In order to generate digital elevation models (DEMs) from high-resolution satellite images, the vendor-provided rational polynomial coefficients (RPCs) are commonly used. This results in a level of accuracy that can be improved by using ground control points (GCPs). The integration of the GCPs into the processing chain is associated with additional effort, since it requires the provision of GCPs as well as the measurement of its image coordinates. In this paper, the authors avoid the measurement of GCP image coordinates and propose a point-to-surface matching method to correct the DEM produced from KOMPSAT-3 satellite images and the provided RPCs. For point-to-surface matching, an existing network of GCPs was used in South Korea, the so-called united control points and the triangulation control points. Practical testing was summarized with the proposed method in which the root mean square error with respect to the horizontal position and the height reduced from 20 m and 6 m to 3 m and 2 m, respectively. This demonstrates that neither image coordinate measurements nor additional GCP point acquisition, e.g., by GPS, are necessary to convert a DEM generated from KOMPSAT-3 images and vendor-provided RPCs into a highly accurate DEM by using existing GCPs and point-to-surface matching.
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