Published June 17, 2019 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Orthophotos and DSMs derived from RPAS flights over the nature reserve Averbode Bos & Heide in Flanders, Belgium

  • 1. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
  • 2. Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)


Data curator:

  • 1. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)


Study area

Averbode Bos & Heide is a nature reserve situated near the locality of Averbode, in the province of Flemish-Brabant, Flanders, Belgium. The area is managed by the nature conservation NGO Natuurpunt and consists of wet and dry heathlands, inland dunes, forests and moorland pools. In the years prior to the drone flights, large stands of mostly coniferous trees were cut to enable ecological restoration of heathlands and moorland pools. The drone flight was triggered by a particular interest to monitor the effects of this restoration.

Data collection

Data were collected by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) with a fixed wing drone Gatewing X100 in 2015 and 2016 (6 flights). RGB data were acquired using an off-the-shelf Ricoh GR Digital IV camera, with the following image bands: 1: red, 2: green, 3: blue, 4: alpha channel. CIR (color-infrared) data were acquired using a NIR-enabled Ricoh GR Digital IV camera, with the following info bands: 1: NIR, 2: red, 3: green, 4: alpha channel.

Data processing

The raw data were processed to Digital Surface Models and orthophotos by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in 2017. Images with coarse GPS coordinates were imported and processed in Agisoft PhotoScan Pro 1.4.x, a structure-from-motion (SfM) based photogrammetry software program. After extraction and matching of tie points, a bundle adjustment leads to a sparse point cloud and a refined set of camera position and orientation values. From there, a point cloud densification and classification into ground and non-ground points was performed, leading to a rasterized digital surface model (DSM) and digital terrain model (DTM). Finally, a true orthomosaic was projected onto the DTM.

Coordinate reference system

All geospatial data have the coordinate reference system EPSG:31370 - Belgian Lambert 72.


  • Raw flight data: images and logs collected by the drone during flight. These files are zipped per flight, with the date (yyyymmdd) and flight number (x) indicated in the file name (
  • Processed data: Digital Surface Models (filename_DSM.tif) and orthophotos (filename_Ortho.tif) stitched together from the raw data. The included flights are indicated in the file name (e.g. 3 flights for 20150928_ABH_1-2_20151001_ABH_1_DSM.tif).
  • Ground control points: not applicable for this dataset.

Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF

The most efficient way to explore the processed data is by loading the Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs we created for each processed file. Copy one of the file URLs below and follow e.g. the QGIS tutorial to load this type of file.

  • RGB
  • RGB
  • RGB
  • CIR

See this page for an overview of public INBO RPAS data.


This dataset was collected using infrastructure provided by INBO and funded by Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) as part of the Belgian contribution to LifeWatch.



Files (29.3 GB)

Name Size Download all
1.2 GB Preview Download
4.3 GB Preview Download
539.9 MB Preview Download
2.3 GB Preview Download
619.7 MB Preview Download
2.4 GB Preview Download
573.7 MB Preview Download
2.4 GB Preview Download
3.1 GB Preview Download
2.3 GB Preview Download
2.8 GB Preview Download
2.6 GB Preview Download
1.6 GB Preview Download
2.6 GB Preview Download