Orthorectify a single satellite scene

The tools and capabilities in the Ortho Mapping suite allow you to create an orthomosaic from a collection of satellite images. When you only need one satellite scene to be orthorectified, you can also use the Geometric function and Georeference tool to orthorectify it. To accomplish this, you need the following data:

  • A satellite scene with the proper rational polynomial coefficients (RPC) model in the metadata
  • A digital elevation model (DEM) with suitable resolution and accuracy for your data and study area
  • Ground control points (GCPs)

Saving the ArcGIS Pro project does not save the current state of a georeferencing session. Export your control points before you close the project.

Orthorectify using georeferencing tools

To orthorectify a single satellite scene, first use the Geometric raster function to add a DEM to use with your satellite imagery. Then you can georeference the image with GCPs.

  1. In ArcGIS Pro, add the raster product of the satellite scene you want to orthorectify.
  2. Use the Raster Function Editor pane to modify the geometry of your image.
    1. In the Contents pane, right-click the raster layer and click Edit Function Chain.

      The Raster Function Editor pane appears and displays the raster function chain.

    2. In the Raster Function Editor pane, double-click the Geometric function.
    3. In the Geometric Properties dialog box, set Raster to the layer you want to orthorectify.
    4. Set Method to Use DEM.
    5. Set DEM to the elevation dataset.
    6. Check the Geoid option if the DEM is in orthometric height.
    7. Click OK to set the new geometric properties.
    8. In the Raster Function Editor pane, click Validate Validate to validate the function chain.
    9. If the validation is successful, click Apply Run. If the validation is not successful, or has warnings, resolve any issues according to the error messages.
    10. Optionally, close the editor window.

  3. In the Contents pane, click the source raster layer you want to georeference.
  4. Click the Imagery tab and click Georeference to open the Georeference tab.

    The tools on the Georeference tab are divided into several groups to help you use the correct tools in the different phases of your georeferencing session.

  5. In the Prepare group, click Set SRS Set spatial reference system.

    If your raster dataset already has a spatial reference, it is automatically used as the coordinate system for the map and the georeferencing session. If your raster dataset does not have a spatial reference, the Map Properties dialog box appears, and you can choose the coordinate system for the georeferencing session. The default spatial reference is the current coordinate system of the map.

  6. In the Adjust group, click the Add Control Points tool Add Control Points to create control points.
    1. Select and right-click a known location in the raster you are georeferencing (the source layer).

      The Target Coordinates dialog box appears.

    2. Enter the corresponding GCPs for this location (as x,y coordinates).
    3. Click OK.
    4. Repeat these substeps for all your GCPs.
  7. On the Transforms drop-down menu Transformation, choose the transformation you want to use.

    First-order polynomial

    Use for relatively flat terrain. A minimum of three control points are required.

    Second-order polynomial

    Use for areas with large terrain variation. A minimum of six control points are required.

  8. In the Review group, click the Control Point Table button Open Control Point Table to evaluate the residual error for each control point.

    Press the L key to switch the transparency of your source raster on and off.

  9. Delete any unwanted control points using the Control Point table. Alternatively, edit the inaccurate points by selecting them and moving the vertices.
  10. When you're satisfied with the current alignment, stop entering control points.
  11. Optionally, click Export Control Points Export Control Points to save the control points to a text file.
  12. In the Save group, choose Save as New Save as new to save the georeferencing information to a newly created raster dataset.

    The georeferencing information cannot be saved to a raster product. Use Save as New to save the georeferenced raster as a new dataset.

  13. Use the Export Raster pane to save the orthorectified raster dataset. For more information about Export Raster, see Export or convert raster datasets.

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