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Sensors 2013, 13(2), 2579-2594;

Wedge-Filtering of Geomorphologic Terrestrial Laser Scan Data

Department of Structural Engineering and Natural Hazards, Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Peter Jordan-Str. 82, 1180 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 8 February 2013 / Published: 20 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Sensing and Imaging)
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Terrestrial laser scanning is of increasing importance for surveying and hazard assessments. Digital terrain models are generated using the resultant data to analyze surface processes. In order to determine the terrain surface as precisely as possible, it is often necessary to filter out points that do not represent the terrain surface. Examples are vegetation, vehicles, and animals. Filtering in mountainous terrain is more difficult than in other topography types. Here, existing automatic filtering solutions are not acceptable, because they are usually designed for airborne scan data. The present article describes a method specifically suitable for filtering terrestrial laser scanning data. This method is based on the direct line of sight between the scanner and the measured point and the assumption that no other surface point can be located in the area above this connection line. This assumption is only true for terrestrial laser data, but not for airborne data. We present a comparison of the wedge filtering to a modified inverse distance filtering method (IDWMO) filtered point cloud data. Both methods use manually filtered surfaces as reference. The comparison shows that the mean error and root–mean-square-error (RSME) between the results and the manually filtered surface of the two methods are similar. A significantly higher number of points of the terrain surface could be preserved, however, using the wedge-filtering approach. Therefore, we suggest that wedge-filtering should be integrated as a further parameter into already existing filtering processes, but is not suited as a standalone solution so far. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrestrial laser scanning; filtering; wedge terrestrial laser scanning; filtering; wedge
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Panholzer, H.; Prokop, A. Wedge-Filtering of Geomorphologic Terrestrial Laser Scan Data. Sensors 2013, 13, 2579-2594.

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