This study used geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) with very high spatial resolution (VHR) aerial imagery (0.3 m spatial resolution) to classify vegetation, channel and bare mud classes in a salt marsh. Three classification issues were investigated in the context of
segmentation scale: (1) a comparison of single- and multi-scale GEOBIA using spectral bands, (2) the relative benefit of incorporating texture derived from the grey-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) in classifying the salt marsh features in single- and multi-scale GEOBIA and (3) the effect
of quantization level of GLCM texture in the context of multi-scale GEOBIA. The single-scale GEOBIA experiments indicated that the optimal segmentation was both class and scale dependent. Therefore, the single-scale approach produced an only moderately accurate classification for all marsh
classes. A multi-scale approach, however, facilitated the use of multiple scales that allowed the delineation of individual classes with increased between-class and reduced within-class spectral variation. With only spectral bands used, the multi-scale approach outperformed the single-scale
GEOBIA with an overall accuracy of 82% vs. 76% (Kappa of 0.71 vs. 0.62). The study demonstrates the potential importance of ancillary data, GLCM texture, to compensate for limited between-class spectral discrimination. For example, gains in classification accuracies ranged from 3% to 12% when
the GLCM mean texture was included in the multi-scale GEOBIA. The multi-scale classification overall accuracy varied with quantization level of the GLCM texture matrix. A quantization level of 2 reduced misclassifications of channel and bare mud and generated a statistically higher classification
than higher quantization levels. Overall, the multi-scale GEOBIA produced the highest classification accuracy. The multi-scale GEOBIA is expected to be a useful methodology for creating a seamless spatial database of marsh landscape features to be used for further geographic information system
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Document Type: Research Article
Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science (CRMS), Department of Geography, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
Marine Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Publication date: 01 May 2011
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