Hierarchical Object-based Image Analysis approach for classification of sub-meter multispectral imagery in Tanzania

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Caspar Chung, University of Maryland College Park, Department of Geographical Sciences, College Park, MD, United States, Jyoteshwar R Nagol, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States, Xin Tao, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States, Anupam Anand, Global Land Cover Facility, College Park, MD, United States and University of Maryland College Park
Increasing agricultural production while at the same time preserving the environment has become a challenging task. There is a need for new approaches for use of multi-scale and multi-source remote sensing data as well as ground based measurements for mapping and monitoring crop and ecosystem state to support decision making by governmental and non-governmental organizations for sustainable agricultural development. High resolution sub-meter imagery plays an important role in such an integrative framework of landscape monitoring. It helps link the ground based data to more easily available coarser resolution data, facilitating calibration and validation of derived remote sensing products.

Here we present a hierarchical Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) approach to classify sub-meter imagery. The primary reason for choosing OBIA is to accommodate pixel sizes smaller than the object or class of interest. Especially in non-homogeneous savannah regions of Tanzania, this is an important concern and the traditional pixel based spectral signature approach often fails.

Ortho-rectified, calibrated, pan sharpened 0.5 meter resolution data acquired from DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite sensor was used for this purpose. Multi-scale hierarchical segmentation was performed using multi-resolution segmentation approach to facilitate the use of texture, neighborhood context, and the relationship between super and sub objects for training and classification. eCognition, a commonly used OBIA software program, was used for this purpose. Both decision tree and random forest approaches for classification were tested. The Kappa index agreement for both algorithms surpassed the 85%. The results demonstrate that using hierarchical OBIA can effectively and accurately discriminate classes at even LCCS-3 legend.