Digital terrain models (DTMs) are important for a variety of applications in geosciences as a valuable information source in forest management planning, forest inventory, hydrology, etc. Despite their value, a DTM in a forest area is typically lower quality due to inaccessibility and limited data sources that can be used in the forest environment. In this paper, we assessed the accuracy of close-range remote sensing techniques for DTM data collection. In total, four data sources were examined, i.e., handheld personal laser scanning (PLShh
, GeoSLAM Horizon), terrestrial laser scanning (TLS, FARO S70), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry (UAVimage
), and UAV laser scanning (ULS, LS Nano M8). Data were collected within six sample plots located in a lowland pedunculate oak forest. The reference data were of the highest quality available, i.e., total station measurements. After normality and outliers testing, both robust and non-robust statistics were calculated for all close-range remote sensing data sources. The results indicate that close-range remote sensing techniques are capable of achieving higher accuracy (root mean square error < 15 cm; normalized median absolute deviation < 10 cm) than airborne laser scanning (ALS) and digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) data that are generally understood to be the best data sources for DTM on a large scale.
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