The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-3
30 Apr 2018
 | 30 Apr 2018


R. Ma, Z. Xu, L. Wu, and S. Liu

Keywords: UAV Photogrammetry, Digital Elevation Model, Topographic surveying, Ground Control Points, Accuracy analysis

Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been widely used for Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generation in geographic applications. This paper proposes a novel framework of generating DEM from UAV images. It starts with the generation of the point clouds by image matching, where the flight control data are used as reference for searching for the corresponding images, leading to a significant time saving. Besides, a set of ground control points (GCP) obtained from field surveying are used to transform the point clouds to the user’s coordinate system. Following that, we use a multi-feature based supervised classification method for discriminating non-ground points from ground ones. In the end, we generate DEM by constructing triangular irregular networks and rasterization. The experiments are conducted in the east of Jilin province in China, which has been suffered from soil erosion for several years. The quality of UAV based DEM (UAV-DEM) is compared with that generated from contour interpolation (Contour-DEM). The comparison shows a higher resolution, as well as higher accuracy of UAV-DEMs, which contains more geographic information. In addition, the RMSE errors of the UAV-DEMs generated from point clouds with and without GCPs are ±0.5 m and ±20 m, respectively.