Photogrammetry and Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) are the two primary non-contact active measurement techniques in geology. Integrating TLS data with digital images may achieve complementary advantages of spatial information as well as spectrum information, which would be very valuable for automatic rock surface extraction. In order to extract accurate and comprehensive geological information with both digital images and TLS point cloud, the registration problem for different sensor sources should be solved first. This paper presents a Generalized Super 4-points Congruent Sets (G-Super4PCS) algorithm to register the TLS point cloud as well as Structure from Motion (SfM) point cloud generated from disordered digital images. The G-Super4PCS algorithm mainly includes three stages: (1) key-scale rough estimation for point clouds; (2) extraction for the generalized super 4-points congruent base set and scale adaptive optimization; and (3) fine registration with Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm. The developed method was tested with the columnar basalt data acquired in Guabushan National Geopark in Jiangsu Province, China. The results indicate that the proposed method could be used for indirect registration between digital images and TLS point cloud, and the result of which would be prepared for further integration research.
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