The use of satellite image time series analysis and machine learning methods brings new opportunities and challenges for land use and cover changes (LUCC) mapping over large areas. One of these challenges is the need for samples that properly represent the high variability of land used and cover classes over large areas to train supervised machine learning methods and to produce accurate LUCC maps. This paper addresses this challenge and presents a method to identify spatiotemporal patterns in land use and cover samples to infer subclasses through the phenological and spectral information provided by satellite image time series. The proposed method uses self-organizing maps (SOMs) to reduce the data dimensionality creating primary clusters. From these primary clusters, it uses hierarchical clustering to create subclusters that recognize intra-class variability intrinsic to different regions and periods, mainly in large areas and multiple years. To show how the method works, we use MODIS image time series associated to samples of cropland and pasture classes over the Cerrado biome in Brazil. The results prove that the proposed method is suitable for identifying spatiotemporal patterns in land use and cover samples that can be used to infer subclasses, mainly for crop-types. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Clustering, spatiotemporal patterns
- Data training
- Time series