Change detection and deformation analysis using static and mobile laser scanning

Roderik Lindenbergh, Peter Pietrzyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Laser scanning is rapidly evolving as a surveying technique and is not only used to assess the geometrical state of a scene but also to assess changes in that state. Change detection is, however, a challenging application for several reasons. First, laser scanning is not measuring fixed points, such as a total station does, therefore in general, some interpolation or object extraction method is required. Second, errors that are inevitably present when determining the geometric state of a scene of interest in one epoch will add up when comparing the state between epochs. In addition, data volumes are constantly increasing, therefore processing methods should be computationally efficient. This paper reviews recent methodology in the form of a method breakdown, thereby distinguishing methods aiming at pure binary change detection from methods that in addition want to quantify change. In addition, the direction of a change is discussed, notably in connection with the measurement geometry. Also, the reference state is discussed, which can be in the form of a free form surface, or in the form of some idealized mathematical primitive like a plane. The different methods are presented in connection with applications in fields like structural monitoring, geomorphology, urban inventory and forestry, as considered by the original authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65–74
JournalApplied Geomatics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Laser scanning
  • Change detection
  • Deformation analysis
  • Review
  • Data quality
  • Point
  • clouds


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