EXTRACTION OF BUILDING BOUNDARY LINES FROM AIRBORNE LIDAR POINT CLOUDS
Building boundary lines are important spatial features that characterize the topographic maps and three-dimensional (3D) city models. Airborne LiDAR Point clouds provide adequate 3D spatial information for building boundary mapping. However, information of boundary features contained in point clouds is implicit. This study focuses on developing an automatic algorithm of building boundary line extraction from airborne LiDAR data. In an airborne LiDAR dataset, top surfaces of buildings, such as roofs, tend to have densely distributed points, but vertical surfaces, such as walls, usually have sparsely distributed points or even no points. The intersection lines of roof and wall planes are, therefore, not clearly defined in point clouds. This paper proposes a novel method to extract those boundary lines of building edges. The extracted line features can be used as fundamental data to generate topographic maps of 3D city model for an urban area. The proposed method includes two major process steps. The first step is to extract building boundary points from point clouds. Then the second step is followed to form building boundary line features based on the extracted boundary points. In this step, a line fitting algorithm is developed to improve the edge extraction from LiDAR data. Eight test objects, including 4 simple low buildings and 4 complicated tall buildings, were selected from the buildings in NCKU campus. The test results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method in extracting complicate building boundary lines. Some results which are not as good as expected suggest the need of further improvement of the method.