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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Record number 497987
Title Towards digital terrain modeling with unmanned aerial verhicles and SfM point clouds
Author(s) Anders, N.S.; Masselink, R.J.H.; Keesstra, S.D.
Source Geophysical Research Abstracts 17 (2015). - ISSN 1029-7006 - 1 p.
Event EGU General Assembly 2015, Vienna, 2015-04-12/2015-04-17
Department(s) Soil Physics and Land Management
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2015
Abstract Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are excellent tools for the acquisition of very high-resolution digital surface
models using low altitude aerial photography and photogrammetric, ’Structure-from-Motion’ (SfM), processing.
Terrain reconstructions are produced by interpolating ground points after removal of non-ground points. While extremely
detailed in non-vegetated areas, UAV point clouds are less suitable for terrain reconstructions of vegetated
areas due to the inability of aerial photography to penetrate through vegetation for collecting ground points. This
hinders for example detailed modeling of sediment transport on hillslopes towards vegetated lower areas and channels
with riparian vegetation. We propose complementing UAV SfM point cloud data with alternative data sources
to fill in the data gaps in vegetated areas. Firstly, SfM point clouds are classified into ground and non-ground points
based on both color values and neighborhood statistics. Secondly, non-ground points are removed and data gaps
are complemented with external data points. Thirdly, the combined point cloud is interpolated into a digital terrain
model (DTM) using the natural neighbor interpolation technique.We demonstrate the methodology with three scenarios
of terrain reconstructions in two study areas in North and Southeast Spain: i.e. a linear slope below sparsely
distributed trees without the need of supplementary data points (1), and a gully with riparian vegetation combined
with 5 m LiDAR data (2) or with manually measured dGPS data points (3). While the spatial resolution is significantly
less below vegetated areas compared to non-vegetated areas, the results suggest significant improvements
of the reconstructed topography, making the DTM more useful for soil erosion studies and sediment modeling.
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