Incorporate Ground Control Points (GCP) during creation of Mosaic Datasets

06-21-2011 03:30 AM
Regular Contributor
In ArcGIS 10, we can do rectifcation with RPC or ortho-rectifcation with RPC & DEM from Raw Bundle of imagery (IKONOS, GeoEye, QuickBird, OrbView, etc). But it would be very useful to also include GCP from references or surveying data when creating a Mosaic Dataset to improve accuaracy. Or, enhance the 'Georeferencing' tool in Desktop to work with Mosaic Datasets, in particular the "Update Georeferencing" option. 

For background on the reasons for this workflow, please see below:

For engineering-grade accuracy of processed images, 2-3 pixels are allowable in shift (horizontal), corresponding to historical GIS & imagery references or surveying data [those references can be used to collect ground control points (GCP)].

As we know, for example, with RPC and very-high-resolution DEM, GeoEye-1 can offer up to five-meter (10-pixel) geo-location accuracy, which means that customers can map natural and man-made features to within five meters (about sixteen feet) of their actual location on the surface of the Earth. So far, no other commercial imaging system can do this. [Of course, only using RPC without DEM, GeoEye-1 geolocation accuracy becomes poorer, even up to 10-meter (20-pixel) in shift...]

Link to the following research for more at

So, without GCP's integration during rectification or ortho-rectification, the spatial accuracies of finally-processed Mosaic Datasets are usually not enough to meet the basic requirements for some GIS applications requring accurate imagery.
This idea is of interest to the PUG ( ) and applies to raster format data.
From Esri: This will be partially resolved in the 10.2 release. You can use georeferencing tool with Mosaic dataset and utilize X,Y control. This can be used to improve the accuracy. The georeferencing tools provide ability to determine RMS of different transform to be applied.

ArcGIS Ideas Moderator
This would be incredibly useful as a Function Chain.  You can capture the GCP points or already have a GCP file.  The result can be that you decide which transformation function you would apply (first/second/third order, etc.)  You can apply those changes at any time.  This give flexibility to the end-user.

Has anyone used this in 10.2 and determined whether this is available and can be applied to the image when you add it to a Mosaic Dataset without permanently rectifying the image?
by Anonymous User
 Pug Idea List 2014:  Kteve Kopp, ESRI Lead
Need to clarify expectations. We think this is for block adjustment to approve accuracy in ground control, not sure if this is going to be possible.  GCP might be added soon to mosaics.  Need additional information from the Raster team.