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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Automated bare earth extraction technique for complex topography in light detection and ranging surveys
Author(s): Terry H. Stevenson; Lori A. Magruder; Amy L. Neuenschwander; Brian Bradford

Paper Abstract

Bare earth extraction is an important component to light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data analysis in terms of terrain classification. The challenge in providing accurate digital surface models is augmented when there is diverse topography within the data set or complex combinations of vegetation and built structures. Few existing algorithms can handle substantial terrain diversity without significant editing or user interaction. This effort presents a newly developed methodology that provides a flexible, adaptable tool capable of integrating multiple LiDAR data attributes for an accurate terrain assessment. The terrain extraction and segmentation (TEXAS) approach uses a third-order spatial derivative for each point in the digital surface model to determine the curvature of the terrain rather than rely solely on the slope. The utilization of the curvature has shown to successfully preserve ground points in areas of steep terrain as they typically exhibit low curvature. Within the framework of TEXAS, the contiguous sets of points with low curvatures are grouped into regions using an edge-based segmentation method. The process does not require any user inputs and is completely data driven. This technique was tested on a variety of existing LiDAR surveys, each with varying levels of topographic complexity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2013
PDF: 14 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 7(1) 073560 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.7.073560
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 7, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Terry H. Stevenson, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Lori A. Magruder, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Amy L. Neuenschwander, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Brian Bradford, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


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