Coastal features in photogrammetric DTM

In my previous post, I mentioned I am now working at Oberlin College as a systems administrator. The position focuses on research support, but to do good research support, I have a fair amount of work that i need to do listening: listening to the needs of students and faculty, listening to the systems themselves and slowly and carefully navigating through upgrades and improvements.

But you didn’t think I’d abandon spatial problems altogether, did you? I have finished up some analysis deriving proper digital terrain models from photogrammetric (drone) data. The elevation models needed to be as finely tuned as possible: exhibiting minimal lens distortion, showing natural coastline condition, and exceed both the resolution and quality of existing products. They are to be used in flood modeling, and unlike previous projects I have worked on in this space: fluvial and pluvial (river and surface) flooding isn’t enough. But we need good coastal flood modeling as well. Thus, we have a set of requirements for not just good relative error, but also good absolute error.

Animation showing high and low spatial resolution elevation data derived from drone photogrammetry and synthetic aperture radar (MERIT elevation product)
Animation showing high and low spatial resolution elevation data derived from drone photogrammetry and synthetic aperture radar (MERIT elevation product)

Without getting into too much detail at this time regarding the problem extracting this quality of information out of photogrammetric data, I’ll share some gee-wiz gifs of what we see in the data, from deltas and tombolos to barrier spits and beaches.

Animation showing panning across aerial photograph of city, then across a digital elevation model of that city and the nearby coastline

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