2023 journal article
Curvature Weighted Decimation: A Novel, Curvature-Based Approach to Improved Lidar Point Decimation of Terrain Surfaces
Geomatics, 3(1), 266–289.
Increased availability of QL1/QL2 Lidar terrain data has resulted in large datasets, often including large quantities of redundant points. Because of these large memory requirements, practitioners often use decimation to reduce the number of points used to create models. This paper introduces a novel approach to improve decimation, thereby reducing the total count of ground points in a Lidar dataset while retaining more accuracy than Random Decimation. This reduction improves efficiency of downstream processes while maintaining output quality nearer to the undecimated dataset. Points are selected for retention based on their discrete curvature values computed from the mesh geometry of the TIN model of the points. Points with higher curvature values are preferred for retention in the resulting point cloud. We call this technique Curvature Weighted Decimation (CWD). We implement CWD in a new free, open-source software tool, CogoDN, which is also introduced in this paper. We evaluate the effectiveness of CWD against Random Decimation by comparing the resulting introduced error values for the two kinds of decimation over multiple decimation percentages, multiple statistical types, and multiple terrain types. The results show that CWD reduces introduced error values over Random Decimation when 15 to 50% of the points are retained.