The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W7
12 Sep 2017
 | 12 Sep 2017


S. Morsy, A. Shaker, and A. El-Rabbany

Keywords: Multispectral, LiDAR, Gaussian, Ground filtering, Histogram, NDVI

Abstract. With the evolution of the LiDAR technology, multispectral airborne laser scanning systems are currently available. The first operational multispectral airborne LiDAR sensor, the Optech Titan, acquires LiDAR point clouds at three different wavelengths (1.550, 1.064, 0.532 μm), allowing the acquisition of different spectral information of land surface. Consequently, the recent studies are devoted to use the radiometric information (i.e., intensity) of the LiDAR data along with the geometric information (e.g., height) for classification purposes. In this study, a data clustering method, based on Gaussian decomposition, is presented. First, a ground filtering mechanism is applied to separate non-ground from ground points. Then, three normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVIs) are computed for both non-ground and ground points, followed by histograms construction from each NDVI. The Gaussian function model is used to decompose the histograms into a number of Gaussian components. The maximum likelihood estimate of the Gaussian components is then optimized using Expectation – Maximization algorithm. The intersection points of the adjacent Gaussian components are subsequently used as threshold values, whereas different classes can be clustered. This method is used to classify the terrain of an urban area in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, into four main classes, namely roofs, trees, asphalt and grass. It is shown that the proposed method has achieved an overall accuracy up to 95.1 % using different NDVIs.