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Open AccessArticle

Accuracy Assessment of Point Clouds from LiDAR and Dense Image Matching Acquired Using the UAV Platform for DTM Creation

Department of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Systems, Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography, Warsaw University of Technology, Plac Politechniki 1, 00-661 Warsaw, Poland
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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(9), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7090342
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leading Progress in Digital Terrain Analysis and Modeling)
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Abstract

In this paper, the results of an experiment about the vertical accuracy of generated digital terrain models were assessed. The created models were based on two techniques: LiDAR and photogrammetry. The data were acquired using an ultralight laser scanner, which was dedicated to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms that provide very dense point clouds (180 points per square meter), and an RGB digital camera that collects data at very high resolution (a ground sampling distance of 2 cm). The vertical error of the digital terrain models (DTMs) was evaluated based on the surveying data measured in the field and compared to airborne laser scanning collected with a manned plane. The data were acquired in summer during a corridor flight mission over levees and their surroundings, where various types of land cover were observed. The experiment results showed unequivocally, that the terrain models obtained using LiDAR technology were more accurate. An attempt to assess the accuracy and possibilities of penetration of the point cloud from the image-based approach, whilst referring to various types of land cover, was conducted based on Real Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS-RTK) measurements and was compared to archival airborne laser scanning data. The vertical accuracy of DTM was evaluated for uncovered and vegetation areas separately, providing information about the influence of the vegetation height on the results of the bare ground extraction and DTM generation. In uncovered and low vegetation areas (0–20 cm), the vertical accuracies of digital terrain models generated from different data sources were quite similar: for the UAV Laser Scanning (ULS) data, the RMSE was 0.11 m, and for the image-based data collected using the UAV platform, it was 0.14 m, whereas for medium vegetation (higher than 60 cm), the RMSE from these two data sources were 0.11 m and 0.36 m, respectively. A decrease in the accuracy of 0.10 m, for every 20 cm of vegetation height, was observed for photogrammetric data; and such a dependency was not noticed in the case of models created from the ULS data. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; LiDAR; photogrammetry; structure-from-motion; digital terrain model; dense image matching; vertical error; vegetation influence UAV; LiDAR; photogrammetry; structure-from-motion; digital terrain model; dense image matching; vertical error; vegetation influence
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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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Salach, A.; Bakuła, K.; Pilarska, M.; Ostrowski, W.; Górski, K.; Kurczyński, Z. Accuracy Assessment of Point Clouds from LiDAR and Dense Image Matching Acquired Using the UAV Platform for DTM Creation. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 342.

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