GIS users often need to process digital aerial imagery to create reality mapping products that can then be used for visualization or analysis and shared with colleagues or the public. When aerial imagery is used, these reality mapping products provide a metrically accurate representation of an area, which is particularly useful for planning, inspection, and detection workflows.
ArcGIS Pro includes photogrammetric tools to turn digital aerial imagery into traditional orthomosaics, digital surface model (DSM) meshes, 3D point clouds, 3D meshes, and True Orthos.
To create orthomosaics, use the ortho mapping capability part of ArcGIS Pro Advanced. To create 3D point clouds, 3D meshes, digital surface model (DSM) meshes, and True Orthos, use the reality mapping capability, which is a part of ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro.
Both the ortho mapping and reality mapping capabilities offer a wizard experience that allows users to easily create multiple products in a single processing.
Use the following high-level workflow to create digital aerial imagery products:
- Create a reality mapping or ortho mapping workspace and input your imagery data.
- Run the image alignment to improve the relative orientation of the images and ensure accurate georeferencing by ground control points. In this step, you can also re-estimate the camera parameters.
- Generate the reality mapping products.
Explore the following resources to learn more about using reality mapping in ArcGIS Pro to generate 2D and 3D products from digital aerial imagery. (Not sure where to start? Look for the star by Esri's most helpful resources.)
To use this workflow, you'll need ArcGIS Pro Advanced. You can publish data products to ArcGIS Online or your ArcGIS Enterprise portal. Viewing image pairs in stereo requires ArcGIS Image Analyst.
Review the following links on reference materials for ArcGIS products:
- Read an overview of ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro.
- Get answers to frequently asked questions about ArcGIS Reality.
- Review specific workflows for generating DSMs, DSM meshes, True Orthos, point clouds, or 3D meshes with ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro.
- Reality mapping:
- Ortho mapping:
- Read an overview of the ortho mapping workflow in ArcGIS Pro.
- Learn how to set up a workspace for digital aerial imagery in ArcGIS Pro.
- Read about block adjustment options for digital aerial imagery.
ArcGIS blogs, articles, story maps, and technical papers
Review the following supplemental guidance about concepts, software functionality, and workflows:
- Read about how ArcGIS Reality supports digital aerial imagery product generation.
- Learn about the benefits of processing digital aerial imagery into True Orthos.
- Read a blog about the intersection of GIS data and digital twins.
- Read a series of introductory blog articles about ortho mapping, including Getting Organized with a Workspace, Getting Adjusted, and Getting Results.
Review the following Esri-produced videos that clarify and demonstrate concepts, software functionality, and workflows:
- Watch a demo that produces a digital twin foundation using oblique imagery from Munich, Germany with ArcGIS Reality Studio. (17 minutes)
- Watch a demo that uses digital aerial imagery to create a high-resolution 3D mesh of Angel Island in California using ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro. (10 minutes)
- Watch a demo theater from Esri User Conference 2020 for demonstrations and advice on aerial and satellite imagery. (27 minutes)
Training and tutorials
Review the following guided lessons and tutorials based on real-world problems and key ArcGIS skills:
Review the following resources and support for automating and customizing workflows:
- Review a guide on automating ortho mapping workflows and learn about using the arcgis.raster.orthomapping module in the ArcGIS API for Python.
- Use the ArcGIS REST API calls to control ortho mapping on a suitably configured server using remote web calls (use the Compute Sensor Model operation to perform block adjustment).
Use the online imagery community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:
- Ask the ArcGIS Reality Community questions about creating digital aerial imagery products.