A new approach for three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of building roofs from airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data is proposed, and it includes four steps. Building roof points are first extracted from LiDAR data by using the reversed iterative mathematic morphological (RIMM) algorithm and the density-based method. The corresponding relations between points and rooftop patches are then established through a smoothness strategy involving “seed point selection, patch growth, and patch smoothing.” Layer-connection points are then generated to represent a layer in the horizontal direction and to connect different layers in the vertical direction. Finally, by connecting neighboring layer-connection points, building models are constructed with the second level of detailed data. The key contributions of this approach are the use of layer-connection points and the smoothness strategy for building model reconstruction. Experimental results are analyzed from several aspects, namely, the correctness and completeness, deviation analysis of the reconstructed building roofs, and the influence of elevation to 3-D roof reconstruction. In the two experimental regions used in this paper, the completeness and correctness of the reconstructed rooftop patches were about 90% and 95%, respectively. For the deviation accuracy, the average deviation distance and standard deviation in the best case were 0.05 m and 0.18 m, respectively; and those in the worst case were 0.12 m and 0.25 m. The experimental results demonstrated promising correctness, completeness, and deviation accuracy with satisfactory 3-D building roof models.
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