360° cameras are great for covering all directions simultaneously. You can capture 360° imagery while driving a vehicle or walking. If you have an iPhone, you may be able to use the Mapillary mobile app to control the capture process on your phone. This works for a set of cameras that we have an iOS app integration for, such as GoPro and Garmin Virb.
If you have an Android phone or use a camera not supported in the Mapillary app integration, you need to find a way to record GPS information externally to match with the images later. Some cameras have built-in GPS; others have an accompanying mobile app that records GPS information externally.
Remember that cameras differ in the way they stitch the 360° images. Some cameras do it as you go, while some require you to use a special program to do it. This affects your workflow when uploading to Mapillary. If you need to stitch separately, the whole workflow will be much more time-consuming, even though the result might be of better quality compared to cameras that stitch the imagery on the fly.
For Mapillary purposes it’s best to capture images in time-lapse mode, not video, because you save a lot on data volume, reviewing and upload time.
Based on experience from our community, partners, and customers, we've identified the 360° cameras that are currently most suitable for Mapillary purposes. If you're thinking of purchasing a 360° camera, we highly recommend that you choose from the following list.
- Best overall device
- GoPro Fusion 360
- Suitable for all-purpose use cases (capturing when driving or walking)
- Garmin Virb 360
- Professional and Survey Grade 360° cameras
- Trimble MX7
- Trimble MX9
- Trimble MX2
- NCTech iSTAR Pulsar
- Vexcel UltraCam Mustang
- Vexcel UltraCam Panther
You may also be able to use other cameras but the related workflows may not be as smooth. As a rule, our platform supports 360° imagery if one of the two following conditions is fulfilled:
- The image is equirectangular (2:1 aspect ratio) or
- The image contains GPano Photo Sphere Metadata.