Terrain analysis from curvature profiles

Dmitry B. Goldgof, Thomas S Huang, Hua Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a new algorithm which uses Gaussian and mean curvature values of the terrain surface to extract feature points. These points are then used for recognition of particular subregions of the terrain and in estimating relative positions of these subregions in the terrain. The Gaussian and mean curvatures are chosen because they are invariant under rotation and translation. In the Gaussian and mean curvature images, the points of maximum and minimum curvatures are extracted and used for matching. The stability of the position of these points in the presence of noise and with resampling is investigated. The input for this algorithm is 3D digital terrain data. Curvature values are calculated from the data by fitting a quadratic surface over a square window and calculating directional derivatives of this surface. A method of surface fitting that is invariant to sensor‐centered coordinate system transformation is suggested and implemented. Real terrain data are used in our experiments. The algorithm is tested with and without the presence of noise, and its performance is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Imaging Systems and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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