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Title: Using existing infrastructure as ground control points to support citizen science coastal UAS monitoring programs
Recent publications have described the ability of citizen scientists to conduct unoccupied aerial system (UAS) flights to collect data for coastal management. Ground control points (GCPs) can be collected to georeference these data, however collecting ground control points require expensive surveying equipment not accessible to citizen scientists. Instead, existing infrastructure can be used as naturally occurring ground control points (NGCPs), although availably of naturally occurring ground control point placement on such infrastructure differs from published best practices of ground control point placement. This study therefore evaluates the achievable accuracy of sites georeferenced with naturally occurring ground control points through an analysis of 20 diverse coastal sites. At most sites naturally occurring ground control points produced horizontal and vertical root mean square errors (RMSE) less than 0.060 m which are similar to those obtained using traditional ground control points. To support future unoccupied aerial system citizen science coastal monitoring programs, an assessment to determine the optimal naturally occurring ground control point quantity and distribution was conducted for six coastal sites. Results revealed that generally at least seven naturally occurring ground control points collected in the broadest distribution across the site will result in a horizontal and vertical root mean square errors less than 0.030 m and 0.075 m respectively. However, the relationship between these placement characteristics and root mean square errors was poor, indicating that georeferencing accuracy using naturally occurring ground control points cannot be optimized solely through ideal quantity and distribution. The results of these studies highlight the value of naturally occurring ground control points to support unoccupied aerial system citizen science coastal monitoring programs, however they also indicate a need for an initial accuracy assessment of sites surveyed with naturally occurring ground control points at the onset of such programs.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
James Kevin Summers, United States
Publisher / Repository:
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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