INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE QUALITY OF IMAGE-BASED POINT CLOUDS FROM UAV IMAGERY
Keywords: UAV aerial flight, test field, image data format, dense point cloud, data filtering, comparison
Abstract. The quality of image-based point clouds generated from images of UAV aerial flights is subject to various influencing factors. In addition to the performance of the sensor used (a digital camera), the image data format (e.g. TIF or JPG) is another important quality parameter. At the UAV test field at the former Zollern colliery (Dortmund, Germany), set up by Bochum University of Applied Sciences, a medium-format camera from Phase One (IXU 1000) was used to capture UAV image data in RAW format. This investigation aims at evaluating the influence of the image data format on point clouds generated by a Dense Image Matching process. Furthermore, the effects of different data filters, which are part of the evaluation programs, were considered. The processing was carried out with two software packages from Agisoft and Pix4D on the basis of both generated TIF or JPG data sets. The point clouds generated are the basis for the investigation presented in this contribution. Point cloud comparisons with reference data from terrestrial laser scanning were performed on selected test areas representing object-typical surfaces (with varying surface structures). In addition to these area-based comparisons, selected linear objects (profiles) were evaluated between the different data sets. Furthermore, height point deviations from the dense point clouds were determined using check points. Differences in the results generated through the two software packages used could be detected. The reasons for these differences are filtering settings used for the generation of dense point clouds. It can also be assumed that there are differences in the algorithms for point cloud generation which are implemented in the two software packages. The slightly compressed JPG image data used for the point cloud generation did not show any significant changes in the quality of the examined point clouds compared to the uncompressed TIF data sets.