Using spatial point pattern analysis as supplement for object-based image classification of tree clusters

E.L.M. Tañada, A.C. Blanco

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Single tree detection is important for monitoring tree plantations in order to estimate crop yield, which can be used for assessing food and biofuels. In the field of remote sensing, there have been studies regarding single tree extraction using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point cloud data. Canopy Height Model (CHM) can be simply derived from these LiDAR data where trees can be analysed using different physical characteristics such as tree crown width, and height. However, using these physical characteristics can’t be very useful for identifying which trees are within a plantation, a forest, or a single tree. This is the motivation for developing algorithms of automated differentiation of random trees from plantation trees. Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) was used to acquire the locations of individual trees. Trees were separated from other land cover in the image using a CHM derived from LiDAR point cloud data. Using watershed algorithm in eCognition, trees with good canopy spacing was easily distinguished. A spatial point pattern analysis was done from the extracted locations of trees to differentiate regularly patterned points from randomly distributed points. Nearest neighbour statistics was done to provide measurement of the distribution of the extracted points. The Z-Score parameter from nearest neighbor was then added to the layers in eCognition as supplement to the available height derivatives such as mean, standard deviation, and different textural parameters. Supervised type of classification was used in order to classify the trees on the image. Training samples of each tree from the image were entered in Support Vector Machine (SVM) to classify the different trees. Two sets of validation were done to compare the results of using the object parameters only, and the object parameters and Z-Score. Addition of the Z-Score from the object parameters increased the obtained accuracy on both validation sets. Classification accuracy based on validation set 1 and set 2 increased by about 20% and 6%, respectively. Additional spatial pattern analysis methods and validation can further prove the use of such layers in improving classification of trees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of GEOBIA 2016
Subtitle of host publicationSolutions and synergies, 14-16 September 2016, Enschede, Netherlands
EditorsN. Kerle, M. Gerke, S. Lefevre
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-90-365-4201-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis, GEOBIA 2016: Solutions & Synergies - University of Twente Faculty of Geo-Information and Earth Observation (ITC), Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Sept 201616 Sept 2016
Conference number: 6


Conference6th International Conference on Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis, GEOBIA 2016
Abbreviated titleGEOBIA
Internet address


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