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Determination of land use change categories using classification of multitemporal satellite image data

ACRS 1998

Poster Session 3

Determination of Land Use Change Categories Using Classification of Multitemporal Satellite Image Data

Kyu-sung Lee and Mi-Reyoung Joung
Inha University, Dept. of Geoinformatic Engineering
253 Yonghyun-dong, Nam-ku, Inchon, 402-751, Korea
E-mail : [email protected]

This study attempts to determine major land cover change categories using satellite remote sensing data collected at three different times. The study area covers approximately 10,000 km2 of the provinces of Pyungan and Hwanghea in western region of North Korea. Using multitemporal Landsat imagery obtained from 1973 to 1993, land cover types for each year were classified. Primary land cover change categories, such as the conversion of forest land into cropland, were defined based on the classification accuracy of each data set and the temporal pattern of land cover classes observed on three classified maps.

Land cover/use change detection has been a major application field of remote sensing ever the first earth observing satellite was launched. Since remote sensor data from the earth orbit can be obtained repeatedly over the same area, they have been very useful to monitor and analyze land cover changes in various regions of the earth. Several algorithms of digital change detection have been developed and each method has own characteristics of data analysis and the extent of information to be extracted (Jensen, 1996; Singh, 1989). Most change detection methods are based on the data sets collected at two different times. Although there are plenty of multitemporal image data over the same area, it is surprising that most change detection studies have been primarily conducted using only the data sets obtained at two times. The time lapse between two data sets depends on the change characteristic of interest. Seasonal and annual changes of vegetation cover have been frequently analyzed by using vegetation indices that were derived from multitemporal dta sets collected at more than two times (Eastman and Fulk, 1993; Lambin and Ehrlich, 1997; Washington-Allen et al., 1998). Certain change detection methods, such as band ratioing and differencing, are primarily based on the data sets that had a constant environmental characteristics of atmospheric conditions and vegetation phenoloyg.

Since it is difficult to maintain such constant environmental conditions among the multitemporal data sets to be analyzed, post-classification comparison method is often used for analyzing land cover/use changes. Post-classification comparison method treats each data set separately and only compares the classification result obtained from each data set (Miller et al., 1998). However, this method assumes that the classification results are completely correct, which is not true in real situations. This study attempts to develop a methodology to define the land cover change categories from the classification results of multitemporal data collected at three different times.


Study Area and Data Used
In recent years, the extreme case of food shortage in North Korea became a great concern to international community. Even though it has been expected that rather large scale land development practices were continued to increase the crop cultivation lands during the last few decades, there is a lack of reliable information related to the land cover/use statistics in North Korea. This study was designed to access the land cover changes occurred during the last two decades by using satellite remote sensor data.

The study area cover approximately 10,000 km2 of the Pyungan and Hwanghea provinces in western part of North Korea. Although this area covers less than 10% of the country’s territory, about an half of total population reside in this region. Considering the relatively dense population and gradual topography, it is expected that the study area has been under more intensive land management practices than the other parts of the country.

Three scenes of Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) and Thematic Mapper (TM) data obtained in 1973, 1984, and 1994 were used to classify and analyze the land cover changes. For the change detection purpose, it is desirable to use satellite imagery types due to the variation of vegetation growth. However, the multitemporal data sets obtained at the same growing season were not usually available in particular during the summer months from June to September because of the persistent cloud cover during the growing season in Korean Peninsula.

Three sets of Landsat data contain different level of radiometric and geometric distortions. The 1973 MSS data showed the stripping effect that was often found in early Landsat imagery. After the correction of stripping effect, the three data sets were then rectified and registered into a plane rectangular coordinate system. Geometric rectification of the data sets based was on asset of ground control point (GCP) that could be identified on both map nad imagery. During the resampling procedure the spatial resolution of TM data was degraded as to match the one of MSS data and to reduce the total volume for the proceeding analysis.

ACRS 1998

Poster Session 3

Determination of Land Use Change Categories Using Classification of Multitemporal Satellite Image Data

Each of there data sets was classified separately to overcome the discrepancy of spectral variation by the data acquisition time. Since the vegetation condition at three different times (April, October, and May) might be different, it was difficult to apply an identical classification scheme to all there data sets. Each data sets was classified using an unsupervised clustering algorithm. Because there were lack of reference data to be used for delineating training fields, it was difficult to apply supervised classification procedure. By careful examination of the spectral and spatial pattern of each cluster, every cluster was assigned into on of six land cover classes (water, forest, rice, field, non-irrigated crop, urban and bare soil). The accuracy of each classified map was separately determine by using test pixels that were carefully selected throughout the study area and evenly distributed for each of six cover types. For each data set, about 1,700 test pixels were used to determine the classification accuracy.

Determination of change categories
After the classification of there data sets, each pixel unit has three lands cover class values for the year of 1973,1984 and 1993. Combing these three classified land cover maps, the temporal variation of change and no-change of land cover could be described. Each pixel can have 216 possible combinations of change and no-change categories. There would be no change where the class values in all three maps were identical. Except those six cases where the class value were the same, all other combinations of three class values represent land cover changes from 1973 to 1993. However, such assumption is only valid for the case where the classification of each data set is entirely correct, which is certainly impossible in real situations.

Determination of meaningful change categories was conducted by the evaluating the three time-sequential cover types and classification accuracy (figure1). Every classified pixel has accuracy for a particular cover type at one three years. Since the classification accuracy of 1973 is statistically independent from the ones of 1984 and 1994, the product of all three accuracies can b considered as accuracy of the change category Cijk.