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Calibration of laser-derived tree height estimates by means of photogrammetric techniques

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Techniques based on laser point clouds and digital terrestrial images were demonstrated for the calibration of tree-height estimation. Individual tree heights can be roughly estimated from laser scanning data by using the approximated ground level and the highest hit of the treetop. However, laser-derived measurements often underestimate tree heights. This underestimation can arise from various error sources. Digital terrestrial images can be used to verify and understand the behaviour of laser point clouds. When laser data are backprojected in a close-range image, it is possible to show where each laser beam has reflected. This, however, requires a proper orientation of the images. In this study an interactive orientation method was used to derive image orientations, using one laser strip at a time as the reference data. Consequently, the backprojection of laser point clouds confirmed the height underestimations found by comparing the tacheometer reference measurements with the laser-derived tree heights. In addition, by using the described procedure the cause of underestimating tree heights could be explained.
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Keywords: Laser scanning; photogrammetry; terrestrial digital images; tree height

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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