THE NEED OF NESTED GRIDS FOR AERIAL AND SATELLITE IMAGES AND DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS
Keywords: Orthoimages, DEM, Geographic Grid, Nested Grid, Multirresolution, Image Piramids, Big Data
Abstract. Usual workflows for production, archiving, dissemination and use of Earth observation images (both aerial and from remote sensing satellites) pose big interoperability problems, as for example: non-alignment of pixels at the different levels of the pyramids that makes it impossible to overlay, compare and mosaic different orthoimages, without resampling them and the need to apply multiple resamplings and compression-decompression cycles. These problems cause great inefficiencies in production, dissemination through web services and processing in “Big Data” environments. Most of them can be avoided, or at least greatly reduced, with the use of a common “nested grid” for mutiresolution production, archiving, dissemination and exploitation of orthoimagery, digital elevation models and other raster data. “Nested grids” are space allocation schemas that organize image footprints, pixel sizes and pixel positions at all pyramid levels, in order to achieve coherent and consistent multiresolution coverage of a whole working area. A “nested grid” must be complemented by an appropriate “tiling schema”, ideally based on the “quad-tree” concept. In the last years a “de facto standard” grid and Tiling Schema has emerged and has been adopted by virtually all major geospatial data providers. It has also been adopted by OGC in its “WMTS Simple Profile” standard. In this paper we explain how the adequate use of this tiling schema as common nested grid for orthoimagery, DEMs and other types of raster data constitutes the most practical solution to most of the interoperability problems of these types of data.