The geometric resolution of the images coming from the new generation satellites is almost competitive with that found in the trational aerial photograms. The aim of this work is to define the role of satellite ephemerides and to optimise the number and distribution of Ground Control Points (GCPs) for the image registration. A zone of the Campania region in Italy has been used as a test area: it is characterized by a mountainous area without constructions and by flat land areas densely inhabited. The images that have been used relate to different epochs and different satellites such as Spot5, Ikonos2 and QuickBird. Spot5 images have also been used to generate automatic Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). The assessment of DEM precision has been carried out by comparison with raster DEMs from cartography. The GCPs coordinates have been obtained from a GPS network made up of almost hundred and some of them are used as Check Points (CPs). Different tests have been performed, either varying the number of GCPs or hypothesizing the presence or absence of satellite ephemeris. Some numerical evaluations confirm that the use of the satellite ephemeris greatly reduces the amount of residuals on the CPs; in the case of Spot5 images this improvement becomes even more evident
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