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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Departments of Computer Science
 Degree Discipline: Computer Science
Urban surface characterization using LiDAR and aerial imagery.
Many calamities in history like hurricanes, tornado and flooding are proof to the large scale impact they cause to the life and economy. Computer simulation and GIS helps in modeling a real world scenario, which assists in evacuation planning, damage assessment, assistance and reconstruction. For achieving computer simulation and modeling there is a need for accurate classification of ground objects. One of the most significant aspects of this research is that it achieves improved classification for regions within which light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has low spatial resolution. This thesis describes a method for accurate classification of bare ground, water body, roads, vegetation, and structures using LiDAR data and aerial Infrared imagery. The most basic step for any terrain modeling application is filtering which is classification of ground and non-ground points. We present an integrated systematic method that makes classification of terrain and non-terrain points effective. Our filtering method uses the geometric feature of the triangle meshes created from LiDAR samples and calculate the confidence for every point. Geometric homogenous blocks and confidence are derived from TIN model and gridded LiDAR samples. The results from two representations are used in a classifier to determine if the block belongs ground or otherwise. Another important step is detection of water body, which is based on the LiDAR sample density of the region. Objects like tress and bare ground are characterized by the geometric features present in the LiDAR and the color features in the infrared imagery. These features are fed into a SVM classifier which detects bare-ground in the given region. Similarly trees are extracted using another trained SVM classifier. Once we obtain bare-grounds and trees, roads are extracted by removing the bare grounds. Structures are identified by the properties of non-ground segments. Experiments were conducted using LiDAR samples and Infrared imagery from the city of New Orleans. We evaluated the influence of different parameters to the classification. Water bodies were extracted successfully using density measures. Experiments showed that fusion of geometric properties and confidence levels resulted into efficient classification of ground and non-ground regions. Classification of vegetation using SVM was promising and effective using the features like height variation, HSV, angle etc. It is demonstrated that our methods successfully classified the region by using LiDAR data in a complex urban area with high-rise buildings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12196/