The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B2-2020
12 Aug 2020
 | 12 Aug 2020


A. Gujrathi, C. Yang, F. Rottensteiner, K. M. Buddhiraju, and C. Heipke

Keywords: land use classification, CNN, Geospatial land use database, DenseNet, global average pooling

Abstract. Land use is an important variable in remote sensing which describes the functions carried out on a piece of land in order to obtain benefits and is especially useful to the personnel working in the fields of urban management and planning. The land use information is maintained by national mapping agencies in geo-spatial databases. Commonly, land use data is stored in the form of polygon objects; the label of the object indicates land use. The main goal of classification of land use objects is to update an existing database in an automatic process. Recently, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have been widely used to tackle this task utilizing high resolution aerial images (and derived data such as digital surface model). One big challenge classifying polygons is to deal with the large variation in their geometrical extent. For this challenge, we adopt the method of Yang et al. (2019) to decompose polygons into regular patches of fixed size. The decomposition leads to two sets of polygons: small and large, where the former suffers from a lower identification rate. In this paper, we propose CNN methods which incorporate dense connectivity and integrate it with intermediate information via global average pooling to improve land use classification, mainly focusing on small polygons. We present different network variants by incorporating intermediate information via global average pooling from different stages of the network. We test our methods on two sites; our experiments show that the dense connectivity and integration of intermediate information has a positive effect not only on the classification accuracy on the whole but also on the identification of small polygons.