EVALUATING THE QUALITY OF PHOTOGRAMMETRIC POINT-CLOUDS IN CHALLENGING GEO-ENVIRONMENTS – A CASE STUDY IN AN ALPINE VALLEY
Precise and accurate three-dimensional geospatial data has become increasingly available thanks to advances in both Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) and Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry (SfM). These tools provide valuable information for mapping geomorphological features and detect surface changes in mountainous environments. The exploitation of 3D point-clouds has been proven tremendously useful in the field of geosciences. It remains, however, controversial whether cost efficient photogrammetry can provide as accurate and reliable geospatial information as the significantly more expensive laser scanning or not. In this study, a rockfall case site in the territory of Obergurgl, Austria, is investigated in order to provide answers to the above question in a complex environment. The analysis includes different terrestrial photogrammetry configurations aiming to comprehensively define the strengths and limitations of terrestrial photogrammetry over TLS. The latter constitutes an optimized methodology that provides guidelines for costly future assessments as part of the site investigation phase in geohazard management. There are no doubts that compared to traditional and conventional surveying methods TLS and Photogrammetry both offer products much faster and with a much higher data density. In the current study, we show that when photogrammetry is applied following a well-defined optimized strategy, it can be potentially an adequate alternative to more costly TLS datasets for mass movement assessment and monitoring purposes.