This paper presents a new method for constructing quickly and automatically precision tree models from point clouds of the trunk and branches obtained by terrestrial laser scanning. The input of the method is a point cloud of a single tree scanned from multiple positions. The surface of the visible parts of the tree is robustly reconstructed by making a flexible cylinder model of the tree. The thorough quantitative model records also the topological branching structure. In this paper, every major step of the whole model reconstruction process, from the input to the finished model, is presented in detail. The model is constructed by a local approach in which the point cloud is covered with small sets corresponding to connected surface patches in the tree surface. The neighbor-relations and geometrical properties of these cover sets are used to reconstruct the details of the tree and, step by step, the whole tree. The point cloud and the sets are segmented into branches, after which the branches are modeled as collections of cylinders. From the model, the branching structure and size properties, such as volume and branch size distributions, for the whole tree or some of its parts, can be approximated. The approach is validated using both measured and modeled terrestrial laser scanner data from real trees and detailed 3D models. The results Remote Sens. 2013, 5 492 show that the method allows an easy extraction of various tree attributes from terrestrial or mobile laser scanning point clouds.
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.
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.
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