but common error codes are listed below.

Status Code Description
401 Unauthenticated
403 Forbidden (token expired?)
400 Malformed request
404 Not found

For security reasons, sometimes an operation which should return 403 returns 404 to avoid disclosing IDs and other information.