Low-altitude aerial imagery obtained with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016 (JPEG images)

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
Low-altitude aerial imagery obtained with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016 (JPEG images)
Abstract:
Imagery acquired with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and coupled with structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry can produce high-resolution topographic and visual reflectance datasets that rival or exceed lidar and orthoimagery. These new techniques are particularly useful for data collection of coastal systems, which requires high temporal and spatial resolution datasets. The U.S. Geological Survey worked in collaboration with members of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Analytics at Black Beach, in Falmouth, Massachusetts to explore scientific research demands on UAS technology for topographic and habitat mapping applications. This project explored the application of consumer-grade UAS platforms as a cost-effective alternative to lidar and aerial/satellite imagery to support coastal studies requiring high-resolution elevation or remote sensing data. A small UAS was used to capture low-altitude photographs and GPS devices were used to survey reference points. These data were processed in an SfM workflow to create an elevation point cloud, an orthomosaic image, and a digital elevation model.
Supplemental_Information:
For more information regarding field activity 2016-010-FA, see https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/fan_info.php?fan=2016-010-FA.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Sturdivant, Emily J., Lentz, Erika E., Thieler, E. Robert, Remsen, David P., and Miner, Simon, 2017, Low-altitude aerial imagery obtained with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016 (JPEG images): data release DOI:10.5066/F7KW5F04, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    Other_Citation_Details:
    The first link is to the publication landing page. The second link is to the page containing the data.
    This is part of the following larger work.

    Sturdivant, Emily J., Thieler, E. Robert, Lentz, Erika E., Remsen, David P., and Miner, Simon, 2017, Topographic, imagery, and raw data associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016: data release DOI:10.5066/F7KW5F04, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Other_Citation_Details:
    Suggested citation: Sturdivant, E.J., Thieler, E.R., Lentz, E.E., Remsen, D.P., and Miner, Simon, 2017, Topographic, imagery, and raw data associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7KW5F04.
  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -70.6452
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -70.639
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 41.5871
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 41.5826
  3. What does it look like?
    https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/file/get/59b00e05e4b020cdf7d4db3e/?name=bb20160318_UAS_images_browse.JPG (JPEG)
    Example section of image acquired by DJI Phantom 3 on 18 March 2016 at Black Beach, Falmouth, MA. Section includes a target used for ground control.
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Calendar_Date: 18-Mar-2016
    Currentness_Reference:
    ground condition
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: JPEG
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees. The horizontal datum used is World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84).
      The ellipsoid used is WGS 84.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257223563.
      Vertical_Coordinate_System_Definition:
      Altitude_System_Definition:
      Altitude_Datum_Name: Mean sea level
      Altitude_Resolution: 0.01
      Altitude_Distance_Units: feet
      Altitude_Encoding_Method:
      Explicit elevation coordinate included with horizontal coordinates
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    Entity_and_Attribute_Overview:
    Photograph capture information is stored in Exchangeable Image File Format version 2.3 (EXIF). The EXIF data logged by the UAS camera record parameters specific to each photo, including date, time, camera exposure, latitude, longitude, altitude, and pitch, roll, and yaw values. The dates and times were recorded in the tags DateTime, DateTimeDigitized, and DateTimeOriginal in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). GPS data were logged in WGS 1984 in the tags with the GPS prefix (e.g. GPSLatitude). UAS rotation was recorded in the XMP tags FlightPitchDegree, FlightRollDegree, and FlightYawDegree. All images had dimensions of 4000 x 3000 pixels x 24 bits and were saved as JPEG format.
    To extract the information from the image headers using ExifTool, the following command can be used (tested with ExifTool version 9.4.6.0): exiftool.exe -csv -f -filename -DateTimeOriginal -GPSLatitude -GPSLongitude -n -GPSAltitude -FlightPitchDegree -FlightRollDegree -FlightYawDegree *.jpg > out.csv The -csv flag writes the information out in a comma-delimited format. The -n option formats the latitude and longitude as signed decimal degrees.
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: U.S. Geological Survey

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Emily J. Sturdivant
    • Erika E. Lentz
    • E. Robert Thieler
    • David P. Remsen
    • Simon Miner
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Emily J. Sturdivant
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, Massachusetts
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2230 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    esturdivant@usgs.gov

Why was the data set created?

These images were collected for use with photogrammetric techniques to derive topographic and visual reflectance products.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 18-Mar-2016 (process 1 of 2)
    A DJI Phantom 3 Professional quadcopter with onboard camera, which uses a Sony EXMOR 1/2.3" sensor, was operated through a tablet computer for flight programming and control. The flight was conducted by Simon Miner of Woods Hole Analytics using Maps Made Easy (MME; https://www.mapsmadeeasy.com; Automotive Data Research) for route design and automated flight programming, including camera shutter control and vehicle return for battery replacement. Photographs were collected in JPEG format by the built-in camera on the DJI and capture information was stored in the accompanying Exchangeable Image File (EXIF). The camera model is FC300X with a lens F-number of f/2.8. All images had dimensions of 4000 x 3000 pixels x 24 bits and were saved in JPEG format. The approximate camera position at the time of each photograph was measured by a GPS receiver onboard the UAS and recorded in the image EXIF data. All activities were conducted according to Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Images were collected between approximately 1101 EDT at the most southwestern point and 1129 EDT at the most northeastern point. The survey was timed to correspond to the time of local low tide. Weather conditions included sunny skies, with winds of about 10.3 m/s. The DJI captured an image approximately every 20 meters in 15 east-west transects spaced 30 m apart at an altitude of 35 m (115 feet). This design ensured an image resolution of 2.5 cm and an overlap of 80 percent between photos. The images were downloaded from the camera on the day of flight. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Emily J. Sturdivant
    Geographer
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, Massachusetts

    508-548-8700 x22630 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    esturdivant@usgs.gov
    Date: 21-Feb-2017 (process 2 of 2)
    ExifTool (version 10.43) was run to write standard distribution information to the headers of each full-resolution JPEG image. The following tags were populated in the JPEG image headers. Information is duplicated in some tags. Multiple, overlapping tags are employed to make the images work in a variety of software packages. Every image in this collection was populated with the same content for the following tags. The tag name and content is listed with the tag type below:
    JPEG tags:
    Comment: Low-altitude aerial photograph of Black Beach, Falmouth, MA from survey 2016-010-FA (https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/fan_info.php?fa=2016-010-FA).
    
