Spectral features based tea garden extraction from digital orthophoto maps
Keywords: Tree segmentation, tea garden classification, normalized difference vegetation index, morphological processing, region growing
Abstract. The advancements in the photogrammetry and remote sensing technologies has made it possible to extract useful tangible information from data which plays a pivotal role in various application such as management and monitoring of forests and agricultural lands etc. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of spectral signatures for extraction of tea gardens from 1 : 5000 scaled digital orthophoto maps obtained from Rize city in Turkey. First, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was derived from the input images to suppress the non-vegetation areas. NDVI values less than zero were discarded and the output images was normalized in the range 0–255. Individual pixels were then mapped into meaningful objects using global region growing technique. The resulting image was filtered and smoothed to reduce the impact of noise. Furthermore, geometrical constraints were applied to remove small objects (less than 500 pixels) followed by morphological opening operator to enhance the results. These objects served as building blocks for further image analysis. Finally, for the classification stage, a range of spectral values were empirically calculated for each band and applied on candidate objects to extract tea gardens. For accuracy assessment, we employed an area based similarity metric by overlapping obtained tea garden boundaries with the manually digitized tea garden boundaries created by experts of photogrammetry. The overall accuracy of the proposed method scored 89 % for tea gardens from 10 sample orthophoto maps. We concluded that exploiting the spectral signatures using object based analysis is an effective technique for extraction of dominant tree species from digital orthophoto maps.