Development of an IKONOS image classification rule-set for multi-scale mapping of Mediterranean rural landscapes

TitleDevelopment of an IKONOS image classification rule-set for multi-scale mapping of Mediterranean rural landscapes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKarydas, CG, Ioannis Z. Gitas
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Pagination9261 - 9277
Date PublishedAug-12-2012

In this research, a rule-set of object-based classification of IKONOS imagery for fine-scale mapping of Mediterranean rural landscapes was developed. This study was conducted on the Mediterranean island of Crete (Greece). A three-level classification hierarchy was designed in a bottom-up approach containing a total number of 22 classes. The first level was associated with vegetation physiognomy (6 classes), the second level with linear features (6 classes) and the third level with land uses existing in the area (10 classes). Image objects were created with multiresolution segmentation, an algorithm supplied by eCognition software. The segmentation parameters were selected through a trial-and-error approach after visual evaluation of the resulting image objects. The rule-set comprised 100 classification rules described with the ‘Membership Function’ classifier. The classification stability was found to lie between 0.59 and 0.77, inversely proportional to the complexity of each level's classification. For an accuracy assessment, the error matrix method was used in a set of 250 randomly selected points. The overall classification accuracy achieved at the first level was 74%, at the second level 50% and at the third level 64%. The geometric accuracy of the classification was beyond the scope of this research; and moreover, consistent reference data sets were not available. The conclusion is that the use of rules in an object-based image analysis (OBIA) process has the potential to produce accurate landscape maps even in the case of complex environments, in which ancillary data are not available. Future work should focus on testing the transferability of the rule-set in different Mediterranean study sites, in order to draw a conclusion in relation to its potential operational use.



Short TitleInternational Journal of Remote Sensing