Remote Sensing Applications and Decision Support

Accuracy assessment of LiDAR-derived digital elevation models in a rural landscape with complex terrain

[+] Author Affiliations
Laura Barreiro-Fernández, Sandra Buján, David Miranda

University of Santiago de Compostela, Department of Agroforestry Engineering, Land Laboratory, Escuela Politécnica Superior, R/ Benigno Ledo s/n, 27002 Lugo, Spain

Ulises Diéguez-Aranda

University of Santiago de Compostela, Department of Agroforestry Engineering, Sustainable Forest Management Unit (UXFS), Escuela Politécnica Superior, R/ Benigno Ledo s/n, 27002 Lugo, Spain

Eduardo González-Ferreiro

University of Santiago de Compostela, Department of Agroforestry Engineering, Sustainable Forest Management Unit (UXFS), Escuela Politécnica Superior, R/ Benigno Ledo s/n, 27002 Lugo, Spain

Oregon State University, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, United States

USDA Forest Service–Pacific Northwest Research Station, Laboratory of Applications of Remote Sensing in Ecology (LARSE), 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon O-97331, United States

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(1), 016014 (Feb 18, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.10.016014
History: Received June 12, 2015; Accepted January 25, 2016
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Abstract.  Digital elevation models (DEMs) are essential in many professional areas as they produce georeferenced elevation data that are critical for a wide range of studies, computations, decision-making processes, and derived products. Quality control thus becomes necessary to quantify the accuracy of the information provided. We assessed the accuracy of elevation data estimated by DEMs derived from LiDAR data representing diverse land cover types. For this purpose, we used the FUSION software and explored variations in accuracy in relation to the following factors: input data, interpolation methods, terrain slope, heterogeneity of land cover, and LiDAR point density. We selected and measured 1157 checkpoints by using total station and GPS techniques and following a stratified random design in order to validate the LiDAR-derived DEMs. We used robust estimators, nonparametric tests, and analysis of variance to examine the elevation errors. The study findings showed the following: (1) using the full set of LiDAR returns did not improve elevation accuracy relative to using the last-return data set; (2) using the minimum switch for interpolation did not improve accuracy compared to the default behavior of the interpolator; (3) land cover and slope significantly affected accuracy; (4) DEMs tended to underestimate elevation; and (5) the mean density of the returns classified as ground was significantly affected by land cover and slope factors.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Laura Barreiro-Fernández ; Sandra Buján ; David Miranda ; Ulises Diéguez-Aranda and Eduardo González-Ferreiro
"Accuracy assessment of LiDAR-derived digital elevation models in a rural landscape with complex terrain", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(1), 016014 (Feb 18, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.10.016014


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