Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (678 KB)

Title: Computer-based synthetic data to assess the tree delineation algorithm from airborne LiDAR survey

Author: Wang, Lei; Birt, Andrew G.; Lafon, Charles W.; Cairns, David M.; Coulson, Robert N.; Tchakerian, Maria D.; Xi, Weimin; Popescu, Sorin C.; Guldin, James M.;

Date: 2013

Source: Geoinformatica 17(1): 35-61

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Small Footprint LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) has been proposed as an effective tool for measuring detailed biophysical characteristics of forests over broad spatial scales. However, by itself LiDAR yields only a sample of the true 3D structure of a forest. In order to extract useful forestry relevant information, this data must be interpreted using mathematical models and computer algorithms that infer or estimate specific forest metrics. For these outputs to be useful, algorithms must be validated and/or calibrated using a sub-sample of ‘known’ metrics measured using more detailed, reliable methods such as field sampling. In this paper we describe a novel method for delineating and deriving metrics of individual trees from LiDAR data based on watershed segmentation. Because of the costs involved with collecting both LiDAR data and field samples for validation, we use synthetic LiDAR data to validate and assess the accuracy of our algorithm. This synthetic LiDAR data is generated using a simple geometric model of Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) trees and a simulation of LiDAR sampling. Our results suggest that point densities greater than 2 and preferably greater than 4 points per m2 are necessary to obtain accurate forest inventory data from Loblolly pine stands. However the results also demonstrate that the detection errors (i.e. the accuracy and biases of the algorithm) are intrinsically related to the structural characteristics of the forest being measured. We argue that experiments with synthetic data are directly useful to forest managers to guide the design of operational forest inventory studies. In addition, we argue that the development of LiDAR simulation models and experiments with the data they generate represents a fundamental and useful approach to designing, improving and exploring the accuracy and efficiency of LiDAR algorithms.

Keywords: computers, synthetic data, tree delineation, algorithm, LiDAR

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Wang, Lei; Birt, Andrew G.; Lafon, Charles W.; Cairns, David M.; Coulson, Robert N.; Tchakerian, Maria D.; Xi, Weimin; Popescu, Sorin C.; Guldin, James M. 2013. Computer-based synthetic data to assess the tree delineation algorithm from airborne LiDAR survey. Geoinformatica. 17(1): 35-61.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.