Accurately building height estimation from remote sensing imagery is an important and challenging task. However, the existing shadow-based building height estimation methods have large errors due to the complex environment in remote sensing imagery. In this paper, we propose a multi-scene building height estimation method based on shadow in high resolution imagery. First, the shadow of building is classified and described by analyzing the features of building shadow in remote sensing imagery. Second, a variety of shadow-based building height estimation models is established in different scenes. In addition, a method of shadow regularization extraction is proposed, which can solve the problem of mutual adhesion shadows in dense building areas effectively. Finally, we propose a method for shadow length calculation combines with the fish net and the pauta criterion, which means that the large error caused by the complex shape of building shadow can be avoided. Multi-scene areas are selected for experimental analysis to prove the validity of our method. The experiment results show that the accuracy rate is as high as 96% within 2 m of absolute error of our method. In addition, we compared our proposed approach with the existing methods, and the results show that the absolute error of our method are reduced by 1.24 m–3.76 m, which can achieve high-precision estimation of building height.
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