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The imagery collected from the Dear Plateau covers nearly 30 km2 of variable terrain, including cliffs, basins, and plateaus. The area is covered in piñon, juniper, and other herbaceous vegetation. The aerial acquisition of images from this site was conducted using an ultralight aircraft and two Canon 5D Mark II cameras, one with Blue, Green, and Red bands and the other with a filter to pass only near-infrared wavelengths.


Natural Color Orthoimage Tile


Color-infrared Orthoimage Tile






































The Process and Results


Structure from Motion: Digital Terrain Models    

Sensor / Input Imagery Data

Digital Surface Model and Orthoimage Data

Structure from motion is similar to traditional aerial triangulation for creating digital elevation models from overlapping images. The process used with Deer Creek Plateau involved taking 6,864 images of the area, with ~70%-80% front and side-overlap, and generating 3-dimensional point clouds of pixels matched between images. This process produced digital terrain models of the area with vertical accuracy of 1.5-3cm sampled at 35cm spatial resolution at a fraction of the cost, and at higher spatial-resolutions, than commonly used LiDAR methods.

Image Format: Multi-band Tiff Bands: Blue, Green, Red, Near-infrared

Radiometric Resolution: 24-bit Image

Sensors: 2x Canon 5D Mark II

Sensor Dimensions: 36 mm x 24 mm

Pixels per Frame: 5616 x 3744

Focal Length: 50 mm

Ground Sample Distances per Image: 0.050 m – 0.090 m

Total # of Images: 6,864 (3,432 images per camera)

Output Format: Multi-band Tiff Bands: Blue, Green, Red, Near-infrared

Radiometric Resolution: 8-bit

Ground Sample Distance: 0.070 m

Digital Surface Model Resolution: 0.350 m

Orthophoto / Digital Terrain Model Height: 6179 m

Orthophoto / Digital Terrain Model Width: 4800 m

Total Covered Area: 29.7 km2

# of Orthophoto Tiles: 500 (optional) Estimated Vertical accuracy: 1.5-3cm















Sample Map #1


Sample Map #2