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Extracting built-up areas from Sentinel-1 imagery using land-cover classification and texture analysis

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Urban areas are continuously expanding, against the background of accelerating urbanization, while their correct detection might be useful in a wide range of applications in urban planning and environmental studies. The paper proposes the development of a new method for the detection of the built-up areas based on SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) data, combining two images on ascendant and descendant orbits, while keeping both polarizations. In the pre-processing operation, we have obtained 4 backscattering bands, 4 primary texture bands, and 12 secondary texture bands which were subsequently used for classification purposes. The method combines a classification of the SAR images with a texture analysis (Iso-Tex) by using spectral signatures and a separation threshold. The results were compared to those achieved in a supervised classification for two cities in Central and Eastern Europe: Cluj-Napoca, in Romania and Wroclaw, in Poland. The potential of the new Iso-Tex method has been proven by the transition to a higher accuracy level compared to the supervised classification. The main advantage of the method is the separation of classes generating detection problems to both radar and optical systems (bare soil, excessively humid soil areas, and the upper part of the slopes).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Geography, GeoTomLab, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Publication date: October 18, 2019

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