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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(4), 306; doi:10.3390/rs9040306

A Novel Approach for Coarse-to-Fine Windthrown Tree Extraction Based on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Images

1
Key Laboratory of Resources Environment and Geographic Information System, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
2
Laboratory of 3D-Information Acquisition and Application, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lenio Soares Galvao and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6449 KB, uploaded 24 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Surveys of windthrown trees, resulting from hurricanes and other types of natural disasters, are an important component of agricultural insurance, forestry statistics, and ecological monitoring. Aerial images are commonly used to determine the total area or number of downed trees, but conventional methods suffer from two primary issues: misclassification of windthrown trees due to the interference from other objects or artifacts, and poor extraction resolution when trunk diameters are small. The objective of this study is to develop a coarse-to-fine extraction technique for individual windthrown trees that reduces the effects of these common flaws. The developed method was tested using UAV imagery collected over rubber plantations on Hainan Island after the Nesat typhoon in China on 19 October 2011. First, a coarse extraction of the affected area was performed by analyzing the image spectrum and textural characteristics. A thinning algorithm was then used to simplify downed trees into skeletal structures. Finally, fine extraction of individual trees was achieved using a line detection algorithm. The completeness of windthrown trees in the study area was 75.7% and the correctness was 92.5%. While similar values have been reported in other studies, they often include constraints, such as tree height. This technique is proposed to be a more feasible extraction algorithm as it is capable of achieving low commission errors across a broad range of tree heights and sizes. As such, it is a viable option for extraction of windthrown trees with a small trunk diameter. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle images; individual windthrown trees; random classification; Hough transform unmanned aerial vehicle images; individual windthrown trees; random classification; Hough transform
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Duan, F.; Wan, Y.; Deng, L. A Novel Approach for Coarse-to-Fine Windthrown Tree Extraction Based on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Images. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 306.

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