A comparison of automated land cover/use classification methods for a Texas bottomland hardwood system using lidar, spot-5, and ancillary data
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Bottomland hardwood forests are highly productive ecosystems which perform many important ecological services. Unfortunately, many bottomland hardwood forests have been degraded or lost. Accurate land cover mapping is crucial for management decisions affecting these disappearing systems. SPOT-5 imagery from 2005 was combined with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data from 2006 and several ancillary datasets to map a portion of the bottomland hardwood system found in the Sulphur River Basin of Northeast Texas. Pixel-based classification techniques, rulebased classification techniques, and object-based classification techniques were used to distinguish nine land cover types in the area. The rule-based classification (84.41% overall accuracy) outperformed the other classification methods because it more effectively incorporated the LiDAR and ancillary datasets when needed. This output was compared to previous classifications from 1974, 1984, 1991, and 1997 to determine abundance trends in the area’s bottomland hardwood forests. The classifications from 1974-1991 were conducted using identical class definitions and input imagery (Landsat MSS 60m), and the direct comparison demonstrates an overall declining trend in bottomland hardwood abundance. The trend levels off in 1997 when medium resolution imagery was first utilized (Landsat TM 30m) and the 2005 classification also shows an increase in bottomland hardwood from 1997 to 2005, when SPOT-5 10m imagery was used. However, when the classifications are re-sampled to the same resolution (60m), the percent area of bottomland hardwood consistently decreases from 1974-2005. Additional investigation of object-oriented classification proved useful. A major shortcoming of object-based classification is limited justification regarding the selection of segmentation parameters. Often, segmentation parameters are arbitrarily defined using general guidelines or are determined through a large number of parameter combinations. This research justifies the selection of segmentation parameters through a process that utilizes landscape metrics and statistical techniques to determine ideal segmentation parameters. The classification resulting from these parameters outperforms the classification resulting from arbitrary parameters by approximately three to six percent in terms of overall accuracy, demonstrating that landscape metrics can be successfully linked to segmentation parameters in order to create image objects that more closely resemble real-world objects and result in a more accurate final classification.
SubjectBottomland hardwood forests
Vernon, Zachary Isaac (2008). A comparison of automated land cover/use classification methods for a Texas bottomland hardwood system using lidar, spot-5, and ancillary data. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from