Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 813–821 | Cite as

Using UAVs for detection of trees from digital surface models

  • Nusret Demir
Original Paper


A difficult problem in forestry is tree inventory. In this study, a GoProHero attached to a small unmanned aerial vehicle was used to capture images of a small area covered by pinus pinea trees. Then, a digital surface model was generated with image matching. The elevation model representing the terrain surface, a ‘digital terrain model’, was extracted from the digital surface model using morphological filtering. Individual trees were extracted by analyzing elevation flow on the digital elevation model because the elevation reached the highest value on the tree peaks compared to the neighborhood elevation pixels. The quality of the results was assessed by comparison with reference data for correctness of the estimated number of trees. The tree heights were calculated and evaluated with ground truth dataset. The results showed 80% correctness and 90% completeness.


Tree detection Digital surface model Fish-eye camera Photogrammetry UAV 



The author acknowledges the support of Dr. Halil İbrahim YOLCU for controlling the UAV system, student Batuhan GÜLLÜDERE, and lecturers Tevfik Fikret HORZUM, Ercüment AKSOY, and their student team for their help during the fieldwork.


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Space Science and Technologies, Remote Sensing Research and Application CenterAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey

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