World’s Highest-Resolution Aerial Ortho Image Goes Online

January 21, 2013 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | General | 1 Comment |
News image

The Székesfehérvár organisation of the Society for Military and Civil Cooperation and the Interspect Research Team have partnered to create the world’s highest-resolution aerial ortho image mosaic. Putting Google Earth to shame, the record-breaking aerial image mosaic shows the Pákozd Military Memorial Park from above, in stunning detail. Prior to creating the photographs, the young Hungarian researchers had developed bespoke image sensors and special methods for making aerial images from fast-moving aircraft. “The enthusiastic team has been involved in development of the idea of a high spatial resolution ortho image mosaic since 2006,” the Society said in a statement. “They had to overcome many obstacles to be the first in the world to make a subpixel orthophoto mosaic with details smaller than half a centimetre from a high speed aircraft.” To view the image, visit the website below.

Website: AerialRecord.com

The real importance of the record lies in the fact that the images were taken from a fast-moving Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six airplane (ground speed: 270km/h) rather than a slow-moving drone or hovering helicopter. As the researchers put it, “higher resolution could be obtained from a helicopter, remote control flying vehicle, crane or on the ground, with a hand-held camera, but the basic idea of this method is high speed survey of the earth’s surface.”

Society for Military and Civil Cooperation Press Release

High resolution aerial ortho image world record

The Székesfehérvár organization of the Society for Military and Civil Cooperation and the Interspect Research Team presents the world’s most detailed aerial ortho image mosaic. Anyone who sees the details of buildings, trees and people in the coordinate-based images – with a resolution higher than any orthophoto made before from aircraft or satellite – has the feeling of being in a sci-fi film. The procedure involved is a really impressive breakthrough in mapping the earth and making ortho-images.

The image
The Hungarian world record is forty times more detailed than the images of the spy satellites and three hundred times greater than the resolution of the best earth monitoring satellites. The resolution of the new aerial image map is four times higher than any earlier photo taken from an aircraft. The coordinate-based homogeneous image mosaic – which, like earlier record achievements, is made up of dozens of aerial images – cannot even be displayed by the popular Google Earth service that uses an algorithm suitable for 23 zoom levels only, while this aerial image represents level 25 according to the Google resolution scale. The most detailed images on Google Earth represent roughly five times lower resolution.

The consent of those figuring on the world-recorder orthophoto map was obtained in advance as we assumed that the faces would be recognizable. The team who made the images, conducted advance tests. Creation of the amazingly high resolution aerial images was preceded by several years of research work leading to the creation of special sensors and the development of special methods for making aerial images. The enthusiastic team has been involved in development of the idea of a high spatial resolution ortho image mosaic since 2006. They had to overcome many obstacles to be the first in the world to make a subpixel orthophoto mosaic with details smaller than half a centimetre from a high speed aircraft. The resulting images are generally used for environmental investigations.

The photo of the National Memorial Place
The aerial image mosaic shows the Military Memorial Park, a National Memorial Place. The highly attractive image mosaic clearly reflects the objectives of the creator of the Memorial Park, the Society for Military and Civil Cooperation that aims to highlight the noble spirit of national defence. The aerial image mosaic reflects the harmony of the park located in one of Hungary’s most beautiful natural landscapes and it also shows the disciplined activities of some 200 students visiting the park.

The team
The aerial camera was developed in a project of the Interspect Research Team comprising young researchers of several Hungarian universities and civil organizations. The unique camera was designed by Gábor Bakó and Zsolt Molnár and has been upgraded and fine-tuned continuously since 2006. The pilot of the Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six aircraft was András Arady, the shots were taken by Gábor Bakó using the IS4 calibrated aerial camera system, while Zsolt Molnár was responsible for the security of the on-board staff. Geodesic field measurements were taken by Gábor Bakó and Eszter Góber, while the orthophotos and the image mosaics were made with the contribution of Zsolt Molnár.

Significance of the method, future perspective
“The significance of the orthophoto lies in the fact that such surveys can be as quick as traditional remote sensing surveys while they allow more detailed and more accurate measurements. The key benefits of the camera include high quality of images, true colours and speed. The sensitivity of the camera goes beyond the light sensing of the human eye, it also covers ultra violet and near infrared ranges in the electromagnetic spectrum, which allows high resolution not only for colour but also for the multispectral images. Amazingly detailed orthophoto maps allow a more accurate assessment of the green areas, more detailed mapping of the vegetation, and conclusions can be drawn about the volume of biomass, gas exchange processes of the green areas can be assessed more accurately and quickly than before, while the built environment can also be monitored more accurately,” Gábor Bakó leader of the research team explained.

Why is it a record?
The team became widely known in 2009 through its orthophoto mosaic of 1.8 spatial resolution of the Budapest Zoo. Since 2006 they have been working on a technology facilitating high resolution surveys and analysing high resolution orthophoto maps. No one has produced an aerial orthophoto mosaic with higher spatial resolution that the 2009 world recorder presented in Budapest, while the resolution of this orthophoto made in Pákozd is four times higher.

The record is related specifically to the high-speed aerial remote sensing. Obviously, higher resolution could be obtained from a helicopter, remote control flying vehicle, crane or on the ground, with a hand-held camera, but the basic idea of this method is high speed survey of the earth’s surface. The ground speed of 270 km/h allows images to be created before the light and atmospheric conditions change. It can be used to survey relatively large areas.

Please visit http://www.aerialrecord.com to access the full image mosaic.



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