Bare Earth Algorithms for Use with SAR and LIDAR Digital Elevation Models
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This report is the first of a two-volume series that examines the use of remote sensing technologies in creating building inventories for earthquake loss estimation. The report describes an approach using SAR (synthetic aperture radar) to detect the bare earth by employing a series of filters that depend on knowing the general heights of buildings, trees and other physical features on the surface of the Earth. The authors also investigate the efficacy of using LIDAR (light detection and ranging) data in constructing building inventories. The bare-earth algorithm is validated and applied to three study regions in the Los Angeles area. The results from the two technologies are compared. The next report in this series will focus on using the results of the bare-earth algorithm to estimate the building stock. A number of figures accompany the text.