Introduction to oriented imagery

Oriented imagery is an ArcGIS-wide capability that allows you to integrate non-traditional imagery into your GIS. Oriented imagery provides a comprehensive solution for efficient management, visualization, and exploration of imagery captured from any angle.

Oriented images

The oriented imagery capability is designed to support most kinds of imagery, assuming you have the required metadata. Supported types of oriented imagery include oblique drone imagery, close-range inspection images, and street-level images taken by mobile devices. Oriented imagery is not suitable for orthorectification due to several factors, including high oblique orientation (where the camera field of view is partially or completely above the horizon), insufficient metadata, confusing content in the background, or subject matter with significant vertical structure.

Oriented imagery is ideal for integrating non-nadir imagery into your GIS, but it does also support the more traditional nadir and high-oblique images that are familiar to GIS users. Often, though, a dynamic or tiled image service may serve your needs better for these imagery formats.

In addition to a wide array of formats, the oriented imagery capability also supports images acquired from a wide array of platforms, including aerial platforms, drones, terrestrial vehicles, handheld devices, or even tripods.

Oriented imagery management workflow

Collections of oriented imagery are managed using oriented imagery datasets authored in ArcGIS Pro. The dataset can be created and managed within a geodatabase using the Oriented Imagery toolbox. The dataset defines both collection-wide properties, such as the elevation source, as well as image-specific metadata, such as the camera location and orientation. The images are not managed by the oriented imagery dataset; instead, the dataset points to the images wherever they're stored. The images can be in local or network storage, or they can be in publicly accessible cloud storage.

When the oriented imagery dataset is added to a map, it's visualized as an oriented imagery layer. You can also create an optional coverage footprint feature class, which will show all the areas on a map that are depicted in the oriented imagery dataset.

The oriented imagery layer can be shared to ArcGIS Online or an ArcGIS Enterprise 11.2 portal like any other operational layer. When published, the oriented imagery layer will be a sublayer within a feature layer item. Optionally, you can also publish the coverage footprint features as a second sublayer in the feature layer item. When added to a web map in Map Viewer or a map in ArcGIS Pro, the images can be viewed with the oriented imagery viewer.

Oriented imagery viewer

The oriented imagery viewer allows the user to explore and exploit their oriented images. Pick a point on a map, and view any image in your collection that depicts that point. You can view assets from multiple directions and enhance contrast, brightness and sharpening to better see an image. As you pan and zoom in an image, you'll see the camera's field of view dynamically update on the map (and see how it relates to any vector data in the map).

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