Target classification techniques using spectral imagery and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) are widely used in many disciplines. However, none of the existing methods can directly capture spectral and 3D spatial information simultaneously. Multispectral LiDAR was proposed to solve this problem as its data combines spectral and 3D spatial information. Point-based classification experiments have been conducted with the use of multispectral LiDAR; however, the low signal to noise ratio creates salt and pepper noise in the spectral-only classification, thus lowering overall classification accuracy. In our study, a two-step classification approach is proposed to eliminate this noise during target classification: routine classification based on spectral information using spectral reflectance or a vegetation index, followed by neighborhood spatial reclassification. In an experiment, a point cloud was first classified with a routine classifier using spectral information and then reclassified with the k-nearest neighbors (k-NN) algorithm using neighborhood spatial information. Next, a vegetation index (VI) was introduced for the classification of healthy and withered leaves. Experimental results show that our proposed two-step classification method is feasible if the first spectral classification accuracy is reasonable. After the reclassification based on the k-NN algorithm was combined with neighborhood spatial information, accuracies increased by 1.50–11.06%. Regarding identification of withered leaves, VI performed much better than raw spectral reflectance, with producer accuracy increasing from 23.272% to 70.507%.
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