Scale invariant line-based co-registration of multimodal aerial data using L1 minimization of spatial and angular deviations

Przemyslaw Polewski, Wei Yao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, we investigate the coregistration of multimodal data, such as photogrammetric/LiDAR point clouds, digital surface models, orthoimages, or 3D CAD city models, using corresponding line segments. The lines are analytically derived as intersections of adjacent planar surfaces, which can be determined more robustly and are deemed more accurate compared to single point based features. We propose a two-stage approach, which first focuses on finding optimal line correspondences between the datasets using a scale-invariant graph matching method, and then utilizes the found matching as a basis for calculating the optimal coregistration transform. By decoupling the correspondence search from the transform calculation, our approach can use more line pairs for determining the optimal transform than would be practicable with a combined, sampling-style approach. As opposed to competing methods, our transform computation is based on explicitly minimizing the average L1 distance on the matched line set. The assumed model accounts for an isotropic scaling factor, three translations and three rotation angles. We conducted experiments on two publicly available ISPRS datasets: Vaihingen and Dortmund, and compared the performance of several variations of our approach with three competing methods. The results indicate that the L1 methods decreased the median matched line distance by up to one third in case of pre-aligned Z axes. Moreover, when coregistering two photogrammetric datasets acquired from distinct viewing perspectives, our method was able to triple the number of matched lines (under a strict proximity-based criterion) compared to its competitor. Our results show that it is worthwhile to base the transform calculation on significantly more line pairs than is customary for sample consensus-based approaches. Our established validation dataset for line-based coregistration has been published and made available online (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Coregistration
  • Gable roof lines
  • Graph matching
  • Suburban areas
  • Urban areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computers in Earth Sciences

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