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Abstract

In the paper a frequency method of filtering airborne laser data is presented. A number of algorithms developed to remove objects above a terrain (buildings, vegetation etc.) in order to obtain the terrain surface were presented in literature. Those all methods published are based on geometrical criteria, i.e. on a specific threshold of elevation differences between two neighbouring points or groups of points. In other words, topographical surface is described in a spatial domain. The proposed algorithm operates on topographical surface described in a frequency domain. Two major tools, i.e. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and digital filters are used. The principal assumption is based on the idea that low frequencies are responsible for a terrain surface, while high frequencies are connected to objects above the terrain. The general guidelines of this method were for the first time presented at (Marmol and Jachimski, 2004). Due to the fact that the preliminary results showed some limitations, two-stage filtering algorithm has been introduced. The frequency filter was modified in such a manner that different filter parameters are used to detect buildings than those to recognize vegetation. In the first stage of data processing the filtering concerning elimination of points connected with urban areas was applied. The low-pass filter with parameters determined for urban area was used for the whole tested terrain in that stage. The purpose of the second stage was to eliminate vegetation by using the filter for forest areas. The presented method was tested by using data sets obtained in the ISPRS test on extracting DTM from point clouds. The results of using the two-stage algorithm were com- pared with both reference data and with filtering results of eight method reported to ISPRS test. A numerical comparison of the filter output with a reference data set shows that the filter generates DTM of a satisfactory quality. The accuracy of DTM produced by the frequency algorithm fits the average accuracy of eight methods reported in the ISPRS test.
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