Accuracy of tree height estimation based on LIDAR data analysis



Some modern remote sensing technologies, including LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging), have significantly developed recently. Laser scanners mounted on the airborne platform make it possible to collect very precise information over large areas, including tree and stand heights. A literature review shows that the model-based method of tree height determination underestimates this parameter in comparison to field measurements. The objective of the study was to analyze accuracy of the automatic height estimation of Scots pine stands, based on the airborne laser scanning data and the example of the Milicz Forest District. Applied algorithm of the stand segmentation into individual trees gave systematic and significant underestimation of the number of trees. The minimum tree height was estimated with a large negative error reaching up to several meters. The maximum mean and top heights were determined more precisely, with a small negative error of a few percent. The sum of tree heights was determined with an error exceeding 40%, which is caused mostly by the error in estimation of the number of trees.

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