A NEW APPROACH FOR MAPPING LAND USE / LAND COVER USING GOOGLE EARTH ENGINE: A COMPARISON OF COMPOSITION IMAGES
Keywords: Google Earth Engine, Machine learning, land cover classification, LULC Mapping, Image composition, Tetouan, Morocco
Abstract. In view of the increase in human activities, climate change and related hazards, land use and land cover (LULC) mapping is becoming a fundamental part of the process of any development or hazard prevention project. From this perspective, we propose a new approach for mapping LULC using Machine learning algorithms by comparing the result of five composition methods based on Google Earth Engine in the city of Tetouan - Morocco. To achieve this goal, considering the Sentinel S2 L2 imageries as a source data , five datasets were derived to make the classification generating by aggregating functions (median , mean , max , min and mode). Then based on the very high resolution (VHR) satellite images provided by Google Earth comes the next step that involves selecting samples that are divided into five classes (barren land, water surface, vegetation, forest, and urban areas), which will be further split into two parts: 70% as a training data -used to feed the machine learning algorithms (support vector machine (SVM), random forest (RF) and classification and regression trees (CART))- and 30% as a testing data for evaluating the models using accuracy assessments. The results for all datasets indicate that the SVM algorithm has the highest accuracy and its performance is better than the other algorithms (RF and CART). The average overall accuracy of SVM , RF , and CART was 87.99% , 87.81% and 84.72% , respectively. Furthermore, for each algorithm, the comparison between the results of the different composites indicates that the use of the mean composite is the most suitable for LULC mapping. Finally, GEE has proven to be an effective and rapid method for LULC mapping, especially with the use of compositional imagery that can assist decision makers in future planning or risk prevention.