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* Surdex

Demystifying Advancements in Digital Orthophotography

by Surdex Corporation, St. Louis, MO
About Surdex Corp.


All technology-based industries are in a continuous state of evolution; in photogrammetry, emergent technologies provide photogrammetrists with an innovative means of providing equivalent or improved mapping data at a significant cost or scheduling savings. The object of the reputable photogrammetrist is to evaluate these new technologies, testing them against the accuracy of known and trusted methodologies, and to ensure that any cost and scheduling savings do not come at the cost of product accuracy or precision. This paper will discuss the viability of five recently emerged technologies that significantly will impact the course of digital orthophotography

Prior to incorporating any new technology into its production process, Surdex subjects new technologies to extensive and thorough testing; to reduce errors in findings owing to small test samples, testing is repeated until findings can be conclusively demonstrated.

With over 40 years of research and development experience, Surdex has established a 1700-Acre Test Site in St. Louis County, Missouri. This site, known as the “Ballwin” Test Site, has over 150 known vertical points located on photo-identifiable black iron manhole covers. This test site is controlled horizontally by eleven (11) known surveyed points around the perimeter of the project. These control points were established to First Order accuracy. Surdex has used the Ballwin Test Site to test the five evolving technologies that will later be discussed

Surdex utilizes Statistical Process Control (SPC) to validate and test emerging technologies within the photogrammetric industry. Overall, product accuracy is the statistical summation of the errors associated with each of the parts of the production processes. The equation below allows us to statistically validate new technologies in virtually every phase of photogrammetric production.

The accuracy or quality of the final mapping product can be assured by limiting the errors at each of the production steps. Surdex eliminates the causes of production problems systematically, and verifies the quality of the products statistically. When testing new technologies, we monitor each project based upon the stipulated specifications and statistically verify that our resultant mapping products remain well within known accuracy tolerances.

The remaining sections of this paper will evaluate five recent technological advancements, demonstrating their viability as trustworthy tools for the photogrammetric industry.


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