16.42. orbitviz

Produces a Google Earth KML file useful for visualizing camera positions. The input for this tool is one or more images and camera files.

KML visualization

Fig. 16.18 Example of a KML visualization produced with orbitviz depicting camera locations for the Apollo 15 Metric Camera during orbit 33 of the Apollo command module.


orbitviz image[1-4].tif camera[1-4].tsai -o orbit.kml


orbitviz [options] <input images and cameras>

Command-line options for orbitviz:

-o, --output <filename (default: orbit.kml)>

The output kml file that will be written.

--linescan-line <integer (default: 1)>

Get the camera position at this pixel line.

--linescan-sample <integer (default: 1)>

Get the camera position at this pixel sample.

-s, --model-scale <float (default: 1)>

Scale the size of the coordinate axes by this amount. Ex: To scale axis sizes up to Earth size, use 3.66.

-u, --use-path-to-dae-model <fullpath>

Use this dae model to represent camera location. Google Sketch up can create these.

-r, --reference-spheroid <string (default: WGS_1984)>

Use this reference spheroid (datum).


  • WGS_1984

  • D_MOON (1,737,400 meters)

  • D_MARS (3,396,190 meters)

  • MOLA (3,396,000 meters)

  • NAD83

  • WGS72

  • NAD27

  • Earth (alias for WGS_1984)

  • Mars (alias for D_MARS)

  • Moon (alias for D_MOON)

-t, --session-type <string>

Select the input camera model type. Normally this is auto-detected, but may need to be specified if the input camera model is in XML format. See Section 16.47.3 for options.


Use a specialized display for showing the results of the camera_solve tool. When using this option, only pass in the path to the camera_solve output folder as a positional argument. Green lines drawn between the camera positions indicate a successful interest point match between those two images.


Hide image names unless the camera is highlighted.

--bundle-adjust-prefix <string>

Use the camera adjustment obtained by previously running bundle_adjust with this output prefix.


Write a csv file with the orbital data.

--threads <integer (default: 0)>

Select the number of threads to use for each process. If 0, use the value in ~/.vwrc.

--cache-size-mb <integer (default = 1024)>

Set the system cache size, in MB.

--tile-size <integer (default: 256 256)>

Image tile size used for multi-threaded processing.


Tell GDAL to not create bigtiffs.

--tif-compress <None|LZW|Deflate|Packbits (default: LZW)>

TIFF compression method.

-v, --version

Display the version of software.

-h, --help

Display this help message.