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Karim Hammoudi 1,2, Fadi Dornaika 3,4, Bahman Soheilian 2 and Nicolas Paparoditis 2 {karim.hammoudi,bahman.soheilian,nicolas.paparoditis}@ign.fr fadi_dornaika@ehu.es

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**Department of Mathematics and Computer Science University of Paris-East Marne-la-Vallée, France
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Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence University of the Basque Country Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain IKERBASQUE Basque Foundation for Science Bilbao, Spain

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MATIS Laboratory National Geographical Institute (IGN) Saint-Mandé, France

Abstract This paper proposes an introductive approach for extracting polygonal shapes of street facades in very dense urban environment. We propose a simple largescale modeling approach based on matching laser street data with an existing cadastral map. A Mobile Mapping System (MMS) is employed to massively gather georeferenced laser rawdata at street level. The laser data are segmented to extract the point cloud corresponding to the vertical objects. A cadastral map and the segmented laser data are then combined in order to identify common facade planes. Moreover, buildings recently destructed or constructed can also be detected. Besides, the top and the bottom points of each facade cluster are extracted using geometrical properties of the range laser sensor. A statistical method is then employed to automatically classify the building facades into two categories, namely rectangular or detailed facades. The parameters of the adopted facade model are then simply identified according to the level of detail. Any existing library of parametric facade models can be used. Finally, the extracted points are projected onto the identified facade plane providing thus raw polygonal facade shapes. The approach has been tested on a set of point clouds acquired in the city of Paris under real conditions. Experimental results show the potential of the proposed approach for the 3D mapping of large urban landscapes.

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1 Introduction In the last decade, the cartographic field has strongly evolved due to the needs of numerous institutional and industrial applications. Moreover, the cartographic field has become a heart for military and civil applications. Indeed, aided or autonomous navigation of vehicles in urban areas (car industry), terrestrial recognition for guidance (military applications) or conservation of architectural work (cultural heritage) are some of the many applications requiring adapted 3D city modeling approaches. Nowadays, lots of existing pipelines employ aerial data (images, LiDAR data, Digital Elevation Model) in order to reconstruct 3D city models. Several aerialbased approaches (e.g., [1], [2]) provide 3D polyhedral building models with a satisfying 3D reconstruction at roof level (main planes and/or superstructures). However, the 3D aerial-based reconstruction of building at facade level is limited due to the scale of view, the angle of view and the data resolution. These constraints are accentuated in highly dense urban environments. Furthermore, the roof planes often extend beyond the facade planes. Therefore, the physical lines intersecting roofs and walls can not be detected across aerial data since only gutter limits are visible. For these reasons, the roof/facade and facade/ground boundaries can not be precisely and finely reconstructed using aerial data. One of the main challenges is the coherent merging of aerial-based building models with the corresponding terrestrial-based facade models. Besides, several existing approaches employ terrestrial data (image and/or laser) acquired by static devices (tripod sensors) in order to generate facade outlines. These approaches are applied to model individual buildings, specific buildings or small block of buildings. In the case of facade modeling at large scale (streets, districts, cities), these approaches are limited due to the lack of generalization caused by the narrow field of the sensors and to the diversity of facade shapes. In this paper, we propose an approach that generates polygonal facade shapes (3D facade boundaries) using georeferenced laser raw data acquired by a Mobile Mapping System. Indeed, the terrestrial Mobile Mapping Systems (MMS) are more recently developed in order to massively collect georeferenced image and laser raw data in urban environment. In our case, the acquisition is massively achieved online and in real conditions. Hence, the rawdata contain some occluding objects (mobile and static), data redundancy, various shapes and some preprocessing steps are thus necessary. More details about these constraints are given in [3]. According with targeted applications, various facade modeling approaches are described in the literature (e.g., [4], [5], [6]) and many building modeling approaches combine the cadastral map with aerial data (e.g., [7], [8], [9], [10]). In our case, georeferenced street laser raw data (figure 1(b)) are combined with an external cadastral map corresponding to the area under study (figure 1(c)). Basic, efficient and suitable geometrical techniques are then applied. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 states the problem we are focusing on and describes the parametrization of the adopted polygonal model. Section 3 presents the proposed approach. Section 4 gives several results and evaluations of major steps.

