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Full Positional Accuracy Analysis of Spatial Data by Means of Circular Statistics

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The positional error in spatial data is defined as a vector by comparing the coordinates between the true position and the measured position. The standard tests to assess the positional accuracy use only the magnitude of the vector and omit the azimuth. This article suggests that the use of both values allows a much more complete analysis of the positional error. A set of tests is proposed that are relevant for this purpose and demonstrate that some important features are not identified by the common procedures. The test samples come from two datasets. The first is obtained from the comparison of 100 homologous points in two conventional maps, and the second one comes from the geometric calibration of a photogrammetric scanner. The results are analyzed and discussed, showing that important issues such as error anisotropy are detected only by means of the circular statistics tests and density maps of distribution. Therefore, tests that assess the goodness of fit for uniform distribution in azimuths, such as Rayleigh and Rao tests, give low probabilities (P = 0 and P > 0.01). Moreover, density maps working with both magnitude and angle can locate the outlier candidate and offer more information about the spatial distribution of error.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Escuela PolitécnicaUniversity of Extremadura

Publication date: August 1, 2010


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