Segmentation of sloped roofs from airborne LiDAR point clouds using ridge-based hierarchical decomposition

Hongchao Fan, Wei Yao, Qing Fu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new approach for roof facet segmentation based on ridge detection and hierarchical decomposition along ridges. The proposed approach exploits the fact that every roof can be composed of a set of gabled roofs and single facets which are separated by the gabled roofs. In this work, firstly, building footprints stored in OpenStreetMap are used to extract 3D points on roofs. Then, roofs are segmented into roof facets. The algorithm starts with detecting roof ridges using RANSAC since they are parallel to the horizon and situated on the top of the roof. The roof ridges are utilized to indicate the location and direction of the gabled roof. Thus, points on the two roof facets along a roof ridge can be identified based on their connectivity and coplanarity. The results of the segmentation benefit the further process of roof reconstruction because many parameters, including the position, angle and size of the gabled roof can be calculated and used as priori knowledge for the model-driven approach, and topologies among the point segments are made known for the data-driven approach. The algorithm has been validated in the test sites of two towns next to Bavaria Forest national park. The experimental results show that building roofs can be segmented with both high correctness and completeness simultaneously.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3284-3301
Number of pages18
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Building roof
  • LiDAR
  • OpenStreetMap
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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