Infoscience

Journal article

Fast, Accurate and Consistent Modeling of Drainage and Surrounding Terrain

We propose an automated approach to modeling drainage channels and, more generally, linear features that lie on the terrain|from multiple images. It produces models of the features and of the surrounding terrain that are accurate and consistent and requires only minimal human intervention. We take advantage of geometric constraints and photommetric knowledge. First, rivers flow downhill and lie at the bottom valleys whose floors tend to be either V- or U-shaped. Second, the drainage pattern appears in gray-level images as a network of linear features that can be visually detected. Many approaches have explored individual facets of this problem. Ours unifies these elements in a common framework. We accurately model terrain and features as 3-dimensional ob jects from several information sources that may be in error and inconsistent with one another. This approach allows us to generate models that are faithful to sensor data, internally consistent and consistent with physical constraints. We have proposed generic models that have been applied to the specific task at hand. We show that the constraints can be expressed in a computationally effective way and, therefore, enforced while initializing the models and then fitting them to the data. Furthermore, these techniques are general enough to work on other features that are constrained by predictable forces.

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