Integration of multi-source remote sensing data for land cover change detection
Abstract. The objective of this study is to develop a methodology to integrate multi-source remote sensing data into a homogeneous time series of land cover maps in order to carry out change detection. We developed a method to increase the comparability between land cover maps coming from panchromatic aerial photographs and SPOT XS (multi-spectral) data by equalizing their levels of thematic content and spatial details. The methodology was based on the hypotheses that: (1) map generalization can improve the integration of data for change detection purpose, and (2) the spatial structure of a land cover map, as measured by a set of landscape metrics, is an indicator of the level of generalization of that map. Firstly, the methodology for data integration was developed by using land cover maps generated from near-synchronous data. Results revealed that, by controlling successively the parameters that influence the level of map generalization, the percentage of agreement between the near-synchronous land cover maps can be increased from 42% to 93%. The computation of five landscape metrics for a set of generalized land cover maps and for the target map allowed us to optimize the level of generalization by measuring the similarity in landscape pattern of the maps. The optimum level of generalization of the land cover map obtained from the aerial photographs for comparison with a land cover map derived from SPOT XS data was found at a resolution of 41m for two generalization levels of the thematic content. The spatial structure of a land cover map, as measured by a set of landscape metrics, is thus a good indicator of the level of generalization of this map. Secondly, the method was applied by integrating a land cover map obtained from aerial photographs of 1954 with a land cover map obtained from a SPOT XS image of 1992.
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