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Managing and visualizing oriented imagery

It's generally accepted that imagery taken looking straight down at the ground, like traditional satellite imagery, can be visualized on a map and incorporated into your GIS. Other imagery, however, is more difficult to visualize and incorporate into your GIS. Such non-nadir "oriented imagery" includes oblique, bubble, 360-degree, street-side, and inspection imagery, among others.

Oriented Imagery from Esri solves that problem, providing a solution for managing, visualizing, and exploring imagery that's taken from any angle.

Collections of oriented images can be accessed and explored in three ways: the Oriented Imagery add-in for ArcGIS Pro, a sample web viewer hosted by Esri, or a web app created using the Oriented Imagery widget for ArcGIS Experience Builder. In both the desktop and web experiences, users select an oriented imagery catalog, click a location of interest on the map, then explore any available oriented images that depict the selected point in the inset viewer. As you pan and zoom in the oriented image, see the camera's field of view dynamically updated on the map.

The viewer also includes:

  • Spatial navigation tools designed to work with oriented imagery
  • Querying based on current view and filters (including time)
  • Image enhancement options
  • Linear and height measurement tools (when the imagery supports it)
  • Synchronized display of view extent
  • Option to display extents and images similar to your current selection
  • Option to overlay custom vector layers on oriented imagery and add or edit features
  • The ability to superimpose imagery into 3D web scenes (web only)

Collections of oriented imagery are managed using oriented imagery catalogs. This is a data structure that references a point-based feature service that defines the camera location, orientation, and image metadata.

To visualize and explore your own oriented imagery collection, you'll need to create your own oriented imagery catalog. To do this, there are two options. You can use a set of Oriented Imagery Management Tools available from ArcGIS Online. You can also use ArcGIS QuickCapture to gather photos with a mobile device (like your cell phone), then automatically create the oriented imagery catalog if you've enabled the option in your QuickCapture project. Note that for most applications, the images must be web accessible, whether in cloud storage, as attachments in ArcGIS Online, or as a service from ArcGIS Image Server.

The process for creating an oriented imagery catalog in ArcGIS Pro is as follows:

  1. Use the Oriented Imagery Management Tools in ArcGIS Pro to:
    1. Create an empty oriented imagery catalog.
    2. Add imagery to the catalog.
    3. Create coverage features and a coverage map (to show which areas on the map appear in your images).
    4. Publish the oriented imagery catalog to ArcGIS Online.
  2. Upload imagery to the cloud if it isn't already (if you're not loading images as attachments in ArcGIS Online).
  3. From ArcGIS Online, add the oriented imagery catalog to ArcGIS Pro or our sample Oriented Imagery web app, or use it to create and share a custom ArcGIS Experience Builder web app.

For users who want to create a custom Oriented Imagery app to share their imagery, you can leverage the Oriented Imagery widget available in the ArcGIS Online edition of ArcGIS Experience Builder). For more advanced developers, there is also an Oriented Imagery API and a detailed description of the oriented imagery catalog schema to help create and customize applications.

Explore the following resources to learn more about managing and visualizing oriented imagery. (Not sure where to start? Look for the star by Esri's most helpful resources.)

Note:
The Oriented Imagery add-in and management tools require ArcGIS Pro 2.2+. To create an oriented imagery catalog, you'll also need web-accessible imagery and an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account. To create an app with the Oriented Imagery widget, you'll need an ArcGIS Online.

Imagery Workflows resources

Community-supported tools and best practices for working with imagery and automating workflows:

ArcGIS Help

Reference material for ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Enterprise:

ArcGIS blogs, articles, story maps, and white papers

Supplemental guidance about concepts, software functionality, and workflows:

Developer resources

Resources and support for automating and customizing workflows:

Esri Community

Online places for the Esri community to connect, collaborate, and share experiences:

* Esri's top picks

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