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Geometric Errors in Natural Resource GIS Data: Tilt and Terrain Effects in Aerial Photographs

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Simulation studies were performed to estimate geometric errors in spatial data from monoscopic interpretation of large format aerial photographs. Positional and area error were simulated for a range of photo scales (1:10,000 to 1:40,000), camera tilts (0° to 4.2°), and relief (vertical range from 0 m to 750 m). Average positional errors were observed between 4 m and 104 m and varied positively with tilt and terrain range and inversely with scale. Area errors were observed over a range of polygon sizes, from 40 to 600 ha. Average area error ranged from 0.0 to 10.7% and was positively related to tilt and terrain range and not related to scale or polygon size. The magnitude of these errors and the availability and low cost of requisite correction technologies suggest analytical methods for removing relief and tilt distortion should be employed under most circumstances. For. Sci. 38(2):367-380.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Publication date: April 1, 1992

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