The University of Southampton

GEOG6057 Topographic Data Analysis Techniques and Applications

Module Overview

This module will introduce three dimensional remote sensing techniques and contemporary methods of deriving topographic information from three dimensional remote sensing and photogrammetric data.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To introduce three dimensional remote sensing techniques and contemporary methods of deriving topographic information from three dimensional remote sensing and photogrammetric data • To provide students with practical experience and training of intrepreting and processing three dimensional remotely sensed data.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the key concepts and terminology used in 3D remote sensing
  • Critically analyse literature on the principles underlying and technological developments in 3D remote sensing
  • Analyse and interpret 3D remotely sensed data
  • Understand different sources of 3D remote sensing data (Stereo aerial photograph and satellite data, terrestrial and airborne laser scanner)
  • Understand the methods of deriving topographical information from aerial photographs and remote sensing imageries
  • Understand relevant areas and examples where 3D remote sensing data can be applied
  • Pursue knowledge in an ordered way
  • Produce fluent and comprehensive written reports on complex topics
  • Use computational skills in the analysis of three dimensional terrain models
  • Conduct laboratory based analyses of 3D remotely sensed data (Primary using Envi, Arc and cyclone software), collected from different sources, in an appropriate and safe manner
  • Use appropriate techniques to produce analytical products such as Digital elevation models(DEM), Digital terrain model (DTM) etc.


The unit will be divided into two broad sections: Optical data and Laser scanning data Optical data • Introduction to photogrammetry: air survey camera; film; flying height; photo geometry • Air photo interpretation: elements recognition; true and false colour imagery; anaglyphic viewing • Photomapping: stereoplotting; air mosaics; orthophotography • Digital photogrammetry: softcopy; close range; high resolution remote sensing • Introduction to stereo satellite products • Orthorectification and DEM generation from satellite data • Environmental application of digital topographic products Software tools: Envi, ERDAS and Arc GIS Laser scanning data • Principle of Lidar remote sensing • Acquisition and pre-processing of Lidar data (Terrestrial and airborne) • Methods for 3D city models using pre-processed airborne lidar data • Methods for extracting vegetation information from airborne lidar data • Selected applications of terrestrial and airborne lidar data Software tools: Arc GIS and Cyclone

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A combination of teaching and learning methods are employed to provide students with the necessary knowledge, structure and opportunities to achieve the learning outcomes. Lectures provide a sound knowledge base and structure for further independent study. Practical computing sessions provide students with opportunities to develop practical skills and to link theory with practice. In addition to this, guest speakers ( drawn from the UK remote sensing industry) will provide students with knowledge of current practice and applications of 3D remote sensing in industry.

Independent Study115
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Formative assessments will be carried out through a series of weekly quizzes using blackboard. Summative assessment will be carried out by means of coursework. The coursework will relate to a series of computer based practical sessions in which students will undertake a set of topographic data analysis and processing operations. In total four instructions based practical sessions will be undertaken and the students have to solve a problem based on each practical session and produce a report (2000 words) on the outcome.Each report will have a component based on independent research, where students will be asked to give some specific examples from literature on application of specific techniques they learned during the practical.


MethodPercentage contribution
Report 25%
Report 25%
Report 25%
Report 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%
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