DSM AND DTM FOR EXTRACTING 3D BUILDING MODELS: ADVANTAGES AND LIMITATIONS
Using multiple sources of 3D information over buildings to go from building footprints (LOD0) to higher LODs in CityGML models is a widely investigated topic. In this investigation we propose to use a very common 2.5D product, i.e. digital terrain and surface models (DTMs and DSMs), to test how much they can contribute to improve a CityGML model. The minimal information required to represents a 3 dimensional space in an urban environment is the combination of a DTM, the footprints of buildings and their heights; in this way a representation of urban environment to define LOD1 CityGML is guaranteed. In this paper we discuss the following research questions: can DTMs and DSMs provide significant information for modelling buildings at higher LODs? What characteristics can be extracted depending on the ground sampling distance (GSD) of the DTM/DSM? Results show that the used DTM/DSM at 1 m GSD provides potential significant information for higher LODs and that the conversion of the unstructured point cloud to a regular grid helps in defining single buildings using connected component analysis. Regularization of the original point cloud does loose accuracy of the source information due to smoothing or interpolation, but has the advantage of providing a predictable distance between points, thus allowing to join points belonging to the same building and provide initial primitives for further modelling.