CHANGE DETECTION AND LAND USE / LAND COVER DATABASE UPDATING USING IMAGE SEGMENTATION, GIS ANALYSIS AND VISUAL INTERPRETATION
Keywords: Land cover database, Updating, Uncertainty, Image segmentation, Visual interpretation
Abstract. This article presents a hybrid method that combines image segmentation, GIS analysis, and visual interpretation in order to detect discrepancies between an existing land use/cover map and satellite images, and assess land use/cover changes. It was applied to the elaboration of a multidate land use/cover database of the State of Michoacán, Mexico using SPOT and Landsat imagery. The method was first applied to improve the resolution of an existing 1:250,000 land use/cover map produced through the visual interpretation of 2007 SPOT images. A segmentation of the 2007 SPOT images was carried out to create spectrally homogeneous objects with a minimum area of two hectares. Through an overlay operation with the outdated map, each segment receives the “majority” category from the map. Furthermore, spectral indices of the SPOT image were calculated for each band and each segment; therefore, each segment was characterized from the images (spectral indices) and the map (class label). In order to detect uncertain areas which present discrepancy between spectral response and class label, a multivariate trimming, which consists in truncating a distribution from its least likely values, was applied. The segments that behave like outliers were detected and labeled as “uncertain” and a probable alternative category was determined by means of a digital classification using a decision tree classification algorithm. Then, the segments were visually inspected in the SPOT image and high resolution imagery to assign a final category. The same procedure was applied to update the map to 2014 using Landsat imagery. As a final step, an accuracy assessment was carried out using verification sites selected from a stratified random sampling and visually interpreted using high resolution imagery and ground truth.