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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2(1), 220-236; doi:10.3390/ijgi2010220

Mapping Urban Tree Species Using Very High Resolution Satellite Imagery: Comparing Pixel-Based and Object-Based Approaches

1
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Royal Enclave, Srirampura, Jakkur P.O., Bangalore 560064, India
2
Centre for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University, 408 North Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 13 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Monitoring and Modelling of Environmental Change)
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Abstract

We assessed the potential of multi-spectral GeoEye imagery for biodiversity assessment in an urban context in Bangalore, India. Twenty one grids of 150 by 150 m were randomly located in the city center and all tree species within these grids mapped in the field. The six most common species, collectively representing 43% of the total trees sampled, were selected for mapping using pixel-based and object-based approaches. All pairs of species were separable based on spectral reflectance values in at least one band, with Peltophorum pterocarpum being most distinct from other species. Object-based approaches were consistently superior to pixel-based methods, which were particularly low in accuracy for tree species with small canopy sizes, such as Cocos nucifera and Roystonea regia. There was a strong and significant correlation between the number of trees determined on the ground and from object-based classification. Overall, object-based approaches appear capable of discriminating the six most common species in a challenging urban environment, with substantial heterogeneity of tree canopy sizes.
Keywords: urban ecology; tree diversity; ecological monitoring; hyperspatial imagery; India urban ecology; tree diversity; ecological monitoring; hyperspatial imagery; India
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Agarwal, S.; Vailshery, L.S.; Jaganmohan, M.; Nagendra, H. Mapping Urban Tree Species Using Very High Resolution Satellite Imagery: Comparing Pixel-Based and Object-Based Approaches. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2, 220-236.

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