A PHOTOGRAMMETRY-BASED STRUCTURE FROM MOTION ALGORITHM USING ROBUST ITERATIVE BUNDLE ADJUSTMENT TECHNIQUES
Keywords: Structure from Motion, Bundle Adjustment, Exterior Orientation, Homography, Coplanar Feature Points, Template Matching, Oblique Images
Abstract. The purpose of this paper is the presentation of a novel algorithm for automatic estimation of the exterior orientation parameters of image datasets, which can be applied in the case that the scene depicted in the images has a planar surface (e.g., roof of a building). The algorithm requires the measurement of four coplanar ground control points (GCPs) in only one image. It uses a template matching method combined with a homography-based technique for transfer of the GCPs in another image, along with an incremental photogrammetry-based Structure from Motion (SfM) workflow, coupled with robust iterative bundle adjustment methods that reject any remaining outliers, which have passed through the checks and geometric constraints imposed during the image matching procedure. Its main steps consist of (i) determination of overlapping images without the need for GPS/INS data; (ii) image matching and feature tracking; (iii) estimation of the exterior orientation parameters of a starting image pair; and (iv) photogrammetry-based SfM combined with iterative bundle adjustment methods. A developed software solution implementing the proposed algorithm was tested using a set of UAV oblique images. Several tests were performed for the assessment of the errors and comparisons with well-established commercial software were made, in terms of automation and correctness of the computed exterior orientation parameters. The results show that the estimated orientation parameters via the proposed solution have comparable accuracy with those ones computed through the commercial software using the highest possible accuracy settings; in addition, double manual work was required by the commercial software compared to the proposed solution.