ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume IV-2
28 May 2018
 | 28 May 2018


Z. Zhang, M. Gerke, G. Vosselman, and M. Y. Yang

Keywords: Point Cloud Filtering, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), Dense Image Matching, Accuracy Evaluation

Abstract. Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) can be generated from point clouds acquired by laser scanning or photogrammetric dense matching. During the last two decades, much effort has been paid to developing robust filtering algorithms for the airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. With the point cloud quality from dense image matching (DIM) getting better and better, the research question that arises is whether those standard Lidar filters can be used to filter photogrammetric point clouds as well. Experiments are implemented to filter two dense matching point clouds with different noise levels. Results show that the standard Lidar filter is robust to random noise. However, artefacts and blunders in the DIM points often appear due to low contrast or poor texture in the images. Filtering will be erroneous in these locations. Filtering the DIM points pre-processed by a ranking filter will bring higher Type II error (i.e. non-ground points actually labelled as ground points) but much lower Type I error (i.e. bare ground points labelled as non-ground points). Finally, the potential DTM accuracy that can be achieved by DIM points is evaluated. Two DIM point clouds derived by Pix4Dmapper and SURE are compared. On grassland dense matching generates points higher than the true terrain surface, which will result in incorrectly elevated DTMs. The application of the ranking filter leads to a reduced bias in the DTM height, but a slightly increased noise level.