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I want to calculate the height of buildings from satellite/aerial images using MATLAB automatically with no or least possible human interaction. I am not using LIDAR or any DEM information. Can anyone help me out in this?

My project is simple but very difficult to be completed. There are some GIS tools available for determining height of buildings but they are proprietary software and not automatic. What I am trying to do is to read satellite images in MATLAB and calculate the heights of buildings present in the images. There is no compulsion of what type of images I should use i.e I can use aerial or satellite images, normal or stereo images or oblique images. I hope this information is sufficient to answer my question, I would be really happy to provide further clarification if needed.

Thanks in advance.

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This will not be a simple process to automate, but I would imagine that stereo images would give the most scope for training and automation of a model to estimate elevations. However I don't know how this can be performed in MATLAB. – sgrieve Sep 24 '12 at 7:28
Lidar data would be advantageous - – Mapperz Sep 24 '12 at 13:38
Thanks, yup i know its automation is difficult but i believe that its not impossible or atleast we can give it a try. if you know the algorithm of how to get elevation/heights from stereo images, i will try to code it in matlab. – Danish Mahmood Sep 27 '12 at 9:39

I suggest you learn the differences between aerial and satellite images first. They are not the same! The image geometry is different and therefore you would have to have different processing. Stereo images are an advantage, yes, but quite expensive. Lidar is expensive too and you cannot cover a huge area. What are your requirements; height accuracy, resolution, budget .. etc.

i.e I can use aerial or satellite images, normal or stereo images or oblique images.

Making the whole process without (much) human interaction is a challenge. You would have to start first by extracting buildings (maybe image segmentation). Then you need a solution on how to deal with shadows, vegetation etc.

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Thanks, Yes i know there are differences between these images, but the solution can be on any image that's why I have asked to use any image. I am more concerned about Height accuracy as this is an educational project not a commercial one and any image/resolution is acceptable. I have extracted Shadows of buildings using Segmentation. but i am unable to make any model of building to find its height. – Danish Mahmood Nov 6 '12 at 7:42
If you can extract the shadows can you also extract the building footprint? Then it would be a matter of distance between building and shadow edge. Considering lat/lon of the building and time (position of the sun). – Michael Nov 6 '12 at 7:51
Thanks Michael.. Right now i am on vacations and will try to extract footprints when i get back to work. – Danish Mahmood Nov 7 '12 at 15:21

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