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(a) Aerial image of a street under study.

(b) A top part of the associated street laser raw data acquired by the MMS (perspective view). Some laser shadows caused by occluding objects are observed.

(c) Map of building footprints (based on a cadastral map) coming from a standard database of the French national mapping agency. Initially, this map has been made as input for aerial-based modeling pipeline. Note that some buildings are missing. Fig. 1. Illustration of the data employed as input of the proposed approach. Note that the aerial image shown in (a) is only included here for illustrating the scanned scene. The aerial images are not used by our proposed approach.

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2 Problem statement and model parametrization As previously mentioned, aerial data do not provide accurate and fine facade boundaries. The roof/facade and facade/ground edges are of great interest for the future merging of aerial and terrestrial models (i.e. full building modeling). These edges must be adapted in order to properly texture the roof models with aerial ortho-images and to texture the facade model with terrestrial images. The inner 3D facade objects (e.g., windows, doors, balconies) are not addressed in our work. A polygonal representation of the facades (i.e., planar delimitations) has been adopted on the one hand for its shape genericity, on the other hand for its planar properties adapted to the texturation. Indeed, if the facade plane and the 3D facade vertices are known, i.e. 3D facade polygons, and if the corresponding facade vertices are known in the images (calibrated data), then the polygonal image texture can be warped onto the 3D polygon in order to texture the facade model (e.g., [11]). Textured facade polygons are particularly useful for the cartographic visualization of large urban landscapes. If possible, the facade models should also include the roof objects contained in terrestrial data in order to optimize the rendering of the building models. Besides, the facade polygons provide laser and image delimited regions that are particularly useful for the facade content analysis (e.g., respectively [12] and [13], [14]).

Fig. 2. The adopted raw polygonal facade models. (a) The rectangular model (very frequent). (b) The irregular detailed model.

Hence, the work presented here is focused on the global polygonization of street facades. The adopted raw polygonal models (non-refined and textureless) are illustrated in figure 2. Due to the diversity of facade shapes, the parametrization of facade model can be divided into two categories: i) a rectangular model (frequent model), and ii) the model illustrated in figure 1(b) that can describe facade models including roof objects inside the neighborhood of the dominant facade plane (e.g. attic windows), i.e. detailed models of facades. The polygonal model is described by the set of vertices A,X1,...,Xn,B,C,D that delimit the planar facade model. The set of 3D points A,B,Xi (i=1,...,n) correspond to the top of the facade in the case of detailed facades.

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3 Proposed approach The goal is to compute the initial parameters of the polygonal model given terrestrial laser data and the cadastral map. In our case, we assume that the building facades have dominant vertical planes in urban environment. An existing cadastral based-map is employed and provides the planimetric boundaries of the facades.

Fig. 3. Flowchart diagram of the proposed approach for generating raw polygonal models of street facades.

For these reasons, the parametrization of the model can be described by the heights of the facade vertices A,X1,...,Xn,B,C,D (altitude coordinates) and by λxi the linear coordinates of Xi since the facade points are belonging to a plane and since the facade top points are located along the line segment provided by the cadastral map. However, the calculation of these parameters is a complex task in the sense that the laser sensor provides a raw point cloud of street. The facades have several missing points due to the occluding objects (e.g., vegetation, mobile and parked vehicle). Moreover, the facades have various type of shapes and the dominant walls are not exactly planar due to the wall surfaces (bricks, rocks, decorations) and due to some 3D facade objects (balconies, doors, windows). Besides, the laser data and the cadastral map are georeferenced in the same coordinate system. However, the cadastral map is issue from the digitalization and the vectorization of paper map modeling approximately the building footprints. These processes are often semi-automatic and some footprints are missing. Hence, the laser data and the cadastral map are more or less misaligned or incomplete. Nevertheless, we assume that the misalignment between laser data and the cadastral map is relatively small.

