I have high resolution images, georeferenced using google satellite images on QGIS. I overlay the image on top of sentinel-2, I see some areas do not match or shifted (e.g. river). Does anyone have this problem and know how to solve this?

When I just see the google satellite images, they do not match exactly with Sentinel-2 images when I zoom in. I'm using information from high resolution images to train and use them to classify land types, so it is important that they match exactly.

  • 1
    It sounds like what you're describing is temporal difference, rivers change their course over time, roads are modified and houses built (and demolished).. this happens when you have two datasets of the same area but different times - the larger the time difference the greater the temporal difference. All you can do is identify the areas of significant change and exclude them from your training/learning area. – Michael Stimson Apr 11 '18 at 22:53
  • 2
    How far have they shift? A few metres or a few hundred metres...it would be beneficial to see this shift. – Keagan Allan Apr 12 '18 at 6:49
  • It'd be wise to have your high resolution images to match with another higher resolution image. Do you know what number is your high resolution image that you have ? – PROBERT Apr 16 '18 at 15:08
  • Also keep in mind that the high resolution images in Google Earth are aimed to be visually pleasing and not necessarily always accurate. Location inaccuracies are to be expected when comparing to this dataset. – Kersten Apr 19 '18 at 10:36

The geometric performance specification of Sentinel-2 images is to achieve <20m error. So assuming your UAV imagery is perfectly geolocated, then a misalignment of up to 20m is to be expected. See the Sentinel-2 performance specifications.

Also note that google earth imagery is not always perfectly geolocated. This can easily be seen in places where different images are stitched together to make the composite, and the edges misalign. Example:

enter image description here


I am assuming the UAV image is higher resolution than the Sentinel-2 image and due to resolution difference between the UAV image and the Sentinel-2 image, it wouldn't possible for them to exactly match. If the image is geo-referenced with very minimal error the only shift would be due to difference in resolution.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.