Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open AccessDual-directional profile filter for digital terrain model generation from airborne laser scanning data
The most important aspect of digital terrain model generation from airborne laser scanning (ALS) data is that of filtering a point cloud to obtain ground points. Numerous automatic filters have been proposed since ALS data became available. However, to filter out nonground points, a slope threshold is usually introduced to classify points into ground and nonground points; this leads to frequent over-filtering problems in cliff-like terrains. A solution to this problem is proposed, using a dual-directional slope-based filter originating from a conventional slope-based filter is proposed. This filter is designed as a directional filter in one dimension and is applied to every profile of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) points. In this process, a directional filter is first applied to the profile, and another directional filter is then applied at an angle of 180 deg from the first one. Each directional slope-based filter is complementary to the others, thus avoiding over-filtering. We utilize ISPRS LiDAR data for the test. A comparison of this filter approach with existing methods is presented. The comparison result shows that the proposed method obtains a classification accuracy that is as good as most of the compared methods, but is superior to them with regard to handling data from abrupt surfaces.