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


Y. Zhao, Q. Hu, and W. Hu

Keywords: airborne LiDAR, vertical structural characteristics, urban point cloud, ground objects classification

Abstract. This paper proposes a novel method for point cloud classification using vertical structural characteristics of ground objects. Since urbanization develops rapidly nowadays, urban ground objects also change frequently. Conventional photogrammetric methods cannot satisfy the requirements of updating the ground objects’ information efficiently, so LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is employed to accomplish this task. LiDAR data, namely point cloud data, can obtain detailed three-dimensional coordinates of ground objects, but this kind of data is discrete and unorganized. To accomplish ground objects classification with point cloud, we first construct horizontal grids and vertical layers to organize point cloud data, and then calculate vertical characteristics, including density and measures of dispersion, and form characteristic curves for each grids. With the help of PCA processing and K-means algorithm, we analyze the similarities and differences of characteristic curves. Curves that have similar features will be classified into the same class and point cloud correspond to these curves will be classified as well. The whole process is simple but effective, and this approach does not need assistance of other data sources. In this study, point cloud data are classified into three classes, which are vegetation, buildings, and roads. When horizontal grid spacing and vertical layer spacing are 3 m and 1 m respectively, vertical characteristic is set as density, and the number of dimensions after PCA processing is 11, the overall precision of classification result is about 86.31 %. The result can help us quickly understand the distribution of various ground objects.