Using remote-sensing and gis technology for automated building extraction

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Sahar, Liora
French, Steven P.
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Extraction of buildings from remote sensing sources is an important GIS application and has been the subject of extensive research over the last three decades. An accurate building inventory is required for applications such as GIS database maintenance and revision; impervious surfaces mapping; storm water management; hazard mitigation and risk assessment. Despite all the progress within the fields of photogrammetry and image processing, the problem of automated feature extraction is still unresolved. A methodology for automatic building extraction that integrates remote sensing sources and GIS data was proposed. The methodology consists of a series of image processing and spatial analysis techniques. It incorporates initial simplification procedure and multiple feature analysis components. The extraction process was implemented and tested on three distinct types of buildings including commercial, residential and high-rise. Aerial imagery and GIS data from Shelby County, Tennessee were identified for the testing and validation of the results. The contribution of each component to the overall methodology was quantitatively evaluated as relates to each type of building. The automatic process was compared to manual building extraction and provided means to alleviate the manual procedure effort. A separate module was implemented to identify the 2D shape of a building. Indices for two specific shapes were developed based on the moment theory. The indices were tested and evaluated on multiple feature segments and proved to be successful. The research identifies the successful building extraction scenarios as well as the challenges, difficulties and drawbacks of the process. Recommendations are provided based on the testing and evaluation for future extraction projects.
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