Point Cloud-Based Analysis and Modelling of Urban Environments and Transportation Corridors

2019-01-03T14:11:36Z (GMT) by Yun-Jou Lin
3D point cloud processing has been a critical task due to the increasing demand of a variety of applications such as urban planning and management, as-built mapping of industrial sites, infrastructure monitoring, and road safety inspection. Point clouds are mainly acquired from two sources, laser scanning and optical imaging systems. However, the original point clouds usually do not provide explicit semantic information, and the collected data needs to undergo a sequence of processing steps to derive and extract the required information. Moreover, according to application requirements, the outcomes from the point cloud processing could be different. This dissertation presents two tiers of data processing. The first tier proposes an adaptive data processing framework to deal with multi-source and multi-platform point clouds. The second tier introduces two point clouds processing strategies targeting applications mainly from urban environments and transportation corridors.

For the first tier of data processing, the internal characteristics (e.g., noise level and local point density) of data should be considered first since point clouds might come from a variety of sources/platforms. The acquired point clouds may have a large number of points. Data processing (e.g., segmentation) of such large datasets is time-consuming. Hence, to attain high computational efficiency, this dissertation presents a down-sampling approach while considering the internal characteristics of data and maintaining the nature of the local surface. Moreover, point cloud segmentation is one of the essential steps in the initial data processing chain to derive the semantic information and model point clouds. Therefore, a multi-class simultaneous segmentation procedure is proposed to partition point cloud into planar, linear/cylindrical, and rough features. Since segmentation outcomes could suffer from some artifacts, a series of quality control procedures are introduced to evaluate and improve the quality of the results.

For the second tier of data processing, this dissertation focuses on two applications for high human activity areas, urban environments and transportation corridors. For urban environments, a new framework is introduced to generate digital building models with accurate right-angle, multi-orientation, and curved boundary from building hypotheses which are derived from the proposed segmentation approach. For transportation corridors, this dissertation presents an approach to derive accurate lane width estimates using point clouds acquired from a calibrated mobile mapping system. In summary, this dissertation provides two tiers of data processing. The first tier of data processing, adaptive down-sampling and segmentation, can be utilized for all kinds of point clouds. The second tier of data processing aims at digital building model generation and lane width estimation applications.