Did satellite imagery supersede aerial imagery? A perspective from 3D geopositioning accuracy

Yilmaz A., Erdogan M., MARAŞ H. H., AKTUĞ B., Maras S. S.

ARABIAN JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES, vol.9, no.4, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this study, the geometric accuracy comparison of aerial photos and WorldView-2 satellite stereo image data is evaluated with the different number and the distribution of the ground control points (GCPs) on the basis of large scale map production. Also, the current situation of rivalry between airborne and satelliteborne imagery was mentioned. The geometric accuracy of Microsoft UltraCam X 45 cm ground sampling distance (GSD) aerial imagery and WorldView-2 data both with and without GCPs are also separately analyzed. The aerial photos without any GCP by only using global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and inertial measurement unit (IMU) data with tie points give an accuracy of +/- 1.17 m in planimetry and +/- 0.71 m in vertical that means nearly two times better accuracy than the rational polynomial coefficient (RPC) of stereo WorldView-2. Using one GCP affects the accuracies of aerial photos and WorldView-2 in different ways. While this situation distorts the aerial photo block, it corrects the shift effect of RPC in WorldView-2 and increases the accuracy. By using four or more GCPs, 1/2 pixel (similar to 0.23 m) accuracy in aerial photos and 1 pixel (similar to 0.50 m) accuracy in WorldView-2 can be achieved in horizontal. In vertical, aerial photos have 1 pixel (similar to 0.55 m) and WorldView-2 has 1.5 pixels (similar to 0.85 m) accuracy. These results show that Worldview-2 imagery can be used in the production of class I 1: 5000 scale maps according to the ASPRS Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data in terms of geometric accuracy. It is concluded that the rivalry between aerial and satellite imagery will continue for some time in the future.