What is Full Motion Video (FMV)?

full motion video fmv

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2019 @ 7:06 am

Video on Maps

Full motion video (FMV) synchronizes videos with maps. As you play a video, the dot on the map moves where the video was taken.

But it’s more than this:

If you want to digitize anything like diseased trees in your video, you simply draw it in the map canvas. Then, each feature in the map canvas appears in the video or vice versa.

And even better:

When you see the track where the aircraft flew, it doesn’t show just a moving point. Instead it shows the whole footprint for where the video represents on the map.

Sounds cool? Here’s more on what is full motion video.

What Types of Aircrafts Can You Fly?

drone

Really, there isn’t a lot of aircraft restrictions for what a typical full motion video package can consume.

For example, the most common aircrafts are drone (UAV), helicopter and airplane. Most full motion video can handle stationary cameras and live feeds too.

But you can even look way up in the sky. Look even further to low Earth orbit. Full motion video can consume Skybox satellite videos captured at sub-meter resolution.

Or think about your hovercraft project that you’ve always wanted to build. You can add these as full motion video too.

Even if you want to attach a camera to a pigeon, you can use these tracks as full motion video. Of course, as long as you get the video back.

But the key is having the right metadata.

True Full Motion Video (FMV)

video files

When aircraft platforms carry the right MISB metadata, it makes the video fully GIS-ready.

Only at this point can it become true full motion video. This is because the metadata file contains the necessary geographical information.

We can use this metadata to show on the map where the camera is currently looking at. It delineates each corner of the video and tracks its movement along its path.

This camera footprint is reflected in the map canvas. When the aircraft ascends, descends and turns, the camera footprint adjusts accordingly.

Now, users can capture features in the map which are integrated in the video itself. This is how video-aware maps become a powerful source of information.

Full Motion Video Software

map marker pin

Esri FMV Add-on

The Esri FMV add-on seamlessly integrates full motion video in an ArcMap session. As part of the Esri platform, it comes with a video player, video manager and geoprocessing tools. One of the common tools is the multiplexer, which stitches GPS data into video for it to become FMV compliant.

QGIS Full Motion Video Plugin

The open source QGIS full motion video plugin gives a spatially referenced video for users to analyze, visualize and process. Through the video metadata, you can capture the video frames in mp4, avi and various other formats. For help using this software, here’s a helpful guide how to use QGIS.

Full Motion Video in ENVI

Harris Geospatial Solutions package for full motion video is in ENVI. You can view the track where the aircraft flies as shown as a moving point. It has an inspector for the video metadata to create reports. Overall, it is a fairly decent package for full motion video.

Fly in full motion video

As you’ve learned today, full motion video spatially enables videos in a map.

For each video, you can track their path interactively and even as dynamic footprints.

From here, you can digitize features as you see them in the video. Then, each point in the map appears in the video and vice versa.

Do you use full motion video? What works? And what doesn’t?

Please let us know with a comment below.

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