Manage tie points in a Reality mapping workspace

Available with Advanced license.

Available for an ArcGIS organization with the ArcGIS Reality license.

This workflow describes how to inspect images and edit tie points in a Reality mapping workspace.

Tie points are common objects or locations within the overlap areas between adjacent images. These points are used to improve geometric accuracy in the block adjustment. Tie points are typically computed automatically using image matching techniques. For certain cases, however, such as images that contain large bodies of water or sand or images captured in different seasons, the automatic matching technique may not detect a sufficient number of points required for the adjustment. To address this, the Manage Tie Points pane provides tools to manually add and edit tie points.

You'll learn how to inspect images in a collection to review adjustment statistics, assess tie point coverage, activate and delete images, and edit tie points and point sets. You can filter images using the current display extent or image attribute queries, such as tie point coverage or adjustment root mean square (RMS) error.

Filter images using the Image Inspector pane

Access the Image Inspector pane in the Review group under the Reality Mapping tab. You can use the pane at any point in the Reality mapping workflow; however, you must perform a block adjustment before tie point and adjustment statistics are available for each image.

  1. From the Manage Tie Points menu in the Image Inspector pane, click the Analyze Tie Points tool Analyze Tie Pointsto generate tie point counts and coverage for each image in the collection.
  2. Click the Attributes tool and filter the list of images by adjusting the ranges for RMS, tie point coverage, and tie point count.

    You can also filter images using the Extent tool to capture points in the current display.

  3. To inspect individual images, select an image in the list.

    The image appears in the Preview window next to the image list, where you can view image information, including adjustment statistics, exterior orientation, and interior orientation.

    Some images may be dropped during the adjustment.

  4. Click the Attributes tool and select Inactive from the drop-down menu to filter dropped images. Click the Activate button Activate or Delete button Remove images to add or remove an image from the adjustment.
  5. Once you have identified images or point sets to edit, select an image and click the Edit Tie Points tool Tie Point Editor in the Image Inspector pane to edit tie points for the current image.
Image Inspector pane
The Image Inspector pane displays the filter by attributes tool.

Filter tie points using the Tie Point Editor tool

The Tie Point Editor tool allows you to review individual point sets to assess how well tie points captured the same feature in each image.

  1. Zoom to an area of interest in the image collection and turn on the tie point layer.
  2. Click the Tie Point Editor tool.
  3. Click the Filter point sets tool Filter point sets to filter tie points according to current selection, extent, image ID, point ID, or attributes.

    For example, check the Attributes filter check box and adjust the Residual slider to filter tie points with high residuals.

Edit tie points

You can add, delete, or move tie points using the Tie Point Editor tool, located under the Manage Tie Points menu in the Refine group or opened from the Image Inspector pane.


If you open the Tie Point Editor tool in the Image Inspector pane, tie points appear according to the filter settings specified in the Image Inspector pane.

  1. Select individual point sets from the Point set drop-down menu.
  2. Click the Add button Add to edit tie points in the current point set. Click and drag a tie point to move it.

    If you added an image to the preview window, use the Add button to add a tie point to the current point set.


If image geolocation accuracy is low, overlapping images may not display in the correct locations. Click the Load Images button Load Images and select the images that contain overlap. The images appear in the preview window. You can also add images using the Add Images by ID button Add Image By ID.

Add or delete a point set

To add or delete a point set, complete the following steps:

  1. Click the Add a Point Set button Add a Point Set, click the Load Images button Load Images, and draw a rectangle on the map to load the selected images to the preview windows.

    To add tie points manually, click the matching feature in each image displayed in the preview windows. You can also add points using a semiautomated process.

  2. Click Add a Point Set, click the Auto-Add Point button Auto-Add Point, and select a feature from an image.

    The same feature is automatically detected in the remaining images.

  3. Click the Delete Current Point Set button Delete Current Point Set to remove the selected point set, or click the Select Filtered Point Sets button Show Filtered Image to select all tie points in the filtered list.

    The filtered tie points are highlighted in the map display.

  4. Click the Delete all filtered point sets button Delete all filtered point sets to delete all sets in the filtered list.
Tie Point Editor pane
The Tie Point Editor pane displays image quality information for a point set, along with the matching tie point location in each overlapping image.

Run the Adjust tool to incorporate updated tie points in the adjustment. The updated results are displayed in the Image Inspector pane and Tie Point Editor pane.

Add tie points to include dropped images

An image may be excluded during block adjustment due to insufficient tie point coverage. This occurs when neighboring images do not meet minimum overlap requirements or when much of the image is covered by clouds or water, or is heavily forested. You can restore dropped images and include them in the block adjustment by adding tie points manually.


Not all excluded images need to be restored to the block to maintain project accuracy. When working with datasets that have more than three images overlapping the same area, an excluded image will not adversely impact the accuracy of the adjustment if it is not restored.

  1. Select the Image Inspector tool on the Reality Mapping tab.
  2. Click the Attributes tool and select Inactive from the drop-down menu to filter dropped images. Click the Activate Activate button to add dropped images to the adjustment.
  3. Click the Edit Tie Points tool Tie Point Editor in the Image Inspector pane.
  4. Click the Add button Add and manually add at least five tie points to each dropped image.

    The added points cover matching features in at least two adjusted, overlapping images.

  5. A best practice is to insure that points cover one-ninth of the image area.
  6. Click Adjust.

    The dropped images are included in the adjusted image collection.

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