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Special Issue "LiDAR for 3D City Modeling"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2009)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Li

Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 519 746 0658
Interests: mobile laser scanners; multispectral lidar; bathymetric lidar, digital cameras; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); optical/lidar/SAR data processing; applications of optical/lidar/SAR in urban mapping; hazard mapping; shoreline mapping; marine pollution tracking; and environmental change studies
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michael A. Chapman

Geomatics Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Ontario M5B 2K3, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 416 979 5122
Interests: algorithms and processing methodologies for airborne sensors using GPS/INS; geometric processing of digital imagery in industrial environments; terrestrial imaging systems for transportation infrastructure mapping; algorithms and processing strategies for

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Three-dimensional reconstruction of objects towards 3D city modeling becomes a fundamental part in a growing number of applications ranging from urban planning, environmental impact assessment, cultural heritage protection, transportation management, to disaster preparedness. Among the data sources available for 3D city modeling, laser scanner or light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensor data have emerged in recent years as a leading source for automated extraction of various objects (e.g., buildings, trees, vehicles, terrain, etc.), particularly due to the direct measurements of the surface topography both accurately and densely. However, lack of fast, intelligent and reliable algorithms and software tools for LiDAR data processing and object extraction blocks the marketability of the LiDAR technology. Accordingly, this special issue encourages the submissions of manuscripts on the utilization of LiDAR data for 3D city modeling and innovative project examples of uses of LiDAR mapping technology. Research contributions to the development of LiDAR data processing algorithms and software tools, including segmentation and filtering, generation of digital surface models (DSMs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), feature extraction, surface and object reconstruction, change detection, as well as fusion with optical sensor imagery are particularly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Michael A. Chapman
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Li (PEng, OLS/OLIP)
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • LIDAR
  • laser scanning
  • 3D city modeling
  • urban mapping
  • remote sensing
  • point cloud
  • spatial modeling
  • feature extraction
  • surface and object reconstruction
  • data fusion
  • change detection

