A cartographic and database approach for land cover/use mapping and generalization from remotely sensed data
Classification of remotely sensed data involves a set of generalization processes, i.e. reality is simplified to a set of a few classes that are relevant to the application under consideration. This article introduces an approach to image classification that uses a class hierarchy structure for mapping unit definition at different generalization levels. This structure is implemented as an operational relational database and allows querying of more detailed land cover/use information from a higher abstraction level, which is that viewed by the map user. Elementary mapping units are defined on the basis of an unsupervised classification process in order to determine the land cover/use classes registered in the remotely sensed data. Mapping unit composition at different generalization levels is defined on the basis of membership values of sampled pixels to land cover/use classes. Unlike fuzzy classifications, membership values are presented to the user at mapping unit level.
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