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Open AccessTechnical Note
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 878;

Metric Accuracy of Digital Elevation Models from WorldView-3 Stereo-Pairs in Urban Areas

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering (DICAM), University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Viale del Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna (BO), Italy.
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
PDF [21374 KB, uploaded 11 April 2019]


WorldView-3 satellite is providing images with an unprecedented combination of high spatial and spectral resolution. The stereo capabilities and the very high resolution of the panchromatic band (0.31 m) have been fostering new applications in urban areas, where the complexity of the morphology requires a higher level of detail. The present technical note aims to test the accuracy of digital elevation models that can be obtained by WorldView-3 stereo-pairs in these particular contexts, with an operational state-of-the-art algorithm. Validation is performed using check points and existing models of the area (from LiDAR data and oblique aerial images). The experiments, conducted over the city of Bologna (Italy) with six images, proved that roof surfaces and open spaces can be reconstructed with an average error of 1–2 pixels, but severe discrepancies frequently occur in narrow roads and urban canyons (up to several metres in average). The level of completeness achievable with only one pair is extremely variable (ranging from 50% to 90%), due to the combined effect of the geometry of acquisition and the specific urban texture. Better results can be obtained by using more than one pair. Furthermore, smaller convergence angles can be beneficial for the reconstruction of specific urban structures, such as soaring towers. View Full-Text
Keywords: WorldView-3; urban modelling; DEM accuracy; DEM validation; semi-global matching WorldView-3; urban modelling; DEM accuracy; DEM validation; semi-global matching

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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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Mandanici, E.; Girelli, V.A.; Poluzzi, L. Metric Accuracy of Digital Elevation Models from WorldView-3 Stereo-Pairs in Urban Areas. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 878.

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