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Building Reconstruction by Target Based Graph Matching on Incomplete Laser Data: Analysis and Limitations
Sensors 2009, 9(8), 6101-6118; doi:10.3390/s90806101
Received: 7 May 2009 / Revised: 12 June 2009 / Accepted: 15 July 2009 / Published: 31 July 2009
Cited by 63 | PDF Full-text (2215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the increasing point densities provided by airborne laser scanner (ALS) data the requirements on derived products also increase. One major application of ALS data is to provide input for 3D city models. Modeling of roof faces, (3D) road and terrain surfaces can
[...] Read more.
With the increasing point densities provided by airborne laser scanner (ALS) data the requirements on derived products also increase. One major application of ALS data is to provide input for 3D city models. Modeling of roof faces, (3D) road and terrain surfaces can partially be done in an automated manner, although many such approaches are still in a development stage. Problems in automatic building reconstruction lie in the dynamic area between assumptions and reality. Not every object in the data appears as the algorithm expects. Challenges are to detect areas that cannot be reconstructed automatically. This paper describes our contribution to the field of building reconstruction by proposing a target based graph matching approach that can handle both complete and incomplete laser data. Match results describe which target objects appear topologically in the data. Complete match results can be reconstructed in an automated manner. Quality parameters store information on how the model fits to the input data and which data has not been used. Areas where laser data only partly matches with target objects are detected automatically. Four datasets are analyzed in order to describe the quality of the automatically reconstructed roofs, and to point out the reasons why segments are left out from the automatic reconstruction. The reasons why these areas are left out include lack of data information and limitations of our initial target objects. Potential improvement to our approach is to include likelihood functions to the existence of topological relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Orientation of Airborne Laser Scanning Point Clouds with Multi-View, Multi-Scale Image Blocks
Sensors 2009, 9(8), 6008-6027; doi:10.3390/s90806008
Received: 6 May 2009 / Revised: 19 June 2009 / Accepted: 15 July 2009 / Published: 29 July 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Comprehensive 3D modeling of our environment requires integration of terrestrial and airborne data, which is collected, preferably, using laser scanning and photogrammetric methods. However, integration of these multi-source data requires accurate relative orientations. In this article, two methods for solving relative orientation problems
[...] Read more.
Comprehensive 3D modeling of our environment requires integration of terrestrial and airborne data, which is collected, preferably, using laser scanning and photogrammetric methods. However, integration of these multi-source data requires accurate relative orientations. In this article, two methods for solving relative orientation problems are presented. The first method includes registration by minimizing the distances between of an airborne laser point cloud and a 3D model. The 3D model was derived from photogrammetric measurements and terrestrial laser scanning points. The first method was used as a reference and for validation. Having completed registration in the object space, the relative orientation between images and laser point cloud is known. The second method utilizes an interactive orientation method between a multi-scale image block and a laser point cloud. The multi-scale image block includes both aerial and terrestrial images. Experiments with the multi-scale image block revealed that the accuracy of a relative orientation increased when more images were included in the block. The orientations of the first and second methods were compared. The comparison showed that correct rotations were the most difficult to detect accurately by using the interactive method. Because the interactive method forces laser scanning data to fit with the images, inaccurate rotations cause corresponding shifts to image positions. However, in a test case, in which the orientation differences included only shifts, the interactive method could solve the relative orientation of an aerial image and airborne laser scanning data repeatedly within a couple of centimeters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Potential of ILRIS3D Intensity Data for Planar Surfaces Segmentation
Sensors 2009, 9(7), 5770-5782; doi:10.3390/s90705770
Received: 27 April 2009 / Revised: 5 June 2009 / Accepted: 15 July 2009 / Published: 20 July 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Intensity value based point cloud segmentation has received less attention because the intensity value of the terrestrial laser scanner is usually altered by receiving optics/hardware or the internal propriety software, which is unavailable to the end user. We offer a solution by assuming
[...] Read more.
Intensity value based point cloud segmentation has received less attention because the intensity value of the terrestrial laser scanner is usually altered by receiving optics/hardware or the internal propriety software, which is unavailable to the end user. We offer a solution by assuming the terrestrial laser scanners are stable and the behavior of the intensity value can be characterized. Then, it is possible to use the intensity value for segmentation by observing its behavior, i.e., intensity value variation, pattern and presence of location of intensity values, etc. In this study, experiment results for characterizing the intensity data of planar surfaces collected by ILRIS3D, a terrestrial laser scanner, are reported. Two intensity formats, grey and raw, are employed by ILRIS3D. It is found from the experiment results that the grey intensity has less variation; hence it is preferable for point cloud segmentation. A warm-up time of approximate 1.5 hours is suggested for more stable intensity data. A segmentation method based on the visual cues of the intensity images sequence, which contains consecutive intensity images, is proposed in order to segment the 3D laser points of ILRIS3D. This method is unique to ILRIS3D data and does not require radiometric calibration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Automatic Roof Plane Detection and Analysis in Airborne Lidar Point Clouds for Solar Potential Assessment
Sensors 2009, 9(7), 5241-5262; doi:10.3390/s90705241
Received: 25 May 2009 / Revised: 25 June 2009 / Accepted: 1 July 2009 / Published: 2 July 2009
Cited by 55 | PDF Full-text (827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A relative height threshold is defined to separate potential roof points from the point cloud, followed by a segmentation of these points into homogeneous areas fulfilling the defined constraints of roof planes. The normal vector of each laser point is an excellent feature
[...] Read more.
A relative height threshold is defined to separate potential roof points from the point cloud, followed by a segmentation of these points into homogeneous areas fulfilling the defined constraints of roof planes. The normal vector of each laser point is an excellent feature to decompose the point cloud into segments describing planar patches. An objectbased error assessment is performed to determine the accuracy of the presented classification. It results in 94.4% completeness and 88.4% correctness. Once all roof planes are detected in the 3D point cloud, solar potential analysis is performed for each point. Shadowing effects of nearby objects are taken into account by calculating the horizon of each point within the point cloud. Effects of cloud cover are also considered by using data from a nearby meteorological station. As a result the annual sum of the direct and diffuse radiation for each roof plane is derived. The presented method uses the full 3D information for both feature extraction and solar potential analysis, which offers a number of new applications in fields where natural processes are influenced by the incoming solar radiation (e.g., evapotranspiration, distribution of permafrost). The presented method detected fully automatically a subset of 809 out of 1,071 roof planes where the arithmetic mean of the annual incoming solar radiation is more than 700 kWh/m2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Building Facade Reconstruction by Fusing Terrestrial Laser Points and Images
