The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B1
06 Jun 2016
 | 06 Jun 2016


W. Tampubolon and W. Reinhardt

Keywords: image orientation, structure from motion, tie points, building structures

Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data acquisition is more flexible compared with the more complex traditional airborne data acquisition. This advantage puts UAV platforms in a position as an alternative acquisition method in many applications including Large Scale Topographical Mapping (LSTM). LSTM, i.e. larger or equal than 1:10.000 map scale, is one of a number of prominent priority tasks to be solved in an accelerated way especially in third world developing countries such as Indonesia.

As one component of fundamental geospatial data sets, large scale topographical maps are mandatory in order to enable detailed spatial planning. However, the accuracy of the products derived from the UAV data are normally not sufficient for LSTM as it needs robust georeferencing, which requires additional costly efforts such as the incorporation of sophisticated GPS Inertial Navigation System (INS) or Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) on the platform and/or Ground Control Point (GCP) data on the ground. To reduce the costs and the weight on the UAV alternative solutions have to be found.

This paper outlines a direct georeferencing method of UAV data by providing image orientation parameters derived from simple building structures and presents results of an investigation on the achievable results in a LSTM application. In this case, the image orientation determination has been performed through sequential images without any input from INS/IMU equipment. The simple building structures play a significant role in such a way that geometrical characteristics have been considered. Some instances are the orthogonality of the building’s wall/rooftop and the local knowledge of the building orientation in the field. In addition, we want to include the Structure from Motion (SfM) approach in order to reduce the number of required GCPs especially for the absolute orientation purpose.

The SfM technique applied to the UAV data and simple building structures additionally presents an effective tool for the LSTM application at low cost. Our results show that image orientation calculations from building structure essentially improve the accuracy of direct georeferencing procedure adjusted also by the GCPs. To gain three dimensional (3D) point clouds in local coordinate system, an extraction procedure has been performed by using Agisoft Photo Scan. Subsequently, a Digital Surface Model (DSM) generated from the acquired data is the main output for LSTM that has to be assessed using standard field and conventional mapping workflows. For an appraisal, our DSM is compared directly with a similar DSM obtained by conventional airborne data acquisition using Leica RCD-30 metric camera as well as Trimble Phase One (P65+) camera. The comparison reveals that our approach can achieve meter level accuracy both in planimetric and vertical dimensions.