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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(4), 310;

A Hybrid Approach for Three-Dimensional Building Reconstruction in Indianapolis from LiDAR Data

Center for Urban and Environmental Change, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47802-1902, USA
College of Tourism, Fujian Normal University, Fujian 350000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guangxing Wang, George Xian, Hua Liu, Guoqing Zhou and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Societal and Economic Benefits of Earth Observation Technologies)
PDF [10381 KB, uploaded 26 March 2017]


3D building models with prototypical roofs are more valuable in many applications than 2D building footprints. This research proposes a hybrid approach, combining the data- and model-driven approaches for generating LoD2-level building models by using medium resolution (0.91 m) LiDAR nDSM, the 2D building footprint and the high resolution orthophoto for the City of Indianapolis, USA. The main objective is to develop a GIS-based procedure for automatic reconstruction of complex building roof structures in a large area with high accuracy, but without requiring high-density point data clouds and computationally-intensive algorithms. A multi-stage strategy, which combined step-edge detection, roof model selection and ridge detection techniques, was adopted to extract key features and to obtain prior knowledge for 3D building reconstruction. The entire roof can be reconstructed successfully by assembling basic models after their shapes were reconstructed. This research finally created a 3D city model at the Level of Detail 2 (LoD2) according to the CityGML standard for the downtown area of Indianapolis (included 519 buildings).The reconstruction achieved 90.6% completeness and 96% correctness for seven tested buildings whose roofs were mixed by different shapes of structures. Moreover, 86.3% of completeness and 90.9% of correctness were achieved for 38 commercial buildings with complex roof structures in the downtown area, which indicated that the proposed method had the ability for large-area building reconstruction. The major contribution of this paper lies in designing an efficient method to reconstruct complex buildings, such as those with irregular footprints and roof structures with flat, shed and tiled sub-structures mixed together. It overcomes the limitation that building reconstruction using coarse resolution LiDAR nDSM cannot be based on precise horizontal ridge locations, by adopting a novel ridge detection method. View Full-Text
Keywords: building reconstruction; LiDAR nDSM; hybrid approach; 3D city model; LoD2 building reconstruction; LiDAR nDSM; hybrid approach; 3D city model; LoD2

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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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Zheng, Y.; Weng, Q.; Zheng, Y. A Hybrid Approach for Three-Dimensional Building Reconstruction in Indianapolis from LiDAR Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 310.

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