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Updating land cover classification using a rule‐based decision system

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This paper proposes a land cover classification methodology in agricultural contexts that provides satisfactory results with a single satellite image per year acquired during the growing period. Our approach incorporates ancillary data such as cropping history (inter-annual crop rotations), context (altitude, soil type) and structure (parcels size and shape) to compensate for the lack of radiometric data resulting from the use of a single image. The originality of the proposed method resides in the three successive steps used: S1: per-pixel classification of a single SPOT XS image with a restricted number of land cover classes (RL) chosen to ensure good accuracy; S2: conversion of RLs into a per-parcel classification system using ancillary parcel boundaries; and S3: parcel allocation using exhaustive land cover classes (EL) and its refinement through the application of decision rules. The method was tested on a 120?km 2 area (Sousson river basin, Gers, France) where exhaustive knowledge of land cover for two successive years allowed complete validation of our method. It allocated 87% of the parcels with a 75% accuracy rate according to the exhaustive list (EL). This is a satisfactory result obtained with one SPOT XS image in a small agricultural parcel context.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Study of Interaction between Soil, Agrosystems and Hydrosystems Joint Research Unit, ENSAM‐INRA‐IRD, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier cedex 1, France

Publication date: 2005-04-01

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