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Classifying individual tree species under leaf-off and leaf-on conditions using airborne lidar
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Centre for Image Analysis. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computerized Image Analysis.
2007 (English)In: ISPRS journal of photogrammetry and remote sensing (Print), ISSN 0924-2716, Vol. 61, no 5, 325-340 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, a methodology for individual tree-based species classification using high sampling density and small footprint lidar data is clarified, corrected and improved. For this purpose, a well-defined directed graph (digraph) is introduced and it plays a fundamental role in the approach. It is argued that there exists one and only one such unique digraph that describes all four pure events and resulting disjoint sets of laser points associated with a single tree in data from a two-return lidar system. However, the digraph is extendable so that it fits an n-return lidar system (n>2) with higher logical resolution. Furthermore, a mathematical notation for different types of groupings of the laser points is defined, and a new terminology for various types of individual tree-based concepts defined by the digraph is proposed. A novel calibration technique for estimating individual tree heights is evaluated. The approach replaces the unreliable maximum single laser point height of each tree with a more reliable prediction based on shape characteristics of a marginal height distribution of the whole first-return point cloud of each tree. The result shows a reduction of the RMSE of the tree heights of about 20% (stddev=1.1 m reduced to stddev=0.92 m). The method improves the species classification accuracy markedly, but it could also be used for reducing the sampling density at the time of data acquisition. Using the calibrated tree heights, a scale-invariant rescaled space for the universal set of points for each tree is defined, in which all individual tree-based geometric measurements are conducted. With the corrected and improved classification methodology the total accuracy raises from 60% to 64% for classifying three leaf-off individual tree deciduous species (N=200 each) in West Virginia, USA: oaks (Quercus spp.), red maple (Acer ruhrum), and yellow poplar (Liriodendron tuliperifera).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 61, no 5, 325-340 p.
Keyword [en]
calibration, forestry, lidar, segmentation, species classification
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150916DOI: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2006.10.006ISI: 000243815000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-150916DiVA: diva2:409283
Available from: 2011-04-07 Created: 2011-04-07 Last updated: 2011-04-14Bibliographically approved

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