The advancement of drones has revolutionized the production of aerial imagery. Using a drone with its associated flight control and image processing applications, a high resolution orthorectified mosaic from multiple individual aerial images can be produced within just a few hours. However, the positional precision and accuracy of any orthomosaic produced should not be overlooked. In this project, we flew a DJI Phantom drone once a month over a seven-month period over Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches, Texas, USA resulting in seven orthomosaics of the same location. We identified 30 ground control points (GCPs) based on permanent features in the cemetery and recorded the geographic coordinates of each GCP on each of the seven orthomosaics. Analyzing the cluster of each GCP containing seven coincident positions depicts the positional precision of the orthomosaics. Our analysis is an attempt to answer the fundamental question, “Are we obtaining the same geographic coordinates for the same feature found on every aerial image mosaic captured by a drone over time?” The results showed that the positional precision was higher at the center of the orthomosaic compared to the edge areas. In addition, the positional precision was lower parallel to the direction of the drone flight.
Hung, I-Kuai; Unger, Daniel; Kulhavy, David; and Zhang, Yanli, "Positional Precision Analysis of Orthomosaics Derived from Drone Captured Aerial Imagery" (2019). Faculty Publications. 478.