From points to numbers: a database-driven approach to convert terrestrial Light detection and rangingenLiDAR point clouds to tree volumes

Hildebrandt, Rüdiger GND; Iost, André GND

Data provided by airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) techniques are commonly used for measuring and monitoring of forest resources. In the last years, terrestrial laser scanning systems have also gained increasing attention as a ground-based application for individual tree measurements. The database-driven approach described in this article focuses on the calculation of single tree stem volumes from terrestrial laser scan data. A straightforward way of determining the volume of upright cylindrical objects is presented. Three-dimensional point data are split up into cylindrical sections whose diameters are used as basis for volume calculations. Tests conducted with a simple tree stem model show that results produced by the algorithm differ by less than 1 % from results obtained by manual section-wise cubing, which was applied to gather reference data. The method we present offers a perspective on non-destructive techniques of volume data acquisition for forest resource assessments. It is capable of reducing the error of single tree biomass estimations which in turn would improve the reliability of biomass inventories. Also, other tasks such as forest inventories or forest management plans can benefit from more accurate estimations and smaller prediction errors

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Hildebrandt, Rüdiger / Iost, André: From points to numbers: a database-driven approach to convert terrestrial LiDAR point clouds to tree volumes. 2012.

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