This paper presents a novel method for semi-automatically constructing building models from photogrammetric 3D line segments of buildings, i.e., their roof edges. The method, which we call "Split-Merge-Shape" (SMS), can treat both complete line segments as well as incomplete line segments due to image occlusions. The proposed method is comprised of five major parts: (1) the creation of the Region of Interest (ROI) and preprocessing, (2) splitting the model by using the 3D line segments to construct a combination of roof primitives, (3) merging connected roof primitives to complete the boundary of each building, (4) shaping each building rooftop by connected coplanar analysis and coplanar fitting, and (5) quality assurance. The experimental results indicate that the proposed method can soundly rebuild the topology from the 3D line segments and reconstruct building models with up to a 98 percent success rate. The proposed SMS method has been proved reliable and effective, with a high degree of automation, even when groups of connected buildings or complex types of buildings are processed.
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