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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(9), 779;

An Image-Based Approach for the Co-Registration of Multi-Temporal UAV Image Datasets

DIATI—Department of Environmental, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede 7500 AE, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Farid Melgani, Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 3 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Trends in UAV Remote Sensing)
PDF [14744 KB, uploaded 21 September 2016]


During the past years, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) became very popular as low-cost image acquisition platforms since they allow for high resolution and repetitive flights in a flexible way. One application is to monitor dynamic scenes. However, the fully automatic co-registration of the acquired multi-temporal data still remains an open issue. Most UAVs are not able to provide accurate direct image georeferencing and the co-registration process is mostly performed with the manual introduction of ground control points (GCPs), which is time consuming, costly and sometimes not possible at all. A new technique to automate the co-registration of multi-temporal high resolution image blocks without the use of GCPs is investigated in this paper. The image orientation is initially performed on a reference epoch and the registration of the following datasets is achieved including some anchor images from the reference data. The interior and exterior orientation parameters of the anchor images are then fixed in order to constrain the Bundle Block Adjustment of the slave epoch to be aligned with the reference one. The study involved the use of two different datasets acquired over a construction site and a post-earthquake damaged area. Different tests have been performed to assess the registration procedure using both a manual and an automatic approach for the selection of anchor images. The tests have shown that the procedure provides results comparable to the traditional GCP-based strategy and both the manual and automatic selection of the anchor images can provide reliable results. View Full-Text
Keywords: image blocks registration; multi-temporal datasets; UAVs; image-based approach; high resolution image; photogrammetry image blocks registration; multi-temporal datasets; UAVs; image-based approach; high resolution image; photogrammetry

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Aicardi, I.; Nex, F.; Gerke, M.; Lingua, A.M. An Image-Based Approach for the Co-Registration of Multi-Temporal UAV Image Datasets. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 779.

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