Automatic extraction of accurate 3D tie points for trajectory adjustment of mobile laser scanners using aerial imagery

S.Z. Hussnain, S.J. Oude Elberink, G. Vosselman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Poor GNSS measurements in urban areas caused by blocked GNSS signals and multi-path is a well-known problem, which leads to an inaccurate trajectory estimation of Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) platforms. Consequently, the MLS point cloud contains positioning errors. This paper presents a new method for the automatic extraction of accurate 3D tie points for the trajectory adjustment of MLS platforms in GNSS denied or troubled areas. The new method relies on aerial imagery as a reliable external source of reference provided that accurate exterior orientation parameters are available. Accordingly, one of the main objectives is to register the mobile laser scanning point cloud with corresponding aerial images. The matches between aerial images are used to obtain 3D tie points by forward intersection. By also determining the corresponding locations in the point cloud we obtain a 3D-3D correspondence between the MLS point cloud and the aerial images. In the future, the obtained 3D-3D correspondences will be used for trajectory adjustment. Our automatic tie point extraction procedure is tested on two independent MLS point clouds. The point clouds were acquired by two different platforms in Rotterdam. The aerial imagery of the same area was acquired at a different time. We evaluated the matching results for both datasets and concluded that the new procedure reliably extracted the 3D tie points for 55% of the tiles of the size of 90 m from the first MLS dataset. In the second dataset, 60% of the tiles of size 74 m yielded reliable 3D tie points. It is not necessary to successfully register all tiles because the results of this work will be used for the trajectory adjustment and the IMU can reliably support the positioning for small intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-58
Number of pages18
JournalISPRS journal of photogrammetry and remote sensing
Early online date4 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • 3D tie points
  • Aerial imagery
  • Image matching
  • Mobile laser scanning
  • Point cloud
  • Registration
  • 22/4 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatic extraction of accurate 3D tie points for trajectory adjustment of mobile laser scanners using aerial imagery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this