Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

An automated imagery orthorectification pilot

October 1, 2009
Automated orthorectification of raw image products is now possible based on the comprehensive metadata collected by Global Positioning Systems and Inertial Measurement Unit technology aboard aircraft and satellite digital imaging systems, and based on emerging pattern-matching and automated image-to-image and control point selection capabilities in many advanced image processing systems. Automated orthorectification of standard aerial photography is also possible if a camera calibration report and sufficient metadata is available. Orthorectification of historical imagery, for which only limited metadata was available, was also attempted and found to require some user input, creating a semi-automated process that still has significant potential to reduce processing time and expense for the conversion of archival historical imagery into geospatially enabled, digital formats, facilitating preservation and utilization of a vast archive of historical imagery. Over 90 percent of the frames of historical aerial photos used in this experiment were successfully orthorectified to the accuracy of the USGS 100K base map series utilized for the geospatial reference of the archive. The accuracy standard for the 100K series maps is approximately 167 feet (51 meters). The main problems associated with orthorectification failure were cloud cover, shadow and historical landscape change which confused automated image-to-image matching processes. Further research is recommended to optimize automated orthorectification methods and enable broad operational use, especially as related to historical imagery archives.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title An automated imagery orthorectification pilot
DOI 10.1117/1.3255042
Authors E. Terrence Slonecker, Brad Johnson, Joe McMahon
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Remote Sensing
Series Number
Index ID 70204143
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geographic Science Center

Related Content