Image Specifications and Data Reporting
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In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the essential specifications and reporting standards for producing high-quality aerial imagery, emphasizing the importance of true color representation, image quality, and precise geo-referencing. By adhering to these meticulous guidelines, aerial imagery professionals can ensure their work not only captures stunning visuals but also delivers accurate, reliable data for a wide range of applications.
Mikael Costa Pinto
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Ensuring Excellence in Aerial Imagery: A Comprehensive Guide to Image Specifications and Data Reporting

Below example is a great example of detailed specifications on drone data requests. However, if you don't know, Globhe is working hard to make your life easier, so unless specified we have our standard flight parameters for image drone data:

GLOBHE standard flight specifications if no advanced options were selected

Flight height: 110 meters AGL (Above Ground Level)
Image overlap: 75% frontal, 70% lateral
Spatial resolution / GSD: 2 - 2.5 cm/px
Drone type and model: GLOBHE will select what is available, i.e. DJI Mavic or Phantom series for simple mapping, DJI Matrice series for more accurate surveys
Drone sensor: RGB
Coordinate Reference System (CRS): WGS 84 / EPSG: 4326 / Meters
Vertical accuracy: up to 10 cm when GCPs are used
Ground control points: No
Processing software: depends on the operator

But with that said, In the realm of aerial imagery, the quality and accuracy of the photographs captured are paramount. Understanding and adhering to the specific requirements for image capture and data reporting can significantly elevate the overall value and usability of the aerial data collected. This blog post delves into the meticulous specifications for aerial imagery as an example on how to think and specify data ordering, and the vital aspects of data reporting, providing a detailed roadmap for professionals in this field.

Below is an example from one of our clients, showing the detail and our ability to meet even the toughest of demands, anywhere on earth:

Aerial Imagery Specifications Example below:

  1. True Color Representation: Images must be captured in Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) formats, ensuring that the colors in the photographs are as true to life as possible.
  2. Radiometric Resolution: A resolution of 24-bit (3 x 8 bits per band) is required to capture the full depth of color and detail.
  3. File Formats: Images should be provided in both JPEG and RAW formats. The RAW format ensures lossless, uncompressed data, preserving the image's highest quality.
  4. Image Quality: Each photograph must be well-balanced, well-illuminated, sharp, and have an average Ground Sample Distance (GSD) of 5cm or better. GSD represents the real-world distance each pixel covers in the image.
  5. Lens Specifications: Only fixed focal lenses are permitted, with wide-angle lenses meeting specific focal length criteria.
  6. Camera Settings: The camera's date and time should be accurately set to the local time system. The camera must have a pixel pitch of at least 4 microns, preferably 6 microns. Image stabilization is not allowed as it can alter the camera's geometric accuracy.
  7. Overlap and Geo-referencing: Images must have a minimum lateral overlap of 70% and a forward overlap of 80%. They should also be geo-referenced, with high accuracy in image exposure coordinates.

Data Reporting: Upholding Accuracy and Integrity in Aerial Imagery

Data producers play a crucial role in validating and reporting the accuracy of aerial image data. Key aspects of this reporting include:

  1. Geo-referencing Details: The type of geo-referencing used (e.g., GNSS navigation solution, ground control points) and the definition of the local datum and coordinate system relative to WGS84 or ITRF must be reported.
  2. Equipment Description: A brief overview of the equipment used for image capture should be included.
  3. Source and Authority of Coordinates: Details about the GNSS base station or the positioning service used must be provided. This includes the identity of any third-party service providers.
  4. Environmental Conditions: Any environmental factors during the image capture campaign that might have affected the quality of the deliverables should be reported.

By adhering to these stringent specifications and thorough reporting protocols, aerial imagery professionals can ensure that the data they produce meets the precise needs of their applications. From real estate and urban planning to environmental monitoring and emergency response, the role of high-quality aerial imagery is increasingly crucial.

In summary, By following these guidelines, data producers and drone operators can guarantee that their work stands out in terms of quality, reliability, and precision. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting in the field of aerial imagery, keeping these specifications and reporting requirements at the forefront of your practice will ensure that your contributions to this dynamic field are felt in the myriad industries that rely on this invaluable data.

Photo by Jot Singh & Sebastian Voortman

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