Publication Date


Committee Chair

Ruijin Ma, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.


Historical aerial photographs are a valuable resource for the Center for Conservation Biology because they offer land cover and land use data from the past at high spatial resolution. The imagery which the CCB currently holds, however, is not geo-referenced, so finding imagery for a particular site and using it in geographic software is difficult. A method was developed using the rational function model to convert scanned photos into imagery with a spatial reference system, while at the same time correcting for distortions caused by elevation changes. The rational function model uses a digital elevation model and a spatial reference system from USGS DOQQ aerial photographs to reference the historic photographs. In addition, the entire conversion process is documented in an easy to use, step-by-step workflow for use in ArcGIS 10. This will enable the CCB to employ undergraduate assistants to perform the workflow to convert selected collections of historical photographs easily and consistently. (6802 kB)
Creating Orthophotos Using the Rational Function Model (Poster)


Article Location