Network design and quality checks in automatic orientation of close-range photogrammetric blocks

Sensors (Basel). 2015 Apr 3;15(4):7985-8008. doi: 10.3390/s150407985.


Due to the recent improvements of automatic measurement procedures in photogrammetry, multi-view 3D reconstruction technologies are becoming a favourite survey tool. Rapidly widening structure-from-motion (SfM) software packages offer significantly easier image processing workflows than traditional photogrammetry packages. However, while most orientation and surface reconstruction strategies will almost always succeed in any given task, estimating the quality of the result is, to some extent, still an open issue. An assessment of the precision and reliability of block orientation is necessary and should be included in every processing pipeline. Such a need was clearly felt from the results of close-range photogrammetric surveys of in situ full-scale and laboratory-scale experiments. In order to study the impact of the block control and the camera network design on the block orientation accuracy, a series of Monte Carlo simulations was performed. Two image block configurations were investigated: a single pseudo-normal strip and a circular highly-convergent block. The influence of surveying and data processing choices, such as the number and accuracy of the ground control points, autofocus and camera calibration was investigated. The research highlights the most significant aspects and processes to be taken into account for adequate in situ and laboratory surveys, when modern SfM software packages are used, and evaluates their effect on the quality of the results of the surface reconstruction.