Performance Evaluation of Different Ground Filtering Algorithms for UAV-based Point Clouds


International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 2016 (ISPRS 2016), Prag, Czech Republic, 12 - 19 July 2016, vol.XLI-B1, pp.245-251

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: XLI-B1
  • City: Prag
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Page Numbers: pp.245-251
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generation is one of the leading application areas in geomatics. Since a DEM represents the bare earth surface, the very first step of generating a DEM is to separate the ground and non-ground points, which is called ground filtering. Once the point cloud is filtered, the ground points are interpolated to generate the DEM. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) point clouds have been used in many applications thanks to their success in representing the objects they belong to. Hence, in the literature, various ground filtering algorithms have been reported to filter the LiDAR data. Since the LiDAR data acquisition is still a costly process, using point clouds generated from the UAV images to produce DEMs is a reasonable alternative. In this study, point clouds with three different densities were generated from the aerial photos taken from a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) to examine the effect of point density on filtering performance. The point clouds were then filtered by means of five different ground filtering algorithms as Progressive Morphological 1D (PM1D), Progressive Morphological 2D (PM2D), Maximum Local Slope (MLS), Elevation Threshold with Expand Window (ETEW) and Adaptive TIN (ATIN). The filtering performance of each algorithm was investigated qualitatively and quantitatively. The results indicated that the ATIN and PM2D algorithms showed the best overall ground filtering performances. The MLS and ETEW algorithms were found as the least successful ones. It was concluded that the point clouds generated from the UAVs can be a good alternative for LiDAR data.