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Virtual globes for UAV-based data integration: Sputnik GIS and Google Earth™ applications

Arza-García, Marcos, Gil-Docampo, Mariluz, Ortiz-Sanz, Juan, Martínez-Rodríguez, Santiago
International journal of digital earth 2019 v.12 no.5 pp. 583-593
Internet, computer software, geographic information systems, monitoring, unmanned aerial vehicles
The integration of local measurements and monitoring via global-scale Earth observations has become a new challenge in digital Earth science. The increasing accessibility and ease of use of virtual globes (VGs) represent primary advantages of this integration, and the digital Earth scientific community has adopted this technology as one of the main methods for disseminating the results of scientific studies. In this study, the best VG software for the dissemination and analysis of high-resolution UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) data is identified for global and continuous geographic scope support. The VGs Google Earth and Sputnik Geographic Information System (GIS) are selected and compared for this purpose. Google Earth is a free platform and one of the most widely used VGs, and one of its best features its ability to provide users with quality visual results. The proprietary software Sputnik GIS more closely approximates the analytical capacity of a traditional GIS and provides outstanding advantages, such as DEM overlapping and visualization for its dissemination.