Change analysis in structural laser scanning point clouds: The baseline method

Yueqian Shen*, Roderik Lindenbergh, Jinhu Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


A method is introduced for detecting changes from point clouds that avoids registration. For many applications, changes are detected between two scans of the same scene obtained at different times. Traditionally, these scans are aligned to a common coordinate system having the disadvantage that this registration step introduces additional errors. In addition, registration requires stable targets or features. To avoid these issues, we propose a change detection method based on so-called baselines. Baselines connect feature points within one scan. To analyze changes, baselines connecting corresponding points in two scans are compared. As feature points either targets or virtual points corresponding to some reconstructable feature in the scene are used. The new method is implemented on two scans sampling a masonry laboratory building before and after seismic testing, that resulted in damages in the order of several centimeters. The centres of the bricks of the laboratory building are automatically extracted to serve as virtual points. Baselines connecting virtual points and/or target points are extracted and compared with respect to a suitable structural coordinate system. Changes detected from the baseline analysis are compared to a traditional cloud to cloud change analysis demonstrating the potential of the new method for structural analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
Number of pages25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Baselines
  • Change detection
  • Masonry buildings
  • Structural analysis
  • Terrestrial laser scanning
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


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