Estimating tree heights with images from an unmanned aerial vehicle


Creative Commons License

BİRDAL A. C. , AVDAN U., TÜRK T.

GEOMATICS NATURAL HAZARDS & RISK, cilt.8, ss.1144-1156, 2017 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 8 Konu: 2
  • Basım Tarihi: 2017
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/19475705.2017.1300608
  • Dergi Adı: GEOMATICS NATURAL HAZARDS & RISK
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.1144-1156

Özet

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been used in a variety of fields in the last decade. In forestry, they have been used to estimate tree heights and crowns with different sensors. This approach, with a consumer-grade onboard system camera, is becoming popular because it is cheaper and faster than traditional photogrammetric methods and UAV-light detecting and ranging systems (UAV-LiDAR). In this study, UAV-based imagery reconstruction, processing, and local maximum filter methods are used to obtain individual tree heights from a coniferous urban forest. A low-cost onboard camera and a UAV with a 96-cm wingspan made it possible to acquire high resolution aerial images (6.41 cm average ground sampling distance), ortho-images, digital elevation models, and point clouds in one flight. Canopy height model, obtained by extracting the digital surface model from the digital terrain model, was filtered locally based on the pixel-based window size using the provided algorithm. For accuracy assessment, ground-based tree height measurements were made. There was a high 94% correlation and a root-mean-square error of 28 cm. This study highlights the accuracy of the method and compares favourably to more expensive methods.