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Evaluating horizontal positional accuracy of low-cost UAV orthomosaics over forest terrain using ground control points extracted from different sources
Author(s): Petros Patias; Fotis Giagkas; Charalampos Georgiadis; Giorgos Mallinis; Dimitris Kaimaris; Vassileios Tsioukas
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Paper Abstract

Within the field of forestry, forest road mapping and inventory plays an important role in management activities related to wood harvesting industry, sentiment and water run-off modelling, biodiversity distribution and ecological connectivity, recreation activities, future planning of forest road networks and wildfire protection and fire-fighting. Especially in countries of the Mediterranean Rim, knowledge at regional and national scales regarding the distribution and the characteristics of rural and forest road network is essential in order to ensure an effective emergency management and rapid response of the fire-fighting mechanism. Yet, the absence of accurate and updated geodatabases and the drawbacks related to the use of traditional cartographic methods arising from the forest environment settings, and the cost and efforts needed, as thousands of meters need to be surveyed per site, trigger the need for new data sources and innovative mapping approaches. Monitoring the condition of unpaved forest roads with unmanned aerial vehicle technology is an attractive option for substituting objective, laboursome surveys. Although photogrammetric processing of UAV imagery can achieve accuracy of 1-2 centimeters and dense point clouds, the process is commonly based on the establishment of control points. In the case of forest road networks, which are linear features, there is a need for a great number of control points. Our aim is to evaluate low-cost UAV orthoimages generated over forest areas with GCP’s captured from existing national scale aerial orthoimagery, satellite imagery available through a web mapping service (WMS), field surveys using Mobile Mapping System and GNSS receiver. We also explored the direct georeferencing potential through the GNSS onboard the low cost UAV. The results suggest that the GNSS approach proved to most accurate, while the positional accuracy derived using the WMS and the aerial orthoimagery datasets deemed satisfactory for the specific task at hand. The direct georeferencing procedure seems to be insufficient unless an onboard GNSS with improved specifications or Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) capabilities is used.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 September 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10444, Fifth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2017), 104440U (6 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2278008
Show Author Affiliations
Petros Patias, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Fotis Giagkas, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Charalampos Georgiadis, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Giorgos Mallinis, Democritus Univ. of Thrace (Greece)
Dimitris Kaimaris, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Vassileios Tsioukas, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki (Greece)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10444:
Fifth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2017)
Kyriacos Themistocleous; Silas Michaelides; Giorgos Papadavid; Vincent Ambrosia; Gunter Schreier; Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis, Editor(s)

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