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True Orthophoto Generation from Aerial Frame Images and LiDAR Data: An Update

1,*,† and 2,†
School of Civil Engineering, University College Dublin, Newstead, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 581;
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multisensor Data Fusion in Remote Sensing)
PDF [35856 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Image spectral and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) positional information can be related through the orthophoto generation process. Orthophotos have a uniform scale and represent all objects in their correct planimetric locations. However, orthophotos generated using conventional methods suffer from an artifact known as the double-mapping effect that occurs in areas occluded by tall objects. The double-mapping problem can be resolved through the commonly known true orthophoto generation procedure, in which an occlusion detection process is incorporated. This paper presents a review of occlusion detection methods, from which three techniques are compared and analyzed using experimental results. The paper also describes a framework for true orthophoto production based on an angle-based occlusion detection method. To improve the performance of the angle-based technique, two modifications to this method are introduced. These modifications, which aim at resolving false visibilities reported within the angle-based occlusion detection process, are referred to as occlusion extension and radial section overlap. A weighted averaging approach is also proposed to mitigate the seamline effect and spectral dissimilarity that may appear in true orthophoto mosaics. Moreover, true orthophotos generated from high-resolution aerial images and high-density LiDAR data using the updated version of angle-based methodology are illustrated for two urban study areas. To investigate the potential of image matching techniques in producing true orthophotos and point clouds, a comparison between the LiDAR-based and image-matching-based true orthophotos and digital surface models (DSMs) for an urban study area is also presented in this paper. Among the investigated occlusion detection methods, the angle-based technique demonstrated a better performance in terms of output and running time. The LiDAR-based true orthophotos and DSMs showed higher qualities compared to their image-matching-based counterparts which contain artifacts/noise along building edges. View Full-Text
Keywords: photogrammetry; LiDAR; data fusion; occlusion detection; true orthophoto; urban mapping photogrammetry; LiDAR; data fusion; occlusion detection; true orthophoto; urban mapping

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Gharibi, H.; Habib, A. True Orthophoto Generation from Aerial Frame Images and LiDAR Data: An Update. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 581.

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