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The flowchart diagram of the proposed approach is shown in figure 3. This section is divided into three subsections corresponding to the major steps shown on the diagram; namely, the 3D point cloud segmentation, the delimitation into individual facade, the facade top/ground delimitation (altimetric delimitation). 3.1 3D point cloud segmentation The 3D raw point cloud includes several urban objects. In our case, the objects of interest are the street facades. We assume that the dominant facade planes are vertical. For this reason, we have generated a 2D horizontal map discretized by a regular grid. This 2D map is composed of a set of cells whose size is related to the laser data resolution at ground level (called here planimetric level). Therefore, each 3D point of the laser dataset is vertically projected onto this 2D map. Each projected point will have a vote in the corresponding cell. A global threshold is applied to the cells. The 3D points having voted in cells with a low score are removed from the dataset. The remaining points correspond to the cells having a high score, i.e. high altimetric density. These cells mainly contain facade points and also, points of small vertical objects (tree trunks, street posts, streetlights, car facades) or artifacts (see figure 4(b)). In other words, the street point cloud has thus been divided into a cloud of points having cells with a high altimetric density (cloud with major facade points) and a cloud of points having cells with a low altimetric density (points of ground in majority). 3.2 Facade delineation This subsection describes the planimetric delimitation of the facade. The cadastral map is available for many cities and large capitals throughout the world. The planimetric junction (i.e., boundary) between two joined facades having the same dominant support plane is difficult to delineate across a single 3D point cloud of street. Consequently, the cadastral map is useful for delimiting the facades at planimetric level. However, these data are not always accurate. Nevertheless, we assume that the facade points are relatively close to certain line segments shown in the cadastral map (see figure 1(c)). For this reason, a ground neighborhood is considered around all the line segments provided by the cadastral map as input. The 3D points having their planimetric coordinates (x,y) included inside the neighborhood are retained; providing thus a point cloud of piecewise planar facades (hypothetic facade clusters). Finally, each hypothetic facade cluster is retained if the number of inlier 3D points is above a given threshold. The threshold is empirically determined according to the laser data resolution and the length of the line segment. The planimetric neighborhood is selected sufficiently large in order to detect the facade points and their closed superstructures (e.g. attic windows). We mention that the non-retained line segments inform about possible changes of the urban environment. Additional processing steps can be used in order to update the cadastral map from the non-retained line segments and the rejected laser points (e.g., respectively recent destructed and constructed buildings).

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**3.3 Altimetric facade delimitation
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3.3.1 Facade bottom delimitation

Three strategies are proposed to model the facade bottom by an horizontal line segment. Therefore, these strategies are employed in order to estimate the ground heights of the line segments provided by the cadastral map. The first strategy is global and consists in selecting the altitude of the points having the minimum height in the street point cloud. This solution is not very robust if the street is sloped. The second strategy is local and estimates the heights from the altitude of the points having the minimum height for each extracted cluster. In case of an observed ground discontinuity for a given facade, we reset its minimal height to the interpolation of the two neighboring facades or to the global minimum as previously stated. Indeed, obstacles like parked vehicle sometimes occlude a facade. The third strategy estimates the height of the ground limit by subtracting the vehicle height to the laser sensor altitude for each cluster and adding the height of a standard border pavement. Consequently, the estimation of the parameters associated to the point C and D is achieved (see figure 2). Our MMS is equipped with a Terrestrial Laser Scanning system (TLS system). This one is a 2D laser range sensor oriented perpendicularly to the vehicle trajectory. The third dimension is induced by the vehicle displacement .In this approach, a priori knowledge about the geometric characteristic of the laser sensor is employed to delimit the top of the facades. Indeed, each laser scan is organized as a sorted list of 3D points.

3.3.2 Facade top delimitation

The topology of the point cloud provided by the 2D laser range can thus be used for the extraction and the delimitation of the facade top. The adopted strategy is described as follows. A criterion has been defined such as for each frame (list of sorted 3D points), the 3D point included inside the ground neighborhood and having the maximum height is retained producing for each facade cluster a set of top points. For each set of top points, the number of included points n previously mentioned is known. It corresponds to the number of frames satisfying the criterion. In our parametrization, the point A and B are not provided by the laser frames but coincide with the point C and D at planimetric level (see figure 2). If the model is rectangular, the heights of A and B can be simply calculated by choosing the maximum height, the median height or the mean height of the top points dataset. If the model is detailed (figure 1(b)) then the heights of A and B can be respectively initialized to the heights of X1 and Xn. Therefore, all the parameters of the model previously described can be estimated. However, the set of points describing the polygonal facade (detailed model) do not necessary belong to a plane due to the thickness of the neighborhood used in the delineation stage. In our work, we assume that the cadastral map is a 2D global map of reference. Each line segment provided by the cadastral map is associated to a vertical plane П. Hence, each 3D point Xi can be orthogonally projected onto the

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associated plane П, providing thus implicitly the parameters of the facade model (linear ground location and the heights).

