Define a System of Coordinates


There are several ways to define a coordinate system in an image mosaic, click "Transform photo block":

Transform the photo block into a new local coordinate system


  • 3 points that will define the coordinate system: 1 starting point of an axis, 1 point in positive direction on this axis and 1 point that defines a plane with this axis.
  • At least 1 known distance, better 2-3 known distances. 


The photo block is transformed into a new coordinate system with a similarity transformation. The coordinate system can be easily visualized with the Right Hand Rule:

Only point numbers that already exist as object points in the project can be selected. Impossible or non-existent point combinations are displayed in red.

In the 3D view the selected axes are shown as an orange line, the selected plane as a semi-transparent area.

Set X,Y,Z axis, start point of the X,Y,Z axis

With this field the starting point of an axis can be defined. If an axis is defined, those entries in the "Define planes" field are automatically dimmed which are not possible.

Point in positive direction.

Here a point must be selected which lies in an orthogonal right system in positive direction on the selected axis.

Point in the XXX plane

With this and the 2 previous points the definition plane of the coordinate system is spanned. It does not have to be somehow "perpendicular" to the other points. However, it should form as large a triangle as possible with the axis definition points.

Origin point of the coordinate system.

This point receives the coordinates 0,0,0 in the new local coordinate system.

Shift in the origin

Here you can enter a shift of the origin point. This can be useful for special applications.

Set scale with distances

At least one distance must be entered here as the scale for the coordinate system. Better are two distances, then ELCOVISION 10 can detect a scale error, best are three distances, then it can identify a wrong input. The gaps to the other distances are shown directly below the input fields, if they are too big they are colored red. The values can be accepted by clicking on ^ button below the edit field.

Unit of the coordinate system

This information is necessary e.g. for printing to scale of rectified images or if you want to export the data from ELCOVISION 10 to other programs.

Notes - Typical Sources of Errors

The distances should be of the same order of magnitude as the object to avoid additional errors due to extrapolation of a small measurement error when measuring the scaling distance:

At least 2 distances should be used: Then the programme can identify an error in the distance measurements. If 3 or more distances are used, the software can identify the distance with the biggest error.

The most common errors are:

  • The end points of the distances have been measured at an incorrect point.
  • An error was made when noting the distance, mostly transcription errors such as transposed numbers.
  • When using levelling staffs: One of the staffs was not fully extended..

Transform or georeference the photo block to a control point field


  • Minimum 4 control points measured in the images, well distributed over the object
  • Control point file in ELCOVISION 10 .coo format or Leica GSI format


The photo block is transferred to a new coordinate system with a similarity transformation. 

In the left column of the dialog you see the coordinate values of the object points in the current coordinate system, in the middle column the coordinates of the control point file, in the right column are the transformed coordinate values and the remaining gaps at the control points. If the dialog is closed a new global orientation is optionally performed. This allows to find and eliminate the remaining gaps and faulty measurements and to increase the accuracy.


For terrestrial photography, e.g. buildings: The control points should be well distributed over the object and, if possible, also be at different heights, 4-5 points per façade should be measured.

Aerial photography with drones without RTK - GPS

The following methods work very well:

Spray a cross with chalk spray in contrasting colour to the ground and spray the point number next to it, so that point mix-ups are almost impossible:

Spray chalk cross from approx. 30m height

Conventional target boards: Here, however, you have to be careful that the black squares are not faded over:

Target board from a height of approx. 40m

Paint a CD or DVD with a contrasting colour or place it on the floor with the gold or silver side facing upwards and fix it in place. The hole of the CD is an ideal point for a GPS measurement, the CD itself can be measured very precisely with a circular reticle of the magnifying window.

CD from approx. 30m height in the flowing magnifying glass with concentric circles 

Typical Sources of Error

The coordinates in the control point file are in a left hand system of coordinates:

Symptom: The transformation then either does not work at all or only with very large gaps to the control points..

How to avoid this: Use the GSI file from the instrument, ELCOVISION 10 will then do the transformation into the right coordinate system automatically.

One or more control points have been mixed up or measured at a wrong position:

Symptom: There are also large gaps or the transformation does not work.

Remedy: If more than 6-7 control points have been measured and at least 5 of them have been measured correctly, ELCOVISION 10 usually finds the wrong or mixed up control points and does not use them for the transformation of the photo block.

Transform or georeference the image viewpoints to their known viewpoints



The photo block is transformed into a new coordinate system with a similarity transformation.

In the left column of the dialog you can see the coordinate values of the images in the current coordinate system, in the right column are the transformed coordinate values of the images and the residual gaps at the image positions. With "normal" drone GPS, gaps in the range of up to 1-10m are normal, due to the poor accuracy of these GPS coordinates. With so-called RTK drones, the gaps are normally less than 10cm.

Outliers are normally detected automatically, you can also switch individual GPS coordinators on/off using the [Active] checkbox.

GPS coordinates can be used as text file, ELCOVISION 10 automatically detects if they are Cartesian coordinates or spherical coordinates.

Data format GPS coordinates - Cartesian coordinates

The file must be an ASCII file. Decimal separator must be a dot. The individual columns must be separated by at least one space or tab or a semicolon.

File_name         X           Y             Z


DSC000113.jpg      55232.211   4733432.231   520
DSC000114.jpg      55242.341   4733421.123   521

Data format GPS coordinates - Spherical coordinates

The file must be an ASCII file. Decimal separator must be a dot. The individual columns must be separated by at least one space or tab or a semicolon.

File_name          Länge       Long         Höhe


DSC000113.jpg      22.21132     35.212631     520
DSC000114.jpg      22.21138     35.212623     521

Set or move the photo block to a point

This function is useful for various special applications, e.g. for accurate transformation of image sets taken at different times. You can either enter a displacement or new coordinates for a freely selectable point, the fields in the dialog are then automatically updated accordingly.

Global orientation

Here, photo blocks can be manipulated, cameras can be recalibrated and faulty image measurements can be found.