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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(8), 871; doi:10.3390/rs9080871

An Integrated Approach to Generating Accurate DTM from Airborne Full-Waveform LiDAR Data

Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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In this study, full-waveform LiDAR data were exploited to detect weak returns backscattered by the bare terrain underneath vegetation canopies and thus improve the generation of a digital terrain model (DTM). Building on the methods of progressive generation of triangulation irregular network (TIN) model reported in the literature, we proposed an integrated approach where echo detection, terrain identification, and TIN generation were carried out iteratively. The proposed method was tested on a dataset collected by a Riegl LMS Q-560 scanner over a study area near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada (46°33′56′′N, 83°25′18′′W). The results demonstrated that more terrain points under shrubs could be identified, and the generated DTMs exhibited more details in the terrain than those obtained using the progressive TIN method. In addition, 1275 points across this study area were surveyed on the ground and used to validate the proposed approach. The estimated elevations were shown to have a strong linear relationship with the measured ones, with R2 values above 0.98, and the RMSEs (Root Mean Squared Errors) between them were less than 0.15 m even for areas with hilly terrains underneath vegetation canopies. View Full-Text
Keywords: DTM generation; full-waveform LiDAR; triangulation irregular network; vegetated terrain DTM generation; full-waveform LiDAR; triangulation irregular network; vegetated terrain

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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Hu, B.; Gumerov, D.; Wang, J.; Zhang, W. An Integrated Approach to Generating Accurate DTM from Airborne Full-Waveform LiDAR Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 871.

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