The U. V. Helava Award

Best Paper 2013

The U.V. Helava Award, sponsored by Elsevier B.V. and Leica Geosystems AG, is a prestigious ISPRS Award, which was established in 1996 to encourage and stimulate submission of high quality scientific papers by individual authors or groups to the ISPRS Journal, to promote and advertise the Journal, and to honour the outstanding contributions of Dr. Uuno V. Helava to research and development in photogrammetry and remote sensing.

The Award is presented to authors of the best paper, written in English and published exclusively in the ISPRS Journal during the four-year period from January of a Congress year, to December of the year prior to the next Congress. The Award consists of a monetary grant of SFr. 10,000 and a plaque. A five-member Jury, comprising experts of high scientific standing, whose expertise covers the main topics included in the scope of the Journal, evaluates the papers. For each year of the four-year evaluation period, the best paper is selected, and among these four papers, the one to receive the U.V. Helava Award.

The fifth U.V. Helava Award will be presented at the 23th ISPRS Congress in Prague, 12-19 July 2016. The Jury appointed by the ISPRS Council evaluated papers from volumes 75-86 (2013) and announces its decision for the Best Paper. The winner of the 2013 Best Paper Award is:


external link  "Urban accessibility diagnosis from mobile laser scanning data"

by Andrés Serna and Beatriz Marcotegui

MINES ParisTech, CMM – Center for mathematical morphology, Fontainebleau, France


Andrés Serna Beatriz Marcotegui
Andrés Serna Beatriz Marcotegui


published in volume 84, October 2013, pp. 23-32,


Jury's rationale for the paper selection

This paper addresses the problem of detecting navigable routes for wheelchairs in urban areas based on curb detection from mobile laser scanner point clouds. A key scientific contribution noted by the Jury is a new method for providing continuity of extracted curb lines using Bezier curves. The Jury was impressed with the results and felt that the social impact of their very practically-focussed research could be wide-reaching in society as the future demand for accessibility information will likely be very high.

On behalf of the ISPRS and the U.V. Helava Award Jury, I would like to congratulate the authors for this distinction and thank them for their contribution. I would also like to thank the sponsors of the Award, and the Jury members for their thorough evaluations.


Derek Lichti
ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing,
The University of Calgary, Canada
E-mail address:



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