Date of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Toby Dogwiler


The use of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) in combination with Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry is an evolving tool for geoscientists. SfM photogrammetry allows for rapid acquisition of the data that is required to create orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSMs) for a variety of field applications. Ground Control Points (GCPs) are used to reconstruct the DSM and evaluate the accuracy of aerial imagery collected from sUAS. When acquiring data for SfM photogrammetry, GCPs are required for spatial referencing. However, questions remain open regarding the effect of methodological techniques on the precision and accuracy of the resulting DSMs. This study focuses on assessing the relationship between DSM accuracy and the GCP methodology used to georeference the imagery. By determining the minimal number of GCPs necessary for a specific level of accuracy and precision in the final DSM products, both time and money are saved during data collection and processing.


ground control point, structure from motion, photogrammetry, drone, small unmanned aerial system, digital surface model, digital elevation model

Subject Categories

Other Earth Sciences | Other Environmental Sciences


© Bailey Dianne Wolf

Open Access