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Short Citation:
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, 2024: Orthorectification and Mosaicking of Color Aerial Photography for the Main Eight Hawaiian Islands: Lanai (318s-0506),

Item Identification

Title: Orthorectification and Mosaicking of Color Aerial Photography for the Main Eight Hawaiian Islands: Lanai (318s-0506)
Short Name: 318s-0506
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2002-01-02

Habitat maps of the main Hawaiian Islands were created by visual interpretation of aerial photos and hyperspectral imagery using the Habitat Digitizer extension. Aerial photographs are valuable tools for natural resource managers and researchers since they provide an excellent record of the location and extent of habitats. However, spatial distortions in aerial photographs due to such factors as camera angle, lens characteristics, and relief displacement must be accounted for during analysis to prevent incorrect measurements of area, distance, and other spatial parameters. These distortions of scale within an image can be removed through orthorectification. During orthorectification, digital scans of aerial photos are subjected to algorithms that eliminate each source of spatial distortion. The result is a georeferenced digital mosaic of several photographs with uniform scale throughout the mosaic. Features near land are generally georeferenced with greater accuracy while the accuracy of features away from land is generally not as good. Where no land is in the original photographic frame only kinematic GPS locations and image tie points were used to georeference the images. After an orthorectified mosaic is created, photointerpreters can accurately and reliably delineate boundaries of features in the imagery as they appear on the computer monitor using a software interface such as the Habitat Digitizer.


The National Ocean Service is conducting research to digitally map biotic resources and coordinate a long-term monitoring program that can detect and predict change in U.S. coral reefs, and their associated habitats and biological communities.




Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Remotely Sensed Imagery/Photos
None aerial photography
None benthic
None coral
None habitat
None mangrove
None oceans
None reef
None SAV
None seagrass

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Hawaii
None Lanai
None U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone
None United States

Physical Location

Organization: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: remote-sensing image
Distribution Liability:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science(NCCOS) produced this data CD-ROM. NCCOS Biogeography Program doesnot guarantee the accuracy of the geographic features or attributes.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 437763
Date Effective From: 2002-01-02
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:


CC ID: 437765
Date Effective From: 2002-01-02
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 437766
Date Effective From: 2002-01-02
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 437764
Date Effective From: 2002-01-02
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Principal Investigator

CC ID: 437767
Date Effective From: 2002-01-02
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Battista, Tim
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 437770
W° Bound: -156.8542
E° Bound: -156.7462
N° Bound: 20.8406
S° Bound: 20.7623

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 437769
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 2000

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Grid: Yes

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

Project information is available online or on CD-ROM through the NCCOS Biogeography Program.;

Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:


Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 437771
Download URL:

Downloadable Data

File Type (Deprecated): MrSID
Distribution Format: SID-MrSID/Multiresolution Seamless Image DB



CC ID: 437760
URL Type:
Online Resource


CC ID: 437761
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 437792
Activity Date/Time: 2013-12-23

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 437791
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 584052
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 599158
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-01

Replaced entire Lineage section to populate new Source Contribution field.

Activity Log 5

CC ID: 716382
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows 2000 Version 5.0(Build 2195) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog

Data Quality

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Average spatial accuracy of individual photomosaics is reported in Chapter 3 of Benthic Habitats of the Main Hawaiian Islands. Positional accuracy was determined by solution of Softplotter generated model (RMS less than 1) and by comparison to independent ground control data. The georegistration of these photographs is at least 95% sigma RMS of 5 meters.

Completeness Measure:

Cloud Cover: 2

Completeness Report:

No color balancing was attempted since this alters color and textural signatures in the original imagery and interferes with the photointerpreter's ability to delineate habitats. As a result mosaics have visible seams between adjacent photos. This provides the photointerpreter with "true color" imagery for maximum ability to identify and delineate benthic features.

Conceptual Consistency:

Once all of the photographs were orthorectified, the best segments of each photograph were selected for creation of the final mosaic. Segments of each photograph were selected to minimize sun glint, cloud interference, and turbidity in the final mosaic. Where possible, parts of images obscured by sunglint or clouds were replaced with cloud/glint free parts of overlapping images. As a result, most mosaics have few or no clouds or sun glint obscuring bottom features.



Color Aerial Photographs Main Hawaiian Islands Collected by NOAA Year 2000

CC ID: 599159
Contact Name: Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS),National Geodetic Survey (NGS)
Publish Date: 2000-01-01
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2000
Scale Denominator: 24000
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Photographs were scanned and orthorectified. | Source Geospatial Form: remote-sensing image | Type of Source Media: paper

digital elevation models

CC ID: 599160
Contact Name: United States Geological Survey
Publish Date: 2001-11-01
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2001
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Elevation data was used to correct for relief displacement in the photographs. | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: cartridge tape

ground control points

CC ID: 599161
Contact Name: Analytical Laboratories of Hawaii
Publish Date: 2002-01-01
Extent Type: Range
Extent Start Date/Time: 2001
Extent End Date/Time: 2002
Source Contribution:

Fixed ground features visible in the scannedphotos were selected for GCPs which were then used to georeferencethe imagery | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: various media

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 599162

Aerial photographs were acquired for the main Hawaiian Islands Benthic Mapping Project in 2000 by NOAA Aircraft Operation Centers aircraft and National Geodetic Survey cameras and personnel. Approximately 1,449, color 9x9 inch photos were taken of the coastal waters of the main Hawaiian Islands at a 1:24,000 scale. Prints and diapositives were created from the original negatives. Diapositivies were then scanned at a resolution of 500 dpi using a photogrammetric quality scanner, yielding one by one meter pixels for the 1:24,000 scale photography. All scans were saved in TIFF format for the purposes of orthorectification and photointerpretation. Georeferencing/Mosaicking of the TIFFs was performed using a variety of softcopy photogrammetric software including Socet Set Version4.2.1, Autometric Softplotter, PCI OrthoEngine, and Erdas OrthoBASE. First, lens correction parameters were applied to each frame to eliminate image distortion. Airborne kinematic GPS was then used, to provide first order georegistration. Image to image tie-points were then used to further co-register the imagery, especially for photos taken over open water when ground control points were not available. Fixed ground features visible in the scanned photos were selected for ground control points (GCPs)which were then used to georeference imagery. GCPs were measured using a Differentially-corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS). We obtained points with a wide distribution throughout the imagery, especially on peninsulas and outer islands whenever possible since this results in the most accurate registration throughout each image. Only ground control points for terrestrial features were collected due to the difficulty of obtaining precise positions for submerged features. Pre-existing USGS 10-meter digital elevation models were used to correct for relief displacement

Process Date/Time: 2002-01-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 38691
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:38691
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 12:48+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-17 16:12+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-02-08
Owner Org: NCCOS
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2018-02-08
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2019-02-08