Automatic detection of building roofs from point clouds produced by the dense image matching technique


INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, vol.40, no.1, pp.138-155, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Three-dimensional (3D) spatial information of object points is a vital requirement for many disciplines. Laser scanning technology and techniques based on image matching have been used extensively to produce 3D dense point clouds. These data are used frequently in various applications, such as the generation of digital surface model (DSM)/digital terrain model (DTM), extracting objects (e.g., buildings, trees, and roads), 3D modelling, and detecting changes. The aim of this study was to extract the building roof points automatically from the 3D point cloud data created via the image matching techniques with optical aerial images (with red, green, and blue band (RGB) and infrared (IR)). In the first stage of the study, as an alternative to laser scanning technology, which is more expensive than optical imaging systems, the 3D point clouds were produced by matching high-resolution images using a Semi Global Matching algorithm. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values for each point were calculated using the spectral information (RGB + IR) in the 3D point cloud data, and the points that represented the vegetation cover were determined using these values. In the second stage, existing ground and non-ground points that were free of vegetation cover were determined within the point cloud. Subsequently, only the points on the roof of the building were detected automatically using the proposed algorithm. Thus, points of the roofs of buildings located in areas with different topographic characteristics were detected automatically detected using only images. It was determined that the average values of correctness (Corr), completeness (Comp), and quality (Q) of the pixel-based accuracy analysis metrics were 95%, 98%, and 93%, respectively, in the selected test areas. According to the results of the accuracy analysis, it is clear that the proposed algorithm is very successful in automatic extraction of building roof points.