Diverse approaches to laser point segmentation have been proposed since the emergence of the laser scanning system. Most of these segmentation techniques, however, suffer from limitations such as sensitivity to the choice of seed points, lack of consideration of the spatial relationships among points, and inefficient performance. In an effort to overcome these drawbacks, this paper proposes a segmentation methodology that: (1) reduces the dimensions of the attribute space; (2) considers the attribute similarity and the proximity of the laser point simultaneously; and (3) works well with both airborne and terrestrial laser scanning data. A neighborhood definition based on the shape of the surface increases the homogeneity of the laser point attributes. The magnitude of the normal position vector is used as an attribute for reducing the dimension of the accumulator array. The experimental results demonstrate, through both qualitative and quantitative evaluations, the outcomes’ high level of reliability. The proposed segmentation algorithm provided 96.89% overall correctness, 95.84% completeness, a 0.25 m overall mean value of centroid difference, and less than 1° of angle difference. The performance of the proposed approach was also verified with a large dataset and compared with other approaches. Additionally, the evaluation of the sensitivity of the thresholds was carried out. In summary, this paper proposes a robust and efficient segmentation methodology for abstraction of an enormous number of laser points into plane information.
laser scanning data; normal position vector; segmentation; planar patches; attribute homogeneity
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