Digital vs. Analog Mapping

The aerial photographs below are examples of analog imagery (film) on the left compared to digital imagery (right). You can see the digital image is much sharper with greater contrast and color saturation. Click on the pictures to get a full screen comparison.

In addition to the visual advantages that digital imagery offers, the amount of imagery that a digital camera can store far surpasses film based analog cameras. This allows longer flights which cover more area with digital cameras. The digital data is easier to handle, ship, or transmit and readily suits image processing, enhancement, registration and integration with GIS.

These photos are provided courtesy of i-cubed LLC who also provided the comparative comments on the technology employed. Click on the image to see an enlarged view.

Copyright © 2009 i-cubed, All rights reserved

Copyright © 2009 i-cubed, All rights reserved

ANALOG AERIAL PHOTO DIGITAL AERIAL PHOTO
Leica RC30 Leica ADS80 Digital Sensor
  • High quality lenses offer the highest resolution
  • Proven and reliable components and outstanding long-term stability
  • Forward motion compensation
  • Gyro-stabilized mount
  • Automatic exposure meter
  • Communication with other systems
  • Data annotation on each photograph
  • Modular design, micro-processor controlled
  • Co-registered, equal resolution imagery in panchromatic, color and color-infrared provides more information
  • Increased cycle time allows even smaller resolution (<5 cm) at faster flying speeds
  • Direct georeferencing reduces the need for sidelap, ground control points shortening  production time significantly
  • Flash memory for data storage ensures higher reliability and reduced payload
  • Increased data throughput allows simultaneous data acquisition for photogrammetry and remote sensing
  • Data compression provides higher image quality in all bands
  • No need for pan-sharpening, no “virtual images”