The Insta360 X3 is a popular consumer-grade 360° camera. With a 360 camera you can capture in every direction at once and mount it on your car, bicycle, or on a stick for walking.
Our recommended 360 camera is the GoPro MAX because the it has built-in GPS and is natively natively supported by the Mapillary Desktop Uploader and Command Line Tools. However, it is also possible to use the Insta360 X3 with a bit of effort and processing time.
- Insta360 X3 camera
- Memory card (we recommend MicroSDXC 256GB and above)
- Power bank/battery pack - recommended for sessions over 2 hours
- Mounting equipment for driving & biking or a selfie stick for walking
Ensure GPS is on
The Insta360 X3 does not have built-in GPS. Instead it can use the position from your paired phone to get GPS coordinates. You can alternatively purchase a GPS remote, but this isn't necessary for most users. Most importantly, make sure GPS is turned on in settings. Videos or images without GPS cannot be processed by Mapillary.
🚗 Driving Setup
If you will be capturing while driving with your Insta360 X3 we recommend configuring it to shoot timelapse 360 video at 0.2s interval and 8K resolution.
- Using 0.2s interval video while driving means that you will be able to capture enough imagery while driving and still keeping file-sizes relatively reasonable
- Using these settings will allow you to capture for about 13 hours on a 256 GB SD card
- If you would like to do even denser capture, consider using Active HDR video at 5.7K resolution (note that the file-sizes will be about 3X larger)
- You can upload these captured .insv video files to Mapillary after processing them following the instructions at the bottom of this page
- Secure the camera onto a vehicle suction mount or your vehicle’s roof rack system
- Place the camera close to the center of the vehicle with the LCD screen facing the back of the car. Adjust the angles of the mounts so that the camera’s lenses face the front and back of your vehicle.
- Remove objects obstructing camera view (such as the vehicle antenna)
- Connect and secure a power bank if your session will continue for 2 hours or more
🚲 Biking Setup (up to ~13 mph or ~22 km/h)
If you will be capturing while biking with your Insta360 X3 we recommend configuring it to shoot timelapse 360 video at 0.5s interval and 8K resolution.
- Using timelapse video mode while biking means that you will be able to capture enough imagery while still keeping the output file size relatively small. Having the camera shoot every 0.5 seconds is sufficient for biking (up to ~22 mph or 35 km/h), but too sparse for driving.
- Using these settings will allow you to capture for about 32 hours on a 256 GB SD card
You can upload these captured .insv video files to Mapillary after processing them following the instructions at the bottom of this page
🚶♂️Walking Setup (up to ~3 mph or 5 km/h):
If you will be capturing while walking with your Insta360 X3 we recommend configuring it to shoot timelapse 360 video at 2s interval and 8K resolution.
- Using timelapse video mode while walking means that you will be able to capture enough imagery while still keeping the output file size relatively small. Having the camera shoot every 2 seconds is sufficient for walking (up to ~3 mph or 5 km/h), but too sparse for biking or driving.
- Using these settings will allow you to capture for about 125 hours on a 256 GB SD card
- Note that the Insta360 X3 also supports interval photos (at 3 second intervals and 72 MP resolution). This does offer additional image clarity, however we don't currently recommend using it because the X3 seems to have issues with GPS tagging in this mode after the first image, and a 3 second interval is only useful for slow walking.
- You can upload these captured .insv video files to Mapillary after processing them following the instructions below
- Charge your camera fully before embarking on a capture adventure or carry a power bank if your session will continue for more than 2 hours
- We recommend using a selfie stick when walking
- You can either hold the stick in your hand or fasten it to a backpack in a steady, upright position
- Be sure to keep the camera at least 30 cm above your head to minimize interference from your head.
Upload Insta360 X3 videos to Mapillary
Uploading Insta360 X3 videos to Mapillary requires importing the videos to your computer and exporting them as .mp4 videos. This is a bit of a time intensive process and necessary because the camera doesn't directly save stitched 360 videos:
- Import videos from the camera into Insta360 Studio
Select all the videos and click the yellow export button to start a batch export. This will take quite a bit of time to process.
Tip: Save the exported 360 .mp4 file in the same file path as the original _00_ “.insv” files with the same name. This is important because Mapillary can then use the GPS information contained in the original .insv file to put your capture on the map with the Desktop Uploader. Insta360 studio also includes the option to “Export GPX file,” however we don’t recommend using this because the fidelity of this GPX file is lower than what Mapillary can extract from the original .insv file.
- Drag and drop the .mp4 files (or folder containing them) into the Mapillary Desktop Uploader. You’ll see a preview of the location on the map and can proceed to upload.
- It normally takes about 2 days to process your uploaded videos, after which you should be able to see your imagery on the map.
- You can also upload videos using the Command Line Tools if you prefer.