Using multiscale texture information from ALOS PALSAR to map tropical forest

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This research investigated the ability of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) to map tropical forest in central Sumatra, Indonesia. The study used PALSAR 50 m resolution orthorectified HH and HV data. As land-cover discrimination is difficult with only two bands (HH and HV), we added textures as additional information for classification. We calculated both first- and second-order texture features and studied the effects of texture window size, quantization scale and displacement length on discrimination capability. We found that rescaling to a lower number of grey levels (8 or 16) improved discrimination capability and that equal probability quantization was more effective than uniform quantization. Increasing displacement tended to reduce the discrimination capability. Low spatial resolution increased the discrimination capability because low spatial resolution features reduce the effects of noise. A larger number of features also improved discrimination capability. However, the amount of improvement depended on the window size. We used the optimum combination of backscatter amplitude and textures as input data into a supervised multi-resolution maximum likelihood classification. We found that including texture information improved the overall classification accuracy by 10%. However, there was significant confusion between natural forest and acacia plantations, as well as between oil palm and clear cuts, presumably because the backscatter and texture of these class pairs are very similar.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization), Lak Si,Bangkok,10210, Thailand 2: Collecte Localization Satellites (CLS), Plouzane,29280, France 3: Earth Observation Research Centre, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba Space Centre, Tsukuba,Ibaraki,305-8505, Japan 4: World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Washington,DC,20037, USA 5: Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Meguro,Tokyo,153-8505, Japan

Publication date: December 20, 2012

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