3.3.3 facade top simplification

We have used a statistical method in order to automatically select the best adapted facade model between the rectangular facade model and the detailed facade model previously parameterized. The method employs a robust statistical measure; namely the Mean Square Deviation (MSD). Hence, for each set of top points, the coordinates are sorted by heights and the corresponding median value is determined (selected central tendency). For each facade j, this measure is then calculated from the heights of the top points in order to evaluate the facade top discontinuities such as:

Therefore, the optimal polygonal model w corresponding to a facade j can automatically be parameterized as follows:

The MSD measure provides thus a score quantifying the altimetric variability. A satisfying threshold Tdiscontinuities can be empirically adjusted for a full street facade simplification. Although the data-scale and the object of interest are different, we mention that a very similar statistical method is proposed in [15] for the fast extraction of building from aerial laser data by analyzing the contour uniformity of urban object. 4 Results and evaluations The following sections provide several results and evaluations corresponding to the different steps of the proposed approach. 4.1 Intermediary results of the proposed approach The georeferenced raw street data depicted in figures 1(b) and 4(a) present several static and mobile occlusions. Notably, we observe some occluding objects; namely trees, parked vehicles, posts, bus shelters or newsstands. These objects cause some facade holes (missing parts, heterogeneous facades) that make the street facade extraction and delimitation more complex. The facade clusters are segmented using the cadastral map (figure 1(c)). Vertical accumulations (figure 4(b)) included into the neighborhood of the facade plane associated to the cadastral map are retained (figure 4(c)). Remaining blue and red points are shown to observe the resulting segmented scene in 3D. The segmentation stages really appear very generic and efficient.

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(a) A part of the associated street laser raw data acquired by the MMS.

(b) Vertical objects (in red) extracted from the street raw point cloud. The rejected points (in blue) are mainly points of ground and points of roofs.

(c) Full segmented street point cloud. Ground, individual facades (Colorful randomly generated) and smaller vertical urban objects (e.g., streetlights, posts) are visualized. Fig. 4. Results of the segmentation of a complex street point cloud into a set of clusters (sections 3.1 and 3.2).

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(a) Part of an external panoramic image illustrating the facade tops under study.

(b) Linking of the 3D extracted points corresponding to the facade boundaries. Various type of facade top are observed. 3D top points belonging to the attic windows, chimneys or top stages.

(c) The extracted 3D top points are projected onto the plane П. The points are finally linked providing a better representation of the facade.

(d) Facade shape simplification. Fig. 5. Facades modeled by polygons. Facades with small discontinuities in height are modeled by a rectangular shape. Otherwise, the facades are modeled by detailed shapes.

