The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-1/W5
11 Dec 2015
 | 11 Dec 2015


N. Khalili Moghadam, M. R. Delavar, and P. Hanachee

Keywords: Automatic illegal building detection, building infractions, multi-temporal satellite images, K-means, Geospatial Information System

Abstract. With the unprecedented growth of urban population and urban development, we are faced with the growing trend of illegal building (IB) construction. Field visit, as the currently used method of IB detection, is time and man power consuming, in addition to its high cost. Therefore, an automatic IB detection is required. Acquiring multi-temporal satellite images and using image processing techniques for automatic change detection is one of the optimum methods which can be used in IB monitoring. In this research an automatic method of IB detection has been proposed. Two-temporal panchromatic satellite images of IRS-P5 of the study area in a part of Tehran, the city map and an updated spatial database of existing buildings were used to detect the suspected IBs. In the pre-processing step, the images were geometrically and radiometrically corrected. In the next step, the changed pixels were detected using K-means clustering technique because of its quickness and less user’s intervention required. Then, all the changed pixels of each building were identified and the change percentage of each building with the standard threshold of changes was compared to detect the buildings which are under construction. Finally, the IBs were detected by checking the municipality database. The unmatched constructed buildings with municipal database will be field checked to identify the IBs. The results show that out of 343 buildings appeared in the images; only 19 buildings were detected as under construction and three of them as unlicensed buildings. Furthermore, the overall accuracies of 83%, 79% and 75% were obtained for K-means change detection, detection of under construction buildings and IBs detection, respectively.