Land Use/Cover Classification Techniques Using Optical Remotely Sensed Data in Landscape Planning

Onur §atir and Suha Berberoglu

Cukurova University, Agriculture Faculty, Department of Landscape Architecture,


1. Introduction

The observed biophysical cover of the earth’s surface, termed land-cover is composed of patterns that occur due to a variety of natural and human-derived processes. On the other hand Land-use is human activity on the land, influenced by economic, cultural, political, historical, and land-tenure factors. Remotely-sensed data (i. e., satellite or aerial imagery) can often be used to define land-use through observations of the land-cover (Brown, et al., 2000; Karl & Maurer, 2010). Up-to-date land-use information is of critical importance to planners, scientists, resource managers, and decision makers.

Optical remote sensing (RS) plays a vital role about defining LUC (land use/cover) and monitoring interactions between nature and human activities. Additionally, RS provides time, energy and cost saving. Today, optical RS data such as satellite sensor images and aerial photos are used widely to detect LUC dynamics. LUC mapping outcomes are used for global, regional, local mapping, change detection, landscape planning and driving landscape metrics.

RS image classification is a complex process and requires consideration of many factors. The major steps of image classification may include i) determination of a suitable classification system, ii) image preprocessing iii) selection of training samples, iv) selection of suitable classification approaches and post-classification processing, and v) accuracy assessment. Additionally, the user’s need, scale of the study area, economic condition, and analyst’s skills are important factors influencing the selection of remotely sensed data, the design of the classification procedure, and the quality of the classification results (Lu and Weng 2007).

LUC mapping has been used for various purposes in landscape planning and assessment such as, deriving landscape metrics (Southworth et al., 2010, Huang et al., 2007), landscape monitoring (Ozyavuz et al., 2011, Berberoglu and Akin 2009), LUC change modeling (e. g., SLUETH (Clarke, 2008)), agricultural studies (agricultural policy environmental extender model (APEX) (Gassman et al., 2010); soil water assessment tool (SWAT) (Betrie et al. 2011)) and environmental processes (revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) (Renard et al., 1997)).

This chapter evaluates classification methods together with optical remote sensing data, and ancillary data integration to improve classification accuracy of LUC mapping.