filters.hag

The Height Above Ground (HAG) filter takes as input a point cloud with a Classification dimension, with ground points assigned the classification label of 2 (per LAS specification).

Note

We expect ground returns to have the classification value of 2 in keeping with the ASPRS Standard LIDAR Point Classes (see http://www.asprs.org/a/society/committees/standards/LAS_1_4_r13.pdf).

This could, for example, be generated by filters.pmf or filters.smrf (see Identifying ground returns using ProgressiveMorphologicalFilter segmentation), but you can use whichever method you choose, as long as the ground returns are marked.

It returns a point cloud with a new dimension HeightAboveGround that contains the normalized height value.

Normalized heights are a commonly used attribute of point cloud data. This can also be referred to as height above ground (HAG) or above ground level (AGL) heights. In the end, it is simply a measure of a point’s relative height as opposed to its raw elevation value.

The HAG filter works by iterating through all points, finding the nearest neighbor (in XY only) amongst the ground points, and computing the distance between the two Z values.

The process of computing normalized heights is straightforward. First, we must have an estimate of the underlying terrain model. With this we can compute the difference between each point’s elevation and the elevation of the terrain model at the same XY coordinate. The quality of the normalized heights will be a function of the quality of the terrain model, which of course depends on the quality of the ground segmentation approach and any interpolation that is required to arrive at the terrain elevation for a given XY coordinate. We will use a nearest neighbor interpolation scheme to estimate terrain elevations.

To compute the normalized heights, we first create a 2D KdTree (X and Y only) to accelerate our nearest neighbor search. The tree is composed of only ground returns. We then iterate over each of our points, searching for the nearest neighbor in the ground points. We then compute the difference between the elevation of the query point and the nearest neighbor in the ground set. This value is encoded as a new dimension called HeightAboveGround.

Default Embedded Stage

This stage is enabled by default

Example #1

Using the autzen dataset (here shown colored by elevation)

../_images/autzen-elevation.png

we execute the following pipeline

{
  "pipeline":[
    "autzen.laz",
    {
      "type":"filters.hag"
    },
    {
      "type":"writers.bpf",
      "filename":"autzen-height.bpf",
      "output_dims":"X,Y,Z,HeightAboveGround"
    }
  ]
}

which is equivalent to the pdal translate command

$ pdal translate autzen.laz autzen-height.bpf hag \
    --writers.bpf.output_dims="X,Y,Z,HeightAboveGround"

In either case, the result, when colored by the normalized height instead of elevation is

../_images/autzen-height.png

Example #2

In the previous example, we chose a writer that could output custom dimensions. If you’d instead like to overwrite your Z values, then follow the height filter with filters.ferry as shown

{
  "pipeline":[
    "autzen.laz",
    {
      "type":"filters.hag"
    },
    {
      "type":"filters.ferry",
      "dimensions":"HeightAboveGround=Z"
    },
    "autzen-height-as-Z.laz"
  ]
}

which is equivalent to the command

$ pdal translate autzen.laz autzen-height-as-Z.laz hag ferry \
    --filters.ferry.dimensions="HeightAboveGround=Z"

Example #3

If you don’t yet have points classified as ground, start with filters.pmf or filters.smrf to label ground returns, as shown

{
  "pipeline":[
    "autzen.laz",
    {
      "type":"filters.smrf"
    },
    {
      "type":"filters.hag"
    },
    {
      "type":"filters.ferry",
      "dimensions":"HeightAboveGround=Z"
    },
    "autzen-height-as-Z-smrf.laz"
  ]
}

which is once again equivalent to the command

$ pdal translate autzen.laz autzen-height-as-Z-smrf.bpf smrf hag ferry \
    --filters.ferry.dimensions="HeightAboveGround=Z"

Options

None