Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Single Tree Stem Profile Detection Using Terrestrial Laser Scanner Data, Flatness Saliency Features and Curvature Properties

Olofsson, Kenneth; Holmgren, Johan


A method for automatic stem detection and stem profile estimation based on terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) was validated. The root-mean-square error was approximately 1 cm for stem diameter estimations. The method contains a new way of extracting the flatness saliency feature using the centroid of a subset of a point cloud within a voxel cell that approximates the point by point calculations. The loss of accuracy is outweighed by a much higher computational speed, making it possible to cover large datasets. The algorithm introduces a new way to connect surface patches belonging to a stem and investigates if they belong to curved surfaces. Thereby, cylindrical objects, like stems, are found in the pre-filtering stage. The algorithm uses a new cylinder fitting method that estimates the axis direction by transforming the TLS points into a radial-angular coordinate system and evaluates the deviations by a moving window convex hull algorithm. Once the axis direction is found, the cylinder center is chosen as the position with the smallest radial deviations. The cylinder fitting method works on a point cloud in both the single-scan setup, as well as a multiple scan setup of a TLS system.


terrestrial laser scanning; single tree detection; stem profile; precision forestry

Published in

2016, Volume: 7, number: 9, article number: 207