AUTOMATIC EXTRACTION OF TREES BY USING MULTIPLE RETURN PROPERTIES OF THE LiDAR POINT CLOUD


Ozdemir S., Akbulut Z., KARSLI F. , ACAR H.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING AND GEOSCIENCES, vol.6, no.1, pp.20-26, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26833/ijeg.668352
  • Title of Journal : INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING AND GEOSCIENCES
  • Page Numbers: pp.20-26

Abstract

yyyy Airborne laser scanning has been a valuable tool for forestry applications since it began to be used commercially. Thanks to the high 3D resolution provided by the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point cloud, it has provided great convenience in complex 3D modeling processes needed for forestry applications such as forest inventory, forest management, determination of carbon stocks and the characterization of biodiversity. LiDAR data provides a new dimension in forestry applications with its high 3D resolution and multiple return characteristics. The extraction of woodland areas from the LiDAR point cloud has great importance for automating the determination of tree heights, species and stand frequency which will be used for generating canopy height models (CHM). In this study, woodland areas in the urban scene were automatically extracted by using the multiple return properties of the LiDAR point cloud. The proposed approach consists of three major steps namely pre-processing, parameter calculation and k-d tree search for trees which were implemented in MATLAB. In the first step, multiple return points have been identified from the LiDAR point cloud, which will be then used to determine possible tree locations. Then, by using Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise (DBSCAN) algorithm, neighborhood relations among the multi return points which were extracted from the initial point cloud data, were formed and a rule-based filter was applied by taking advantage of neighborhood relations. In addition, the initial point cloud was filtered with the Cloth Simulation Filtering (CSF) algorithm to separate ground and non-ground points where non-ground points used to extract trees. In the second step, non-vegetation points were removed by applying a threshold based on the change of curvature and planarity parameters, which are derived from the filtered non-ground point cloud. In the last step, in order to extract trees, a k-d tree structure was created from the filtered non-ground points to find nearest neighbors of each multi return point within a given diameter in the k-d tree structure. In order to evaluate the accuracy of the approach, the extracted boundaries were compared with the manually digitized woodland boundaries from the true orthophoto of the study area using correctness, completeness and quality metrics.