Image processing and classification procedures for analysis of sub-decimeter imagery acquired with an unmanned aircraft over arid rangelands

TitleImage processing and classification procedures for analysis of sub-decimeter imagery acquired with an unmanned aircraft over arid rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLaliberte, Andrea S., Rango A
JournalGIScience & Remote Sensing
Volume48
Issue1
Start Page4-23
Pagination4-23
ARIS Log Number259525
AbstractUnmanned aerial systems (UAS) have great potential as a platform for acquiring very high resolution aerial imagery for vegetation mapping. However, image processing and classification techniques require adaptation to images obtained with low-cost digital cameras. We developed and evaluated an image processing workflow that included the integration of resolution-appropriate field sampling, feature selection, and object-based image analysis for the purpose of classifying rangeland vegetation from a five-centimeter-resolution UAS image mosaic. Classification tree analysis was used to determine the optimal spectral, spatial, and contextual features. Segmentation and classification rule sets were developed on a test plot and were applied to the remaining study area, resulting in an overall classification accuracy of 78% at the species level and 81% at the structure-group level. The image processing approach provides a roadmap for deriving quality vegetation classification products from UAS imagery with very high spatial, but low spectral resolution.
URL/files/bibliography/11-001.pdf
DOI10.2747/1548-1603.48.1.4