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Geomorphic Change Detection Using Cost-Effective Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry: Evaluation of Direct Georeferencing from Consumer-Grade UAS at Orewa Beach (New Zealand)

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Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and structure-from-motion photogrammetry are transforming the way we produce topo- graphic data, with applications covering many disciplines in the geosciences, including coastal studies. To overcome limitations of ground control points (GCPs), we evaluate direct georeferencing (DG) of consumer UAS imagery for the cost-effective measurement of beach topography. Using DG, camera positions determined with on-board instruments provide air control points for photogrammetry, obviating the need for presurveyed GCPs. We validate the approach at Orewa Beach, New Zealand, achieving vertical accuracies similar to light detection and ranging (< 0.2 m) at a higher resolution (< 0.1 m). A low-quality global navigation satellite system onboard a consumer UAS remains the main constraint on measurement quality. We show how independent topo- graphic data sets, which are increasingly available world- wide, can improve measurement quality, and hence change detection capacity. Our understanding of measurement quality achieved in this study is applied to the assessment of morphological and volumetric change at Orewa Beach.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2020

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  • The official journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - the Imaging and Geospatial Information Society (ASPRS). This highly respected publication covers all facets of photogrammetry and remote sensing methods and technologies.

    Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.
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