Sensors 2009, 9(6), 4525-4542; doi:10.3390/s90604525
Received: 23 April 2009 / Revised: 21 May 2009 / Accepted: 5 June 2009 / Published: 9 June 2009
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (3996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Laser data and optical data have a complementary nature for three dimensional feature extraction. Efficient integration of the two data sources will lead to a more reliable and automated extraction of three dimensional features. This paper presents a semiautomatic building facade reconstruction approach,
[...] Read more.
Laser data and optical data have a complementary nature for three dimensional feature extraction. Efficient integration of the two data sources will lead to a more reliable and automated extraction of three dimensional features. This paper presents a semiautomatic building facade reconstruction approach, which efficiently combines information from terrestrial laser point clouds and close range images. A building facade’s general structure is discovered and established using the planar features from laser data. Then strong lines in images are extracted using Canny extractor and Hough transformation, and compared with current model edges for necessary improvement. Finally, textures with optimal visibility are selected and applied according to accurate image orientations. Solutions to several challenge problems throughout the collaborated reconstruction, such as referencing between laser points and multiple images and automated texturing, are described. The limitations and remaining works of this approach are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Use of Naturally Available Reference Targets to Calibrate Airborne Laser Scanning Intensity Data
Sensors 2009, 9(4), 2780-2796; doi:10.3390/s90402780
Received: 9 March 2009 / Revised: 31 March 2009 / Accepted: 20 April 2009 / Published: 20 April 2009
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have studied the possibility of calibrating airborne laser scanning (ALS) intensity data, using land targets typically available in urban areas. For this purpose, a test area around Espoonlahti Harbor, Espoo, Finland, for which a long time series of ALS campaigns is available,
[...] Read more.
We have studied the possibility of calibrating airborne laser scanning (ALS) intensity data, using land targets typically available in urban areas. For this purpose, a test area around Espoonlahti Harbor, Espoo, Finland, for which a long time series of ALS campaigns is available, was selected. Different target samples (beach sand, concrete, asphalt, different types of gravel) were collected and measured in the laboratory. Using tarps, which have certain backscattering properties, the natural samples were calibrated and studied, taking into account the atmospheric effect, incidence angle and flying height. Using data from different flights and altitudes, a time series for the natural samples was generated. Studying the stability of the samples, we could obtain information on the most ideal types of natural targets for ALS radiometric calibration. Using the selected natural samples as reference, the ALS points of typical land targets were calibrated again and examined. Results showed the need for more accurate ground reference data, before using natural samples in ALS intensity data calibration. Also, the NIR camera-based field system was used for collecting ground reference data. This system proved to be a good means for collecting in situ reference data, especially for targets with inhomogeneous surface reflection properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Automatic Registration of Terrestrial Laser Scanning Point Clouds using Panoramic Reflectance Images
Sensors 2009, 9(4), 2621-2646; doi:10.3390/s90402621
Received: 11 March 2009 / Revised: 10 April 2009 / Accepted: 13 April 2009 / Published: 15 April 2009
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (1983 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Open AccessArticle A Comprehensive Automated 3D Approach for Building Extraction, Reconstruction, and Regularization from Airborne Laser Scanning Point Clouds
Sensors 2008, 8(11), 7323-7343; doi:10.3390/s8117323
Received: 15 September 2008 / Revised: 21 October 2008 / Accepted: 7 November 2008 / Published: 17 November 2008
Cited by 133 | PDF Full-text (2488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three dimensional city models are necessary for supporting numerous management applications. For the determination of city models for visualization purposes, several standardized workflows do exist. They are either based on photogrammetry or on LiDAR or on a combination of both data acquisition techniques.
[...] Read more.
Three dimensional city models are necessary for supporting numerous management applications. For the determination of city models for visualization purposes, several standardized workflows do exist. They are either based on photogrammetry or on LiDAR or on a combination of both data acquisition techniques. However, the automated determination of reliable and highly accurate city models is still a challenging task, requiring a workflow comprising several processing steps. The most relevant are building detection, building outline generation, building modeling, and finally, building quality analysis. Commercial software tools for building modeling require, generally, a high degree of human interaction and most automated approaches described in literature stress the steps of such a workflow individually. In this article, we propose a comprehensive approach for automated determination of 3D city models from airborne acquired point cloud data. It is based on the assumption that individual buildings can be modeled properly by a composition of a set of planar faces. Hence, it is based on a reliable 3D segmentation algorithm, detecting planar faces in a point cloud. This segmentation is of crucial importance for the outline detection and for the modeling approach. We describe the theoretical background, the segmentation algorithm, the outline detection, and the modeling approach, and we present and discuss several actual projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Retrieval Algorithms for Road Surface Modelling Using Laser-Based Mobile Mapping
Sensors 2008, 8(9), 5238-5249; doi:10.3390/s8095238
Received: 11 July 2008 / Revised: 26 August 2008 / Accepted: 27 August 2008 / Published: 1 September 2008
Cited by 87 | PDF Full-text (573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Automated processing of the data provided by a laser-based mobile mapping system will be a necessity due to the huge amount of data produced. In the future, vehiclebased laser scanning, here called mobile mapping, should see considerable use for road environment modelling. Since
[...] Read more.
Automated processing of the data provided by a laser-based mobile mapping system will be a necessity due to the huge amount of data produced. In the future, vehiclebased laser scanning, here called mobile mapping, should see considerable use for road environment modelling. Since the geometry of the scanning and point density is different from airborne laser scanning, new algorithms are needed for information extraction. In this paper, we propose automatic methods for classifying the road marking and kerbstone points and modelling the road surface as a triangulated irregular network. On the basis of experimental tests, the mean classification accuracies obtained using automatic method for lines, zebra crossings and kerbstones were 80.6%, 92.3% and 79.7%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR for 3D City Modeling)

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