SEMI-AUTOMATED APPROACH FOR MAPPING URBAN TREES FROM INTEGRATED AERIAL LiDAR POINT CLOUD AND DIGITAL IMAGERY DATASETS
Mapping of trees plays an important role in modern urban spatial data management, as many benefits and applications inherit from this detailed up-to-date data sources. Timely and accurate acquisition of information on the condition of urban trees serves as a tool for decision makers to better appreciate urban ecosystems and their numerous values which are critical to building up strategies for sustainable development. The conventional techniques used for extracting trees include ground surveying and interpretation of the aerial photography. However, these techniques are associated with some constraints, such as labour intensive field work and a lot of financial requirement which can be overcome by means of integrated LiDAR and digital image datasets. Compared to predominant studies on trees extraction mainly in purely forested areas, this study concentrates on urban areas, which have a high structural complexity with a multitude of different objects. This paper presented a workflow about semi-automated approach for extracting urban trees from integrated processing of airborne based LiDAR point cloud and multispectral digital image datasets over Istanbul city of Turkey. The paper reveals that the integrated datasets is a suitable technology and viable source of information for urban trees management. As a conclusion, therefore, the extracted information provides a snapshot about location, composition and extent of trees in the study area useful to city planners and other decision makers in order to understand how much canopy cover exists, identify new planting, removal, or reforestation opportunities and what locations have the greatest need or potential to maximize benefits of return on investment. It can also help track trends or changes to the urban trees over time and inform future management decisions.