Enhanced Urban Landcover Classification for Operational Change Detection Study Using Very High Resolution Remote Sensing Data
Keywords: WorldView-2, QuickBird, Support Vector Machine, Change Detection
Abstract. This study presents an operational case of advancements in urban land cover classification and change detection by using very high resolution spatial and multispectral information from 4-band QuickBird (QB) and 8-band WorldView-2 (WV-2) image sequence. Our study accentuates quantitative, pixel based, image difference approach for operational change detection using very high resolution pansharpened QB and WV-2 images captured over San Francisco city, California, USA (37° 44" 30N', 122° 31" 30' W and 37° 41" 30° N ,122° 20" 30' W). In addition to standard QB image, we compiled three multiband images from eight pansharpened WV-2 bands: (1) multiband image from four traditional spectral bands, i.e., Blue, Green, Red and near-infrared 1 (NIR1) (henceforth referred as "QB equivalent WV-2"), (2) multiband image from four new spectral bands, i.e., Coastal, Yellow, Red Edge and NIR2 (henceforth referred as "new band WV-2"), and (3) multiband image consisting of four traditional and four new bands (henceforth referred as "standard WV-2"). All the four multiband images were classified using support vector machine (SVM) classifier into four most abundant land cover classes, viz, hard surface, vegetation, water and shadow. The assessment of classification accuracy was performed using random selection of 356 test points. Land cover classifications on "standard QB" image (kappa coeffiecient, κ = 0.93), "QB equivalent WV-2" image (κ = 0.97), and "new band WV-2" image (κ = 0.97) yielded overall accuracies of 96.31 %, 98.03 % and 98.31 %, respectively, while "standard WV-2" image (κ = 0.99) yielded an improved overall accuracy of 99.18 %. It is concluded that the addition of four new spectral bands to the existing four traditional bands improved the discrimination of land cover targets, due to increase in the spectral characteristics of WV-2 satellite. Consequently, to test the validity of improvement in classification process for implementation in operational change detection application, comparative assessment of transition of various landcover classes in three WV-2 images with respect to "standard QB" image was carried out using image difference method. As far as waterbody class is concerned, there was no significant transition observed in all the three WorldView-2 Images, whereas, hard surface class showed lowest transition in "standard WV-2" image and highest in case of "new band WV-2". The most significant transition was occurred in vegetation class in all of the three images, showing positive change (increase) in standard WV-2 image (0.31 Sq. Km) and negative change (decrease) in other two images (−0.12 Sq. Km for "QB equivalent WV-2" image and −31.15 Sq. Km in "new band WV-2" image) with considerable amount. Similar case was observed with the shadow class, but the difference is, transition from shadow to other classes was negative in all the three WV-2 images which can be attributed to the fact that, "standard QB" image had more shadow area (based on acquisition time and sun position) than WV-2, that means all the band combinations of WV-2 succeeded in extracting the features hidden below the shadow in "standard QB" image. These trends indicate that the overall bandwise transition in landcover classes in case of "standard WV-2" is more precise than other two images. We note that "QB equivalent WV-2" image had narrower band widths than those of "standard QB" image but the observed vegetation change is not prominent as in case of other two images, but at the same time, transition in hard surface and waterbody was discerned more efficiently than "new band WV-2" image. The addition of new bands in WV-2 enabled more effective vegetation analysis, so the vegetation transition results shown by "new band WV-2" image were at par with the "standard WV-2" image, showing the importance of these newly added bands in the WV-2 imagery, with comparatively lower transitions in other classes. In a nutshell, it can be claimed that incorporation of new bands along with even narrower Red, Green, Blue and Near Infrared-1 bands in WV-2 image holds remarkable importance which leads to enhancement in the potential of WV-2 imagery in change detection and other feature extraction studies.