Ground Control Points

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Create Accurate Data

CompassData is the world’s leader in providing GCP data for aerial photogrammetry, drone imagery, remotely sensed data by satellites and other GIS applications.

CompassData has decades of field experience and ISO certified processes ensuring accuracy, currency, and standard formats. Whether you are working with imagery, LiDAR, radar, or multispectral data captured from satellite, aerial, drone, mobile or terrestrial platforms, Ground Control Points ensure that your project contains “Ground Truth” – the data is tied to a specific, human-verified location on earth.

Geospatial Accuracy

At CompassData, we strive for precise geospatial accuracy, as it is crucial for many industries, and various techniques can be used to achieve it. Our customers can create highly detailed and accurate representations of the earth’s surface, enabling them to make informed decisions about development and management.

gps ground control points

• Image Orthorectification

LiDAR and 3D Models

UAV based Sensors

Airport Mapping Databases

Surface Elevation Mapping

• Sensor Calibration

• Driverless Vehicle Navigation

• Planimetric (GIS) Mapping

• Urban Planning / Engineering

Utility Mapping

GCP Project Specifications

• GCP survey planned to capture best suited feature types (photo-identifiable with contrast, permanent, and flat features)

• Ground Control Points are tailored to end-product accuracy requirements

• Digital pictures of the GCP location from each cardinal direction

• Image chip showing GCP location

• Field Station Diagram (sketch)

• ESRI ARCGIS shapefile and Google Earth KML

• Coordinate file containing Lat/Long and Elevation with data converted to the desired spatial reference and coordinate system

• Post processing Accuracy Report

Per ISO and FAA Certified Quality Processes

CompassData strives to meet and exceed the customers project requirements:


How are GCPs Created and What are They Used For?

Ground Control Points, or GCPs, are surveyed position on the surface of the earth which are photo-identifiable, for example, a sidewalk corner or concrete pad, with a known horizontal (X, Y) and vertical (Z) location. They are used in remote sensing workflows to increase and/or assess the accuracy of datasets captured from satellite, aerial, drone, mobile or terrestrial platforms.

Using geodetic processing methods, the coordinates result in an accuracy of centimeters of their true location. Without ground control, the accuracies for non-orthorectified, satellite images are typically 10-200 meters off, aerial imagery by single meters, and models from the drone flights would be distorted. Remotely sensed imagery and LIDAR data can be georeferenced to within centimeters of accuracy when incorporating GCPs.

When is Submeter, or Better, Accuracy Required?

With the growing constellation of commercial earth-observation satellites, there has been an explosion of spatial data in our everyday lives. Once the realm of surveyors and rocket scientists, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS or GNSS) technology is now in our automobiles, wrist watches and cell phones. It is becoming increasingly tied to data, be it a satellite image of the earth or the map location of a restaurant we just made reservations to while stuck in traffic.
How does the satellite image and internet display the restaurant within meters of its real location? GCPs. GCPs were used to geolocate the satellite image and the map that was digitized from the image and displayed in the application. Positional accuracy will become even more critical as we progress in the age of driverless vehicles.

RSGCP: Remotely Sensed GCP

CompassData produces Remotely Sensed Ground Control Points (RSGCP™) of less than or equal to 1-meter, guaranteed, providing ground control for those areas that are restricted, too remote, or too dangerous for field data collection.

GCP Worldwide Archive

With over 65,000 GCPs and growing, download the world’s largest commercially available Ground Control Point Archive