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TBC Does That #2: Extract Trees from Point Clouds

What TBC Does:

TBC includes a time-saving tool that expedites mapping similar objects, such as trees. Improvements in machine learning make it possible for algorithms to identify trees in a point cloud by recognizing the assigned feature attributes. The program automatically creates a new point at the base of each matching object and measures the height, trunk diameter, and canopy spread.

How this helps you:

This feature is perfect for cataloging the number, size and type of trees contained in an area. Further analysis of a tree map can provide guidance for design and construction and identify conflicts where trees may need to be removed.

How it works:

Under the Point Cloud tab:

  • create a limit box around your area of interest to establish boundaries and minimize processing time
  • click on the Extract Point Feature command
  • select Automatic, Extraction Type: Tree, and Feature Code: Tree

By clicking on the Extract Tree Attributes button, all recognizable trees will automatically be extracted. Auto extract in TBC is compatible with all kinds of airborne and terrestrial point clouds, such as LAS and e57, not just Trimble files.

Pro tip: In case some trees are partially obstructed, it is advisable to perform a manual QA/QC to ensure complete extraction. By switching to Manual, you can click on questionable points to verify coordinates and dimensions and add trees that may have been excluded.

The “TBC Does That” series, written by the Trimble Business Center (TBC) Team, focuses on the broad range of functionality that TBC delivers to you. Periodically we will release information to help you improve productivity by making the most of TBC’s built-in tools.