Comparison of Digital Terrain Models Obtained with LiDAR and Photogrammetry

  • Martínez-Agirre Alex
  • García-Morales Víctor
  • Álvarez-Mozos JesúsEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Airborne LiDAR sensors capture three-dimensional information of the Earth, useful for obtaining high accuracy Digital Terrain Models (DTM). The Spanish National Plan for Aerial Orthophotography (PNOA) is an initiative of the Spanish Geographical Institute whereby nationwide LiDAR datasets are periodically acquired and made available to the public as .las files and value added products (e.g., DTM). The objective of this study is to assess the added value of PNOA LiDAR DTMs by comparing them to DTMs obtained through classical photogrammetric techniques. With this aim, four areas of interest were selected in Navarre (north of Spain), in areas with challenging characteristics such as forests, karst landforms, agricultural terraces and ravines. A 5 × 5 m DTM obtained with classical photogrammetry in 2008 was compared with a LiDAR DTM of the same pixel size obtained in 2011, assuming no significant changes occurred in this time. Height differences were evaluated, as well as slope, aspect and curvature differences. Besides, a multiresolution analysis was carried out to quantify how DTM smoothing affected height variations between neighbor pixels, measured with the standard deviation on a 5 × 5 window. The results obtained showed that the LiDAR DTMs provided an enhanced description of topography, particularly under forests and in areas with complex topography.


LiDAR Photogrammetry DTMs Cartography Geomorphology 



The research work reported here was partly funded by project CGL2016-75217-R (MINECO/FEDER, EU).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martínez-Agirre Alex
    • 1
  • García-Morales Víctor
    • 2
  • Álvarez-Mozos Jesús
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EngineeringPublic University of NavarrePamplonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Engineering and Territorial SystemsTRACASASarrigurenSpain

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