High-Precision 3D Fluvial Surveying Without Ground Control using Directly Georeferenced Pole Aerial Photography

Authors: James T. Dietrich*, University of Northern Iowa, Mark A. Fonstad, University of Oregon
Topics: Remote Sensing, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: rivers, Structure from Motion (SfM), Pole Camera
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In our efforts to collect high-resolution, spatially contiguous data on river systems to better understand both their form and process has exposed that there is no “one-size-fit-all” approach. There needs to be a variety of different approaches for data collection based on the requirements of the research questions being asked and the environmental conditions of the site. The approach we demonstrate here is a self-contained, direct georeferencing, pole aerial photography (PAP) system. PAP is capable of producing higher-spatial resolution data than remotely piloted aerial system collected data. Another advantage of PAP is that it makes 3D data collection possible in parts of rivers that can elude capture from above with RPAS methods. The system that we developed is based on an off-the-shelf digital SLR camera combined with a low-cost, dual-frequency GPS receiver capable of Real-time and Post-Processed Kinematic surveying. The open-source control/survey software runs on an inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer with a 7” display. We will highlight the accuracy of the system along with producing high spatial resolution 3D datasets, ortho imagery, as well as other data that can be derived from these datasets such as sediment size measurement.

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