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The demand for detailed ground reference data in quantitative forest inventories is growing rapidly, e.g., to improve the calibration of the developed models of airborne-laser-scanning-based inventories. The application of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in the forest has shown great potential for improving the accuracy and efficiency of field data collection. This paper presents a fully automatic stem-mapping algorithm using single-scan TLS data for collecting individual tree information from forest plots. In this method, the stem points are identified by the spatial distribution properties of the laser points, the stem model is built up of a series of cylinders, and the location of the stem is estimated by the model. The experiment was performed on nine plots with 10-m radius. The stem-location maps measured in the field by traditional methods were used as the ground truth. The overall stem-mapping accuracy was 73%. The result shows that, in a relatively dense managed forest, the majority of stems can be located by the automatic algorithm. The proposed method is a general solution for stem locating where particular plot knowledge and data format are not required.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:50 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012