Dandois, JP; Ellis, EC (2013). High spatial resolution three-dimensional mapping of vegetation spectral dynamics using computer vision. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 136, 259-276.
High spatial resolution three-dimensional (3D) measurements of vegetation by remote sensing are advancing ecological research and environmental management However, substantial economic and logistical costs limit this application, especially for observing phenological dynamics in ecosystem structure and spectral traits. Here we demonstrate a new aerial remote sensing system enabling routine and inexpensive aerial 3D measurements of canopy structure and spectral attributes, with properties similar to those of LIDAR, but with RGB (red-green-blue) spectral attributes for each point, enabling high frequency observations within a single growing season. This "Ecosynth" methodology applies photogrammetric "Structure from Motion" computer vision algorithms to large sets of highly overlapping low altitude (<130 m) aerial photographs acquired using off-the-shelf digital cameras mounted on an inexpensive (