    EXIF tags:
    ImageDescription: Low-altitude aerial photograph of Black Beach, Falmouth, MA from survey 2016-010-FA (https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/fan_info.php?fa=2016-010-FA).
    Artist: Woods Hole Analytics, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey
    Copyright: Public Domain. Please credit Woods Hole Analytics, in collaboration with Marine Biological Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey
    
    IPTC tags:
    Credit: Woods Hole Analytics, in collaboration with Marine Biological Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey
    Contact: WHSC_data_contact@usgs.gov
    Keywords: Black Beach, Great Sippewissett Marsh, Falmouth, Massachusetts, 2016-010-FA, UAS, nadir, USGS
    CopyrightNotice: Public Domain. Please credit Woods Hole Analytics, in collaboration with Marine Biological Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey
    Caption-Abstract:  Low-altitude aerial photograph of Black Beach, Falmouth, MA from survey 2016-010-FA (https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/fan_info.php?fa=2016-010-FA).
    
    2015 XMP tags:
    Caption: Low-altitude aerial photograph of Black Beach, Falmouth, MA from survey 2016-010-FA (https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/fan_info.php?fa=2016-010-FA).
    
    Also using ExifTool, the original filename (e.g. DJI_0001.jpg) was written to the EXIF tag OriginalFileName. Once the original filename was saved, the image files were renamed to the format of nnnnnnnFA__fnncnn_yyyymmddThhmmssZ_DJI_nnnn.JPG, where nnnnnnnFA is the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s field activity number; fnncnn is the flight number and camera number specific to the survey; yyyymmddThhmmssZ is the date and time (UTC) in format year, month, day, T, hours, minutes, seconds; and DJI_nnnn is the original filename.
    To extract the information from the image headers using ExifTool, the following command can be used (tested with ExifTool version 9.4.6.0): exiftool.exe -csv -f -filename -DateTimeOriginal -GPSLongitude -GPSLatitude -n -Artist -Credit -comment –Contact -keywords -Caption -Copyright -CopyrightNotice -Caption-Abstract -ImageDescription *.jpg > out.csv The -csv flag writes the information out in a comma-delimited format. The -n option formats the latitude and longitude as signed decimal degrees. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Emily J. Sturdivant
    Geographer
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, Massachusetts

    508-548-8700 x22630 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    esturdivant@usgs.gov
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    Camera position at the time of image capture were acquired through GPS and GLONASS positioning. Horizontal locations are nominally accurate within approximately 3 meters. Navigation is stored in the EXIF header of the image in geographic coordinates in the GPS reference frame (WGS84).
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    Camera position at the time of image capture was acquired through GPS and GLONASS positioning. Vertical locations are stored in the EXIF header of the image. These values are less accurate than horizontal positions and are nominally accurate within approximately 10 feet.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    The dataset contains 250 images collected by the DJI Phantom. The first four images were removed because they were taken before the DJI had arrived at the survey starting point. The ground area captured is approximately 17.5 hectares over the outlet of Great Sippewissett Marsh. The UAS flew 15 transects spaced 30 m apart across the width of the survey site (east-west oriented) at an altitude of 35 m with photos automatically taken every 20 meters (~17 photos per transect). This design ensured an overlap of 80 percent between photos and an image resolution of 2.5 cm.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    Consistency checks were performed by comparing the images with the information recorded in the EXIF header and by displaying camera positions over a map of the study area. The images and map aligned in a consistent manner. Geographic coordinates are referenced to WGS84 and altitudes are in feet above mean sea level. Image filenames take the form of nnnnnnnFA__fnncnn_yyyymmddThhmmssZ_DJI_nnnn.JPG, where nnnnnnnFA is the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s field activity number; fnncnn is the flight number and camera number specific to the survey; yyyymmddThhmmssZ is the date and time (UTC) in format year, month, day, T, hours, minutes, seconds; and DJI_nnnn is the original filename.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints:
Public domain data from the U.S. Government are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize the U.S. Geological Survey as the originator of the dataset.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
    Denver Federal Center, Building 810, Mail Stop 302
    Denver, CO

    1-888-275-8747 (voice)
    sciencebase@usgs.gov
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? The zip file contains 250 images collected from the UAS and accompanying FGDC CSDGM metadata. Each JPEG image file includes EXIF header information.
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Neither the U.S. Government, the Department of the Interior, the USGS, the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Analytics, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in the use of these data or related materials. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?
    These files require software capable of extracting compressed data and viewing JPEG files and, if desired, capable or reading the associated header information.

Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 12-Sep-2017
Metadata author:
U.S. Geological Survey
Attn: Emily J. Sturdivant
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, Massachusetts

508-548-8700 x2230 (voice)
508-457-2310 (FAX)
esturdivant@usgs.gov
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

This page is <https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/catalog/whcmsc/data_release/DR_F7KW5F04/bb20160318_UAS_images_meta.faq.html>
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