Two decades of digital photogrammetry: Revisiting Chandler’s 1999 paper on “Effective application of automated digital photogrammetry for geomorphological research” – a synthesis
Fawcett, D; Blanco-Sacristán, J; Benaud, P
Date: 4 March 2019
Progress in Physical Geography
Digital photogrammetry has experienced rapid development regarding the technology involved and its ease of use over the past two decades. We revisit the work of Jim Chandler who in 1999 published a technical communication seeking to familiarise novice users of photogrammetric methods with important theoretical concepts and practical ...
Digital photogrammetry has experienced rapid development regarding the technology involved and its ease of use over the past two decades. We revisit the work of Jim Chandler who in 1999 published a technical communication seeking to familiarise novice users of photogrammetric methods with important theoretical concepts and practical considerations. In doing so, we assess considerations such as camera calibration and the need for photo-control and check points, as they apply to modern software and workflows, in particular for Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry. We also highlight the implications of lightweight drones being the new platform of choice for many photogrammetry-based studies in the geosciences. Finally, we present three examples based on our own work, showing the opportunities that SfM photogrammetry offers at different scales and systems: at the micro-scale for monitoring geomorphological change, and at the meso-scale for hydrological modelling and the reconstruction of vegetation canopies. Our examples showcase developments and applications of photogrammetry which go beyond what was considered feasible 20 years ago and indicate future directions that applications may take. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that, in-line with Chandler’s recommendations, the pre-calibration of consumer-grade cameras, instead of relying entirely on self-calibration by software, can yield palpable benefits in micro-scale applications and that measurements of sufficient control points are still central to generating reproducible, high-accuracy products. With the unprecedented ease of use and wide areas of application, scientists applying photogrammetric methods would do well to remember basic considerations and seek methods for the validation of generated products.
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
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