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GPS Only Projects

PCI Geomatics -

The exterior orientation for air photo projects can be computed with: 1) GPS X, Y, Z data with rotation information (omega, phi, kappa values), 2) GPS data (X, Y, Z) with tie points, or 3) GCPs and tie points. If GPS information is available for each photo, carefully collecting GCPs and tie points can only help improve the model.

Errors in large OrthoEngine projects with multiple flight lines can become difficult to detect once all the photos and control points have been added to a project. The following is therefore a brief tutorial in setting up an Aerial Photography OrthoEngine project with GPS data, GCPs and tie points.

Step 1:

  • Select File > New to create a new project in OrthoEngine.
  • Enter a Filename and Project Name.
  • Select “Aerial Photography” math model.
  • Select Camera type - “Standard Aerial” or “Digital / Video“ (this example uses Standard Aerial)
  • Select Compute From GCPs & Tie Points if you have either GPS x/y/z photo centers or x/y/z/omega/phi/kappa data and want to collect GCP’s and Tie Points. Select User Input if you have x/y/z/omega/phi/kappa values and will not be collecting any GCP’s or Tie Points.

Step 2:

Set the Project Georeferencing and Output Pixel Spacing.

 

Step 3:

Set the camera calibration.

If the camera is a standard aerial, the required information for camera calibration are the camera's focal length and fiducial marks. This information should be provided with your photos, and must be set in the project. All other values on the panel are set to defaults.

If the camera is a digital/video camera, the required information for camera calibration are the camera's focal length and chip information. This information should be provided with your photos, and must be set in the project. All other values on the panel are set to defaults.

See the Help from this window for other parameters.

 

Step 4:

  • Select the “Data Input” processing step.
  • Select Open a New or Existing Image.
  • Click on the New Photo button
  • For large projects, input one row of photos at a time. This makes it much easier to trouble shoot potential problems within the project if they should arise.
  • Click Quick Open & Close

 
Step 5:

  • Select Collect fiducial Info (if necessary).
  • Locate first fiducial (zoom in), and hit Set.
  • Locate and set remaining fiducials.
  • Fiducials for remaining photos can either be manually collected or collected with Auto Fiducial collection.

 

Step 6:

  • Select Import GPS/INS or exterior orientation data from file/manually. This example shows data from file.
  • Select the appropriate File Format for your exterior orientation text file. If you do not see a file format that matches your exterior orientation file, you will have to edit it in either a spread sheet or text editor to make it match.
  • Input Accuracy
  • Enter path and name of exterior orientation file.
  • Click Apply

 
Step 7:

  • Select the GCP/TP Collection Processing step.
  • Open at least two photos and collect tie points. If you have georeferenced vectors, images, or the coordinates for known locations, also collect GCPs.
  • If you selected User Input as Exterior Orientation in Step 1, you do not need to collect any GCP or Tie Points.

 

Step 8:

  • Select the Model Calculations Processing step.
  • Click the Perform Bundle Adjustment button.


Step 9:

  • Check the quality of tie points and GCPs collected. This can be done in the GCP or TP Collection Panel or in the Residual Reports Panel in the Reports Processing step.


Step 10

Select the GCP/TP Collection Processing step. Display overall Photo Layout will allow you to see if the tie points/GCPs you have collected are well spread out.

 

Step 11:

  • Select the “Data Input” processing step.
  • Select Open a New or Existing Image.
  • Click the New Photo button.
  • Add an adjacent flight strip of photos to the project.
  • Perform steps 5 to 9 for this row of photos. For step 7, be sure to collect TPs between rows and columns of photos.
  • Continue adding rows of photos and performing steps 5 to 9 until all photos have been added to project

Things to double-check if unable to update bundle or obtain photo layout

  • Values for Camera Calibration
  • Value for Earth radius. In the Help, it says "Earth radius correction is only needed for photos over 1:20000 scale."
  • Ensure every photo ID is associated with a GPS coordinate in the corresponding GPS text file.
  • After adding photos to the project, make sure to update the GPS/INS input so the exterior orientation can be calculated.
  • Check the quality and quantity of GCPs/TPs collected.


The following data affects the bundle adjustment. Any change to this information indicates that the currently computed exterior orientations may be out of date (i.e., stale).

  • Addition or removal of project photos
  • Changes to camera focal length
  • Changes to Earth radius
  • Changes to active GCP positioning
  • Changes to TP positioning
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