Surveying and Mapping from Orbital Platforms

by Kam W. Wong, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL,


Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pg. 15-31


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: The methods of triangulation and photogrammetric mappings have been successfully applied to the surveying and mapping of both the moon and the earth. The accuracy of lunar phototriangulation from orbital photography is limited only by the inaccuracy of the tracking data. Orthophoto maps of the moon at a scale of 1:2,000 with a 10-m (33-ft) contour interval have been produced from Lunar Orbiter photography. In earth applications, a world-wide geodetic control network with an rms error of ±5 m (±16.4 ft) in horizontal and ±8 m (±26.2 ft) in vertical positions has been established by satellite triangulation. Photographic satellite systems have been proposed for providing space photography to be used for producing small to medium scale maps of the earth. With the increasing importance of remote sensing from satellites, the surveying and mapping profession will be responsible for developing techniques for geographic positioning, thematic mapping, and digital data bank systems.

Subject Headings: Mapping | Moon | Orbits | Aerial photography | Triangulation | Satellites | Photogrammetry

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