True orthoimage generation in urban areas with very tall buildings
The orthoimage usually serves as a valuable base layer in GIS. With an increasing demand in many urban GIS applications, orthoimages in urban areas are required to represent spatial objects in their true positions. However, the traditional methods for orthoimage generation did not consider features (e.g. occlusion, shadow, etc.) of spatial objects (e.g. bridges and buildings), resulting in that spatial objects in the created orthoimages cannot be located in their true positions. This paper presents our research and experimental results of true orthoimage generation in extremely tall urban areas using lidar and multi-view large-scale aerial images. Lidar data are used for the extraction of an urban digital surface model (DSM), further for the extraction of a digital building model (DBM) and a digital terrain model (DTM). Data structure and a data model for managing urban spatial objects, such as buildings and bridges, are developed. The photogrammetric geometry is used for the detection of occluded and shadowed areas in true orthoimage generation. For the occluded and shadowed areas, lost information is compensated from a conjugate area in adjacent images, for which a new mosaicking method, which automatically chooses the 'best' imagery and automatically optimizes the seam line, has been developed. Experimental results from central Denver, Colorado and Lower Manhattan, New York City demonstrated that the proposed true orthoimage generation scheme in this paper is capable of truly orthorectifying the relief displacement in aerial images and significantly reducing occlusion and shadow defects.