Comparison of Segment and Pixel Based Non-Parametric Classification of Land Cover in the Amazon Region of Brazil Using Multitemporal Landsat TM/ETM+ Imagery
Joseph, Katherine Amanda
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This study evaluated the ability of segment-based classification paired with non-parametric methods (CART and kNN) to classify a chronosequence of Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery spanning from 1992 to 2002 within the state of RondÃ´nia, Brazil. Pixel-based classification was also implemented for comparison. Interannual multitemporal composites were used in each classification in an attempt to increase the separation of primary forest, cleared, and re-vegetated classes within a given year. The kNN and CART classification methods, with the integration of multitemporal data, performed equally well with overall accuracies ranging from 77% to 91%. Pixel-based CART classification, although not different in terms of mean or median overall accuracy, did have significantly lower variability than all other techniques (3.2% vs. an average of 13.2%), and thus provided more consistent results. Segmentation did not improve classification success over pixel-based methods and was therefore an unnecessary processing step with the used dataset. Through the appropriate band selection methods of the respective non-parametric classifiers, multitemporal bands were chosen in 38 of the 44 total classifications, strongly suggesting the utility of interannual multitemporal data for the separation of cleared, re-vegetated, and primary forest classes. The separation of the primary forest class from the cleared and re-vegetated classes was particularly successful and may be a possible result of the incorporation of multitemporal data. The land cover maps from this study allow for an accurate annualized analysis of land cover and can be coupled with household data to gain a better understanding of landscape change in the region.
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