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What is Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) ?

In aerial mapping applications, the Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) represents the distance, measured on the ground, between the centers of two adjacent pixels within a digital image. For example, an image with 5cm/pixel GSD means the locations of two consecutive pixels are 5cm apart on the ground. 

Remind that:

  • A higher GSD indicates that less details will be visible from the images since the resolution is lower ("higher GSD => lower resolution")
  • GSD is an indicator for the area represented by one pixel. For example a 2cm/px GSD means a pixel accounts for a ground area of 2 cm x 2 cm  = 4

The GSD information, in a project where a photogrammety process was conducted, is indicated on the Photogrammetry Accuracy Reports. In the example below, the average GSD was 1.7 cm/pixel:


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