I am looking for a way to take images from an airplane window, and record lat/lon/elevation and camera roll,pitch,yaw to image exif data.

The purpose for this is to project detected objects in an image onto their DEM-plane locations (i.e. This detected object is at this lat/lon/elevation)

Drone tech. has gotten very good at doing this, but there seems to be no straightforward solution to capturing the same info with similar precision with a hand-operated DSLR camera.

Is anyone aware of a solution to do this?

For context I want to count caribou from an airplane by way of taking photos of herds.

1 Answer 1


The Open Camera application for Android devices will record the location, elevation, and pitch, roll, and yaw and record those data to the image EXIF data. Of course, the elevation values will be WGS84 ellipsoid elevation so you will need to use something like vDatum or Proj to convert those vertical datums into the elevation datum of your surface models.

Maybe contact your camera dealer to ensure your GNSS enabled camera also includes an IMU unit and that those pitch/roll/yaw values are being recorded. At most you will get an azimuth of the camera from the GNSS unit.

There are a few posts to GIS Stack Exchange with requests for help on auto-georeferencing images taken with cameras that have those data recorded. For example here, and here. I have this project as a work in progress but accuracy is limited by the quality of the sensors and the underlying terrain but would be well suited for caribou counting.

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