The U. V. Helava Award

Best Paper 2018

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 will be selected.

The fifth U.V. Helava Award will be presented at the 24th ISPRS Congress in Nice, France, June 28th to July 4th 2020. The Jury appointed by the ISPRS Council evaluated papers from volumes 135-146 (2018) and announces its decision for the Best Paper. The winner of the 2018 Best Paper Award is:


external link  "From Google Maps to a fine-grained catalog of street trees".

by Steve Bransona1, Jan Dirk Wegnerb1, David Halla, Nico Langb, Konrad Schindlerb, and Pietro Peronaa

aComputational Vision Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA.
bPhotogrammetry and Remote Sensing, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
1joint first author.



Steve Branson Jan Dirk Wegner David Hall
Steve Branson Jan Dirk Wegner David Hall
Nico Lang Konrad Schindler Pietro Perona
Nico Lang Konrad Schindler Pietro Perona


published in Volume 135, January 2018, Pages 13-30,


Jury's rationale for the paper selection

This paper developed a fully automated tree detection and species recognition approach based on publicly available aerial and street view images. The Jury thinks that the work is innovative, and applicable for large areas of tree classification and inventories. The developed methodology would affect practices of urban tree management globally. Therefore, it very deserves the best paper award for 2018.

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.


Qihao Weng, Ph.D., FIEEE
ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing,
Indiana State University, U.S.A.
E-mail address:



The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. The Society operates without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political philosophy.

Our Contact

Leibniz University Hannover
Institute of Photogrammetry and GeoInformation
Nienburger Str. 1
D-30167 Hannover