My challenge is to replace most of the remote sensing commercial tools with R code (I'm teaching assistant at the University and I would like to move to open source R code to show the added values to the students). I'm currently stuck as I cannot find a way to perform geometric correction of remote sensing data. The exercise should be:

  1. Select Ground Control Points on both the georeferenced image and the image to correct
  2. Use polynomial mapping for image correction (students should try to test different polynomial order and calculate the RMSE for each step)
  3. Warp the image in a defined projection using the interpolation method (either nearest neighbour, bi-linear interpolation, cubic convolution)

The 2 last steps could be processed using GDAL but it is not really interactive with R.

Does someone has any idea or experience with such processing?

  • +1 Interesting topic. However, you will find R to be an unsuitable platform for image processing in the remote sensing world.
    – Aaron
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 20:48
  • @ Aaron : I agree with you for some points. But for image processing such as matrix algebra, it appaered to be really powerfulll and easy to use.
    – Wraf
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 8:23
  • @Wraf Take a look at the gdalUtils package on r-forge (you can do both 1-2 with this package) and you can use the raster package for the third point. Another interesting open source project is GRASS (R integrated through the spgrass6 package)
    – dickoa
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


My experience when working at the Remote Sensing Group at the Centre for Geophysical Research, University of Costa Rica was quite satisfying. Actually I designed Image Processing software at the user level and other members of the group who were proficient programmers wrote the routines using C++, Turbo Pascal and assembler.

The routine for geometric correction using affine transformation was written by Dr.Javier Soley, who died on 25 December 2012. Anyway, the routine runs on a 32 bit MS-Windows platform from the system prompt. You will have to rewrite the routine in order to fit your programming environment and I am willing to help you.

Please do review the paper Remote Sensing at the Centre for Geophysical Research, University of Costa Rica. J. A. Amador, A. S. Burgos, F. J. Soley, G. Serpas and A. Vargas. "International Journal of Remote Sensing.", 1993, Vol. 14, No. 12, 2391 2401.

A. S. Burgos, [email protected]

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