The Accuracy of GIS Tools for Transforming Assumed Total Station Surveys to Real World Coordinates


Most surveying works for mapping or GIS applications are performed with total station. Due to the remote nature of many of the sites surveyed, the surveys are often done in unprojected, local, assumed coordinate systems. However, without the survey data projected in real world coordinates, the range of possible analyses is limited and the value of existing imagery, elevation models, and hydrologic layers cannot be exploited. This requires a transformation from the local assumed to the real world coordinate systems. There are various built-in and add-in tools to perform transformations through GIS programs. This paper studies the effect of using Georeferencing tool, Spatial Adjustment tool (Affine and similarity) and CHaMP tool on the precision and relative accuracy of total station survey. This transformation requires real-world coordinates of at least two control points, which can be collected from different sources. This paper also studies the effect of using geodetic GPS, hand-held GPS, Google Earth (GE) and Bing Basemaps as sources for control points on the precision and relative accuracy of total station survey. These effects have been tested by using 111 points covered area of 60,000 m2and the results have shown that the CHaMP tool is the best for preserving the relative accuracy of the transformed points. The Georeferencing and spatial adjustment (similarity) tools give the same results and their accuracy are between 1/1000 and 1/300 depending on the source of control points. The results have also shown that the cornerstone to preserve the precision and relative accuracy of the transformed coordinates is the relative position of the control points despite their source.

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R. Khalil, "The Accuracy of GIS Tools for Transforming Assumed Total Station Surveys to Real World Coordinates," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 5 No. 5, 2013, pp. 486-491. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2013.55045.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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