The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-2-2024
11 Jun 2024
 | 11 Jun 2024

From research to production: radiometric block adjustment to automate and improve tonal adjustment of orthomosaics created from airborne images

Lauri Markelin, Mikko Sippo, Petri Leiso, and Eija Honkavaara

Keywords: Radiometric block adjustment, Relative radiometric normalization, BRDF, Orthomosaic, Airborne imaging, Multitemporal data

Abstract. Production of orthophotos and orthomosaics from airborne imaging has been standard procedure of National mapping agencies for decades. Various aspects affect to the colour, or tones of the images: time of the day and year, atmosphere, illumination conditions, view and illumination angle, BRDF-effects (Bi-directional reflectance distribution function), object, sensor, and whole imaging system. Quantitative and automated solution for creating evenly coloured image mosaics is to use method based on radiometric block adjustment, that has similarities to more well-known geometric block adjustment. We have applied radiometric block adjustment method called RadBA, originally developed for drone image blocks collected with hyperspectral sensor, to image block collected with large-format photogrammetric camera. Goals of our work are: 1) to speed up orthophoto deliveries to Finish Food Authority used for EU farming subsidies monitoring, 2) improve the quality of images delivered to Finnish Forest Centre used for forest inventory, and 3) to automate, fasten and improve the current colour balancing process of orthophotos at National Land Survey of Finland. RadBA-based tonal processing with 4-parameter BRDF-correction was able to clearly improve the tonal quality of the image mosaic collected during three different dates. We still need to automate various steps of the RadBA-workflow and improve final steps in converting 16-bits per band mosaics to visually good looking 8-bits per band mosaics. Our long-term goal is to create tonally high quality, seamless orthomosaic of whole Finland.