Fusion of airborne LiDAR point clouds and aerial images for heterogeneous land-use urban mapping

Yasmine Megahed (Corresponding Author), Ahmed Shaker, Wai Yeung Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The World Health Organization has reported that the number of worldwide urban residents is expected to reach 70% of the total world population by 2050. In the face of challenges brought about by the demographic transition, there is an urgent need to improve the accuracy of urban land-use mappings to more efficiently inform about urban planning processes. Decision-makers rely on accurate urban mappings to properly assess current plans and to develop new ones. This study investigates the effects of including conventional spectral signatures acquired by different sensors on the classification of airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) point clouds using multiple feature spaces. The proposed method applied three machine learning algorithms—ML (Maximum Likelihood), SVM (Support Vector Machines), and MLP (Multilayer Perceptron Neural Network)—to classify LiDAR point clouds of a residential urban area after being geo-registered to aerial photos. The overall classification accuracy passed 97%, with height as the only geometric feature in the classifying space. Misclassifications occurred among different classes due to independent acquisition of aerial and LiDAR data as well as shadow and orthorectification problems from aerial images. Nevertheless, the outcomes are promising as they surpassed those achieved with large geometric feature spaces and are encouraging since the approach is computationally reasonable and integrates radiometric properties from affordable sensors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number814
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021


  • Bootstrap aggregation
  • K-fold cross-validation
  • LiDAR classification
  • LiDAR-aerial geo-registration
  • LiDAR-aerial integration
  • Maximum likelihood
  • Neural networks
  • Supervised machine learning
  • Support vector machines
  • Urban land-use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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