The Nature of Geographic Information

9. Theme: Orthoimagery


The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC, 1997, p. 18) defines orthoimage as "a georeferenced image prepared from an aerial photograph or other remotely sensed data ... [that] has the same metric properties as a map and has a uniform scale." Unlike orthoimages, the scale of ordinary aerial images varies across the image, due to the changing elevation of the terrain surface (among other things). The process of creating an orthoimage from an ordinary aerial image is called orthorectification. Photogrammetrists are the professionals who specialize in creating orthorectified aerial imagery, and in compiling geometrically-accurate vector data from aerial images. So, to appreciate the requirements of the orthoimagery theme of the NSDI framework, we first need to investigate the field of photogrammetry.