Building change detection is a major issue for urban area monitoring. Due to different imaging conditions and sensor parameters, 2-D information delivered by satellite images from different dates is often not sufficient when dealing with building changes. Moreover, due to the similar spectral characteristics, it is often difficult to distinguish buildings from other man-made constructions, like roads and bridges, during the change detection procedure. Therefore, stereo imagery is of importance to provide the height component which is very helpful in analyzing 3-D building changes. In this paper, we propose a change detection method based on stereo imagery and digital surface models (DSMs) generated with stereo matching methodology and provide a solution by the joint use of height changes and Kullback-Leibler divergence similarity measure between the original images.
The Dempster-Shafer fusion theory is adopted to combine these two change indicators to improve the accuracy. In addition, vegetation and shadow classifications are used as no-building change indicators for refining the change detection results. In the end, an object-based building extraction method based on shape features is performed. For evaluation purpose, the proposed method is applied in two test areas, one is in an industrial area in Korea with stereo imagery from the same sensor and the other represents a dense urban area in Germany using stereo imagery from different sensors with different resolutions. Our experimental results confirm the efficiency and high accuracy of the proposed methodology even for different kinds and combinations of stereo images and consequently different DSM qualities.