Abstract:The objective of the "Tree Extraction" project organized by EuroSDR (European Spatial data Research) and ISPRS (International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) was to evaluate the quality, accuracy, and feasibility of automatic tree extraction methods, mainly based on laser scanner data. In the final report of the project, Kaartinen and Hyyppä (2008) reported a high variation in the quality of the published methods under boreal forest conditions and with varying laser point densities. This paper summarizes the findings beyond the final report after analyzing the results obtained in different tree height classes. Omission/Commission statistics as well as neighborhood relations are taken into account. Additionally, four automatic tree detection and extraction techniques were added to the test. Several methods in this experiment were superior to manual processing in the dominant, co-dominant and suppressed tree storeys. In general, as expected, the taller the tree, the better the location accuracy. The accuracy of tree height, after removing gross errors, was better than 0.5 m in all tree height classes with the best methods investigated in this experiment. For forest inventory, minimum curvature-based tree detection accompanied by point cloud-based cluster detection for suppressed trees is a solution that deserves attention in the future.
Abstract:The intensity information from terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) has become an important object of study in recent years, and there are an increasing number of applications that would benefit from the addition of calibrated intensity data to the topographic information. In this paper, we study the range and incidence angle effects on the intensity measurements and search for practical correction methods for different TLS instruments and targets. We find that the range (distance) effect is strongly dominated by instrumental factors, whereas the incidence angle effect is mainly caused by the target surface properties. Correction for both effects is possible, but more studies are needed for physical interpretation and more efficient use of intensity data for target characterization.
Mobile laser scanning is an emerging technology capable of capturing three-dimensional data from surrounding objects. With state-of-the-art sensors, the achieved point clouds capture object details with good accuracy and precision. Many of the applications involve civil engineering in urban areas, as well as traffic and other urban planning, all of which serve to make 3D city modeling probably the fastest growing market segment in this field. This article outlines multiplatform mobile laser scanning solutions such as vehicle- and trolley-operated urban area data acquisition, and boat-mounted equipment for fluvial environments. Moreover, we introduce a novel backpack version of mobile laser scanning equipment for surveying applications in the field of natural sciences where the requirements include precision and mobility in variable terrain conditions. In addition to presenting a technical description of the systems, we discuss the performance of the solutions in the light of various applications in the fields of urban mapping and modeling, fluvial geomorphology, snow-cover characterization, precision agriculture, and in monitoring the effects of climate change on permafrost landforms. The data performance of the mobile laser scanning approach is described by the results of an evaluation of the ROAMER on a permanent MLS test field. Furthermore, an in situ accuracy assessment using a field of spherical 3D targets for the newly-introduced Akhka backpack system is conducted and reported on.
Accurate three-dimensional (3D) data from indoor spaces are of high importance for various applications in construction, indoor navigation and real estate management. Mobile scanning techniques are offering an efficient way to produce point clouds, but with a lower accuracy than the traditional terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). In this paper, we first tackle the problem of how the quality of a point cloud should be rigorously evaluated. Previous evaluations typically operate on some point cloud subset, using a manually-given length scale, which would perhaps describe the ranging precision or the properties of the environment. Instead, the metrics that we propose perform the quality evaluation to the full point cloud and over all of the length scales, revealing the method precision along with some possible problems related to the point clouds, such as outliers, over-completeness and misregistration. The proposed methods are used to evaluate the end product point clouds of some of the latest methods. In detail, point clouds are obtained from five commercial indoor mapping systems, Matterport, NavVis, Zebedee, Stencil and Leica Pegasus: Backpack, and three research prototypes, Aalto VILMA , FGI Slammer and the Würzburg backpack. These are compared against survey-grade TLS point clouds captured from three distinct test sites that each have different properties. Based on the presented experimental findings, we discuss the properties of the proposed metrics and the strengths and weaknesses of the above mapping systems and then suggest directions for future research.
Accurate road environment information is needed in applications such as road maintenance and virtual 3D city modelling. Vehicle-based laser scanning (VLS) can produce dense point clouds from large areas efficiently from which the road and its environment can be modelled in detail. Pole-like objects such as traffic signs, lamp posts and tree trunks are an important part of road environments. An automatic method was developed for the extraction of pole-like objects from VLS data. The method was able to find 77.7% of the poles which were found by a manual investigation of the data. Correctness of the detection was 81.0%.
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