The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-1/W1
30 May 2017
 | 30 May 2017


Y. A. Mousa, P. Helmholz, and D. Belton

Keywords: Digital Surface Model (DSM), Digital Terrain Model (DTM), DTM extraction, normalised DSM (nDSM), airborne images, LiDAR

Abstract. In this work, a new filtering approach is proposed for a fully automatic Digital Terrain Model (DTM) extraction from very high resolution airborne images derived Digital Surface Models (DSMs). Our approach represents an enhancement of the existing DTM extraction algorithm Multi-directional and Slope Dependent (MSD) by proposing parameters that are more reliable for the selection of ground pixels and the pixelwise classification. To achieve this, four main steps are implemented: Firstly, 8 well-distributed scanlines are used to search for minima as a ground point within a pre-defined filtering window size. These selected ground points are stored with their positions on a 2D surface to create a network of ground points. Then, an initial DTM is created using an interpolation method to fill the gaps in the 2D surface. Afterwards, a pixel to pixel comparison between the initial DTM and the original DSM is performed utilising pixelwise classification of ground and non-ground pixels by applying a vertical height threshold. Finally, the pixels classified as non-ground are removed and the remaining holes are filled. The approach is evaluated using the Vaihingen benchmark dataset provided by the ISPRS working group III/4. The evaluation includes the comparison of our approach, denoted as Network of Ground Points (NGPs) algorithm, with the DTM created based on MSD as well as a reference DTM generated from LiDAR data. The results show that our proposed approach over performs the MSD approach.