From point cloud to surface: modeling structures in laser scanner point clouds

  1. Pablo Rodríguez Gonzálvez 1
  2. Diego González Aguilera 1
  3. Javier Gómez Lahoz 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Salamanca

    Universidad de Salamanca

    Salamanca, España


The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences

ISSN: 1682-1777

Year of publication: 2007

Volume: 36

Part: 3

Pages: 338-343

Congress: ISPRS Workshop on Laser Scanning 2007 and SilviLaser 2007

Type: Conference paper


SCImago Journal Rank

  • Year 2007
  • SJR Journal Impact: 0.207
  • Best Quartile:
  • Area: Information Systems Quartile: - Rank in area: 197/440
  • Area: Geography, Planning and Development Quartile: - Rank in area: 272/566


The automatic modeling of precise structures from randomly distributed laser points derived from laser scanner data is a very hard problem, not completely solved and problematic in case of incomplete, noisy and sparse data. The generation of polygonal models that can satisfy high modeling and visualization demands is required in different applications, like architecture, archaeology, city planning, virtual reality applications and other graphics applications. The goal is always to find a way to create a computer model of an object which best fits the reality. Polygons are usually the ideal way to accurately represent the results of measurements, providing an optimal surface description. While the generation of digital terrain models has a long tradition and has found efficient solutions, the correct 3D modeling of closed surfaces or free-form objects is of recent nature, a not completely solved problem and still an important issue investigated in many research activities. In this paper we develop an approach for converting a laser scanner point cloud into a realistic 3D polygonal model that can satisfy high modeling and visualization demands. Close range photogrammetry deals since many years with manual or automatic image measurements. Now laser scanners are also becoming a standard source for input data in many application areas, providing millions of points. As a consequence, the problem of generating high quality polygonal models of objects from randomly distributed laser points is getting more and more attention. After reviewing some results in this context, we will describe a full approach for turning a usual unstructured point cloud into a consistent polygonal model. Finally, the polygonal model is turned into a hierarchical nodes network similar to VRML. A novel laserscanning processing tool, LSM3D (Laser Scanner Modeling 3D), has been developed and tested over different examples related with architectonic buildings.

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