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This paper describes a novel approach for the segmentation of complex images to determine candidates for accurate material-type classification. The proposed approach identifies classification candidates based on image quality calculated from viewing distance and angle information. The required viewing distance and angle information is extracted from 3D fused images constructed from laser range data and image data. This approach sees application in material-type classification of images captured with varying degrees of image quality attributed to geometric uncertainty of the environment typical for autonomous robotic exploration. The proposed segmentation approach is demonstrated on an autonomous bridge maintenance system and validated using gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) features combined with a naive Bayes classifier. Experimental results demonstrate the effects of viewing distance and angle on classification accuracy and the benefits of segmenting images using 3D geometry information to identify candidates for accurate material-type classification.