Title

Discrete Representation of Urban Areas through Simplification of Digital Elevation Data

Advisor

Soni, Bharat K.

Committee Member

Carter, Bradley D.

Committee Member

Banisescu, Ioana

Committee Member

Thompson, David

Date of Degree

1-1-2003

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Abstract

In recent years there has been large increase in the amount of digital mapping data of landscapes and urban environments available through satellite imaging. This digital information can be used to develop wind flow simulators over large cities or regions for various purposes such as pollutant transport control, weather forecasts, cartography and other topographical analysis. It can also be used by architects for city planning or by game programmers for virtual reality and similar applications. But this data is massive and contains a lot of redundant information such as trees, cars, bushes, etc. For many applications, it is beneficial to reduce these huge amounts of data through elimination of unwanted information and provide a good approximate model of the original dataset. The resultant dataset can then be utilized to generate surface grids suitable for CFD purposes or can be used directly for real-time rendering or other graphics applications. Digital Elevation Model, DEM, is the most basic data type in which this digital data is available. It consists of a sampled array of elevations for ground positions that are regularly spaced in a Cartesian coordinate system. The purpose of this research is to construct and test a simple and economical prototype which caters to image procesing and data reduction of DEM images through noise elimination and compact representations of complex objects in the dataset. The model is aimed at providing a synergy between resultant image quality and its size through the generation of various levels of detail. An alternate approach using the concepts of standard deviation helps in achieving the desired goal and the results obtained by testing the model on Salt Lake City dataset verify the claims. Thus, this thesis is aimed at DEM image processing to provide a simple and compact representation of complex objects encountered in large scale urban environment datasets and reduce the size of the dataset to accommodate efficient storage, computation, fast transmission across networks and interactive visualization.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/19355

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