The development of Earth observation systems has changed the nature of survey and mapping products, as well as the methods for updating maps. Among optical satellite mapping methods, the multiline array stereo and agile stereo modes are the most common methods for acquiring stereo images. However, differences in temporal resolution and spatial coverage limit their application. In terms of this issue, our study takes advantage of the wide spatial coverage and high revisit frequencies of wide swath images and aims at verifying the feasibility of stereo mapping with the wide swath stereo mode and reaching a reliable stereo accuracy level using calibration. In contrast with classic stereo modes, the wide swath stereo mode is characterized by both a wide spatial coverage and high-temporal resolution and is capable of obtaining a wide range of stereo images over a short period. In this study, Gaofen-1 (GF-1) wide-field-view (WFV) images, with total imaging widths of 800 km, multispectral resolutions of 16 m and revisit periods of four days, are used for wide swath stereo mapping. To acquire a high-accuracy digital surface model (DSM), the nonlinear system distortion in the GF-1 WFV images is detected and compensated for in advance. The elevation accuracy of the wide swath stereo mode of the GF-1 WFV images can be improved from 103 m to 30 m for a DSM with proper calibration, meeting the demands for 1:250,000 scale mapping and rapid topographic map updates and showing improved efficacy for satellite imaging.
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