Building Façade Separation in Vertical Aerial Images

Philipp Meixner, Andreas Wendel, Horst Bischof, Franz Leberl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Three-dimensional models of urban environments have great appeal and offer promises of interesting applications. While initially it was of interest to just have such 3D data, it increasingly becomes evident that one really would like to have interpreted urban objects.

To be able to interpret buildings we have to split a visible whole building block into its different single buildings. Usually this is done using cadastral information to divide the single land parcels. The problem in this case is that sometimes the building boundaries derived from the cadastre are insufficiently accurate due to several reasons like old databases with lower accuracies or inaccuracies due to transformation between two coordinate systems. For this reason it can happen that a cadastral boundary coming from an old map is displaced by up to several meters and therefore divides two buildings incorrectly.

To overcome such problems we incorporate the information from vertical aerial images. We introduce a façade separation method that is able to find individual building façades using multi view stereo. The purpose is to identify the individual façades and separate them from one another before on proceeds with the analysis of a façade's details. The source was a set of overlapping, thus "redundant" vertical aerial images taken by an UltraCam digital aerial camera.

Therefore in a first step we determine the building block outlines using the building classification and use the height values from the Digital Surface Model (DSM) to determine approximate "façade quadrilaterals". We also incorporate height discontinuities using the height profiles along the building outlines to enhance our façade separation. In a next step we detect repeated pattern in these "façade images" and use them to separate the façades respectively building blocks from one another.

We show that this method can be successfully used to separate building façades using vertical aerial images with a very high detection rate of 88%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
Journal ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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