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4.2 Evaluations of accuracy and reliability The evaluation of outlines accuracy is a complex task in the sense that it depends on the laser sensor, vehicle georeferencing, calibration accuracies, cadastral-based map deformation and projection. Nevertheless, we remind that for each facade, the extracted 3D points of boundaries (physical points) are projected onto the virtual plane provided by the cadastral map. It guarantees thus a robust matching of the polygonal models to a global map of reference (Standard map commonly employed). For these reasons, the accuracy of the polygonal models is assessed qualitatively by inspecting their overlap with the street raw points (see figure 5). Visually, the raw polygons resulting from the proposed approach globally provide satisfying facade polygons that can be used at large scale for the generation of fully textured street facade models. However, in spite of the simplification process, certain generated facade polygon are non-coherent with the real facade shapes (ambiguous shape). This effect mainly appears when the facade top presents many high discontinuities (e.g., facade top with shifted floors shown in figure 5). In this case, the geometry of the polygon could be manually rectified by an operator at the facade top. Besides, the polygonal models having top points with small height discontinuities are automatically approximated by models with rectangular shapes (see figure 5(d)). In this case, only altimetric coordinates are estimated since the line segments issue of the cadastral map are extruded. The adopted score (MSD) can be used in order to distinguish between a rectangular model and a detailed model. The detailed model provides a realistic silhouette of the facade (facade walls and roof objects) as it is visible from the ground by the laser sensor. The detailed models can be notably simplified by applying the Douglas-Peucker algorithm [16] from the set of top points. Besides, the generated models are also georeferenced since the 3D laser raw data are georeferenced. 5 Conclusion and future works In this paper we have presented an approach combining laser data and a cadastral-based map for the street facades simplification and polygonization in very dense and real urban environment. The approach uses fast filtering and feature extraction techniques. The topology of the point cloud provided by the 2D laser sensor is employed. A statistical method is employed to distinguish detailed and rectangular model. The generated polygonal models provide a realistic silhouette of the street facades since the laser sensor sweeps the facades from the ground. These polygonal models provide georeferenced facade/ground and roof/facade delimitations. Future work may investigate the refinement of the generated detailed models using corresponding terrestrial georeferenced optical images also acquired by the MMS. The presented approach has provided a convenient solution in the case of rectangular facade shapes. The georeferenced optical images could be used to refine the irregular detailed model and to texture the generated facade polygons with a realistic terrestrial rendering. A semi-automatic model-based approach could be developed in order to rectify the detailed models having non-coherent facade shapes. The modeling of full buildings (roofs/facades) by merging terrestrial and aerial data could be also envisaged.

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References [1] Dornaika, F., Hammoudi, K. Extracting 3D polyhedral building models from aerial images using a featureless and direct approach, IAPR/MVA, 2009. [2] Brédif, M., Boldo, D., Pierrot-Deseilligny, M., Maître H. 3D building reconstruction with parametric roof superstructures, IEEE/ICIP, 2007. [3] Hammoudi, K., Dornaika, F., Paparoditis, N. Extracting building footprints from 3D point clouds using a terrestrial laser scanning at street level, IAPRS/CMRT, 2009. [4] Pu, S., Vosselman, G. Building facade reconstruction by fusing terrestrial laser points and images, Sensors, 2009. [5] Boulaassal, H., Landes, T., Grussenmeyer, P. Automatic extraction of planar clusters and their contours on building facades recorded by terrestrial laser scanner, IJAC, 2009. [6] Hammoudi, K., Dornaika, F., Soheilian, B., Paparoditis, N. Extracting wireframe models of street facades from 3D point clouds and the corresponding cadastral map, IAPRS/PCVIA, 2010. [7] Haala, N., Brenner, C. Virtual city models from laser altimeter and 2D map data, PE&RS, 1999. [8] Overby, J., Bodum, L., Kjems, E., Lisoe, P.M. Automatic 3D building reconstruction from airborne laser scanning and cadastral data using hough transform, IAPRS, 2004. [9] Taillandier, F. Automatic building reconstruction from cadastral maps and aerial images, IAPRS/CMRT, 2005. [10] Teo T.A., Rau J.Y., Chen L.C., Liu J.K., Hsu W.C. Reconstruction of complex buildings using LIDAR and 2D maps. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, 2006. [11] Kada, M., Klinec, D., Haala, N. Facade texturing for rendering 3D city models, ASPRS, 2005. [12] Luo, C., Sohn, G. A knowledge based hierarchical classification tree for 3D facade modeling using terrestrial laser scanning data, IAPRS, 2009. [13] Fabrizio, J., Cord, M., Marcotegui, B. Text extraction from street level images, IAPRS/CMRT, 2009. [14] Burochin, J.P., Tournaire, O., Paparoditis, N. An unsupervised hierarchical segmentation of a facade building image in elementary 2D-models, IAPRS/CMRT, 2009. [15] Dash, J., Steinle, E., Singh, R.P., Bahr, H.P. Automatic building extraction from laser scanning data: an input tool for disaster management, Advance in Space Research, 2004. [16] Douglas, D., Peucker, T. Algorithms for the reduction of the number of points required to represent a digitized line or its caricature, The Canadian Cartographer, 1973.

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