The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W13
04 Jun 2019
 | 04 Jun 2019


R. Giudici, L. Courtrai, and S. Lefevre

Keywords: mosaicing, Geometrical Fidelity Assessment, SURF

Abstract. The recent development of automated UAV imaging applications for geomatics is leading to an unprecedented rapid growth in mosaic and DEM images. Newer, more advanced algorithms are being extensively studied to fulfill constantly increasing requirements. Sequences of georeferenced images that cannot be shot at once are merged with ideally no geometrical distortion to allow for 3D reconstruction and orthophotography generation. If newer robust mosaicing algorithms are being developed to withstand UAV tighter real-time constraints, very little attention has been given to objectively assess their capacity to coherently combine different image geometries. Changes in FOV and illumination, oblique scenes and dynamic sequences featuring movement and object occlusion are not yet fully handled by state-of-the-art algorithms. Despite the large panel of existing applications featuring different quality constraints, our work focuses on the geomatics context, where the main requirement is the respect of geometrical proportions among images. Geometrically coherent mosaics and 3D reconstructions can only result from fully static, high-altitude orthogonal views. GCPs or well known geographical landmarks are employed with RTK-GPS for scene georeferencing. The overall fidelity is computed as the global variance of the distances between SGPs. However, very few ways seem to exist to measure the content coherence of large geographical scenes, interiors or unreferenced scenes. Distances are mostly expressed in a local coordinate system and GCPs are often unavailable. The main contribution of this paper consists in the definition of a formal metric for measuring local coordinate geometrical fidelity of mosaics issued of UAV image sequences, in real operating conditions. A Mosaicing Fidelity Assessment (MSF) index is therefore computed for every couple of consecutive images of a sequence. The metric generates an index based on the distances of SURF feature points extracted in the images and compares them to estimate geometrical changes transferred to the mosaic. The solution can detect perspective inaccuracies caused by residual registration errors. It can fulfill the requirements of most of imaging and geomatics applications and can be executed as nearly real-time due to its low computational complexity.