Automation in Surveying and Mapping: Present and Future

by Morris M. Thompson, (F.ASCE), Research Civ. Engr.; Topographic Div., U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 1, Pg. 15-24

Document Type: Journal Paper


Patterns of present-day automation in photogrammetry are examined in seven broad categories: stereoplotter-computer interface; automatic image correlation; offline orthophoto systems; automated image processing; digital terrain data for engineering; ancillary photogrammetric operations; and nondigital automation. Future objectives of surveying and mapping: land data records computerized in a universal coordinate system; a new unified World datum ellipsoid; widespread use of image maps and thematic maps; a central bank of digitized cartographic information. Predicted components of a future surveying and mapping system are: position determination by use of Earth satellites; position and elevation determination by use of an inertial package in a moving vehicle; imaging systems using multispectral scanners and solid-state sensors; automated production of orthophotos, contours, and digital terrain data; automated map-finishing operations; and powerful computer techniques for complex computations and data handling.

Subject Headings: Automation and robotics | Mapping | Engineering profession | Computer vision and image processing | Computing in civil engineering | Photogrammetry | Terrain | Land surveys

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