Short Description of Underwater Digital Photomosaics
Underwater landscape mosaics are created by acquiring downward-looking images over an area of interest, aligning them through sequential and global feature matching algorithms, then blending component images into a single spatially-explicit composite (Lirman et al., 2007; Gintert et al., 2012). Landscape mosaics utilize off-the-shelf underwater still and video camera systems, such as GoPro™, to create large (100s to 1000s m2) composites with the spatial resolution of individual images taken close to the seabed (Gintert et al., 2012). Mosaics can be georeferenced either to absolute geographic coordinates or relative to one another to enable reef mapping and monitoring changes over time (e.g., Lirman et al., 2007; Gleason et al., 2007; Gintert et al., 2011; Gintert et al., 2012). In a comparison with other camera systems, such as Nikon D700, scientists from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) found that the GoPro™ camera systems had the third-highest benthic spatial resolution, but cost a tenth of the price as the Nikon D700 (Gintert et al., 2012).