Relation-constrained 3d reconstruction of buildings in metropolitan areas from photogrammetric point clouds

Yuan Li, Bo Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The complexity and variety of buildings and the defects of point cloud data are the main challenges faced by 3D urban reconstruction from point clouds, especially in metropolitan areas. In this paper, we developed a method that embeds multiple relations into a procedural modelling process for the automatic 3D reconstruction of buildings from photogrammetric point clouds. First, a hybrid tree of constructive solid geometry and boundary representation (CSG-BRep) was built to decompose the building bounding space into multiple polyhedral cells based on geometricrelation constraints. The cells that approximate the shapes of buildings were then selected based on topological-relation constraints and geometric building models were generated using a reconstructing CSG-BRep tree. Finally, different parts of buildings were retrieved from the CSG-BRep trees, and specific surface types were recognized to convert the building models into the City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) format. The point clouds of 105 buildings in a metropolitan area in Hong Kong were used to evaluate the performance of the proposed method. Compared with two existing methods, the proposed method performed the best in terms of robustness, regularity, and topological correctness. The CityGML building models enriched with semantic information were also compared with the manually digitized ground truth, and the high level of consistency between the results suggested that the produced models will be useful in smart city applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • 3D building reconstruction
  • CityGML
  • CSG-BRep trees
  • Photogrammetric point clouds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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