Create a Reality mapping workspace for satellite imagery

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

Available for an ArcGIS organization with the ArcGIS Reality license.

The data requirements and workflow below explain how to set up a Reality mapping workspace using satellite imagery.

Data requirements

The workflow for processing satellite imagery requires two types of data:

  • Satellite images with an associated RPC file—The Rational Polynomial Coefficient (RPC) file is a text file delivered with the satellite imagery by the provider. The RPC file is used to support the geometric correction of satellite images and as such is a mandatory requirement.

    Depending on the satellite imagery vendor, the file may be called a RPC or RPB file, and may sometimes be a .txt file. They all refer to the same type of information—an abstraction of the satellite camera model.

  • Elevation source—This information provides an initial height reference for computing the block adjustment. This height reference can be derived from a digital elevation model (DEM), the image metadata, or you can specify an average elevation or z-value.

    If you need to perform an RPC adjustment, it is recommended that you use a local DEM or DEM layer.

Create a Reality mapping workspace

To create a Reality mapping workspace using satellite imagery, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Imagery tab, click New Workspace.
  2. On the Workspace Configuration page, type a name for the workspace.
  3. Ensure that the Workspace Type option is set to Reality Mapping.
  4. From the Sensor Data Type drop-down list, choose Satellite.
  5. Optionally, from the Basemap drop-down list, choose a basemap as a backdrop for the image collection.
  6. Optionally, check the Allow adjustment reset check box if you want to revert your workspace to a previous state.

    You can also import and use an existing image collection or mosaic dataset for your workspace

    New Reality Mapping Workspace wizard

  7. Click Next.

    The workflow wizard advances to the next pane, Image Collection.

  8. In the Image Collection window, under the Sensor Type drop-down menu, choose an appropriate sensor type from the list of satellite sensors.
  9. Under Folder Containing Images, click the Browse button and browse to the folder on disk containing the imagery, select it, then click OK.
  10. Under Spatial Reference, click the Browse button spatial reference and set the Current XY and Current Z coordinates for the project.

    When processing satellite imagery in Reality Mapping, the planimetric (XY) coordinate system needs to be defined using the WGS84 UTM reference frame, and the Vertical Coordinate System needs to be WGS84 (ellipsoid).

  11. Click OK to close the Spatial Reference window.

    Image Collection pane

  12. Click Next.

    The workflow wizard advances to the next pane, Data Loader Options.

  13. On the Data Loader tab, under Elevation Source, choose DEM.
    1. Under DEM, click the browse button to browse to disk and select a local DEM. If a local DEM is not available, the default world elevation service can be used.
  14. Under Geoid correction, ensure EGM96 is selected.
  15. Under Processing Template, choose the appropriate processing template based on your project requirements.

    If you want to generate a DSM, choose the Panchromatic template. If you want to generate a DSM mesh, choose the Multispectral template.

    Data Loader Options pane

  16. Accept all other defaults, and click Finish to create the workspace.

When the Reality mapping workspace is created, the image collection is loaded in the workspace and displayed on the map. You can now perform block adjustments and generate Reality mapping products.

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