Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2019


The civil engineering and construction industries are currently using geo browsers such as Google Earth to access satellite and aerial imagery to create and update design drawings for roadway construction, which leads to inaccuracies in the construction phase and in effect, delays the time, and increases the cost of a project. Technological advancements in the civil engineering and construction industries have enabled the design processes to be more efficient and accurate. This research focuses on using the cutting-edge technology of airborne LiDAR and aerial imagery to extract roadway network information from an urban area, which can be used to enhance the durability and serviceability of transportation infrastructure in a complex environment. Research results revealed that the time, cost, and completeness of extracting roadway network information from LiDAR data and aerial imagery are more advantageous than that of digitizing from Google Earth, which involves designing roadway network information based on the designer’s best judgment. Research results also showed that there are still limitations with this approach as it relates to the vi accuracy of detecting the edges of the drivable spaces in an urban environment, mainly due to the failure of the extraction process to distinguish between drivable spaces and adjacent sidewalks or other paved surfaces. Future improvements for this extraction process will need to consider better edge detection methods to improve accuracy in urban environments. The process used for the procedure will be made readily available to the civil engineering and construction industries to enable the users to apply it to their work. Utilizing LiDAR data and aerial imagery to extract drivable space information has advantages over the current industry-adopted method, including being better in time efficiency and cost effectiveness


Airborne LiDAR, Aerial Image, Drivable Space, Extraction

Document Type


Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Susan Bogus-Halter

Second Committee Member

Su Zhang

Third Committee Member

Fernando Moreu