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Sensors 2009, 9(4), 2621-2646; doi:10.3390/s90402621

Automatic Registration of Terrestrial Laser Scanning Point Clouds using Panoramic Reflectance Images

1, 2,* , 3
1 Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology / Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands 2 School of Land Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences / Beijing 100083, China 3 Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo / Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada 4 Research Centre for Remote Sensing and GIS, School of Geography, Beijing Normal University / Beijing 100875, P.R. China 5 GNSS Research Centre, Wuhan University / Wuhan 430079, Hubei Province, P.R. China 6 OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, Delft University of Technology / Jaffalaan 9, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 March 2009 / Revised: 10 April 2009 / Accepted: 13 April 2009 / Published: 15 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
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This paper presents a new approach to the automatic registration of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) point clouds using panoramic reflectance images. The approach follows a two-step procedure that includes both pair-wise registration and global registration. The pair-wise registration consists of image matching (pixel-to-pixel correspondence) and point cloud registration (point-to-point correspondence), as the correspondence between the image and the point cloud (pixel-to-point) is inherent to the reflectance images. False correspondences are removed by a geometric invariance check. The pixel-to-point correspondence and the computation of the rigid transformation parameters (RTPs) are integrated into an iterative process that allows for the pair-wise registration to be optimised. The global registration of all point clouds is obtained by a bundle adjustment using a circular self-closure constraint. Our approach is tested with both indoor and outdoor scenes acquired by a FARO LS 880 laser scanner with an angular resolution of 0.036° and 0.045°, respectively. The results show that the pair-wise and global registration accuracies are of millimetre and centimetre orders, respectively, and that the process is fully automatic and converges quickly.
Keywords: Point cloud; Registration; LIDAR; Terrestrial laser scanning; Automation; Image Matching Point cloud; Registration; LIDAR; Terrestrial laser scanning; Automation; Image Matching
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kang, Z.; Li, J.; Zhang, L.; Zhao, Q.; Zlatanova, S. Automatic Registration of Terrestrial Laser Scanning Point Clouds using Panoramic Reflectance Images. Sensors 2009, 9, 2621-2646.

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