ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume II-3
07 Aug 2014
 | 07 Aug 2014

Automated End-to-End Workflow for Precise and Geo-accurate Reconstructions using Fiducial Markers

M. Rumpler, S. Daftry, A. Tscharf, R. Prettenthaler, C. Hoppe, G. Mayer, and H. Bischof

Keywords: Photogrammetric Computer Vision, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Image-based 3D Reconstruction, Mapping, Image Acquisition, Calibration, Online Feedback, Structure-from-Motion, Georeferencing, Fiducial Markers, Accuracy Evaluation

Abstract. Photogrammetric computer vision systems have been well established in many scientific and commercial fields during the last decades. Recent developments in image-based 3D reconstruction systems in conjunction with the availability of affordable high quality digital consumer grade cameras have resulted in an easy way of creating visually appealing 3D models. However, many of these methods require manual steps in the processing chain and for many photogrammetric applications such as mapping, recurrent topographic surveys or architectural and archaeological 3D documentations, high accuracy in a geo-coordinate system is required which often cannot be guaranteed. Hence, in this paper we present and advocate a fully automated end-to-end workflow for precise and geoaccurate 3D reconstructions using fiducial markers. We integrate an automatic camera calibration and georeferencing method into our image-based reconstruction pipeline based on binary-coded fiducial markers as artificial, individually identifiable landmarks in the scene. Additionally, we facilitate the use of these markers in conjunction with known ground control points (GCP) in the bundle adjustment, and use an online feedback method that allows assessment of the final reconstruction quality in terms of image overlap, ground sampling distance (GSD) and completeness, and thus provides flexibility to adopt the image acquisition strategy already during image recording. An extensive set of experiments is presented which demonstrate the accuracy benefits to obtain a highly accurate and geographically aligned reconstruction with an absolute point position uncertainty of about 1.5 times the ground sampling distance.