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Sensors 2014, 14(12), 22643-22669; doi:10.3390/s141222643

Tree Crown Mapping in Managed Woodlands (Parklands) of Semi-Arid West Africa Using WorldView-2 Imagery and Geographic Object Based Image Analysis

1
Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Department of Thematic Studies/Environmental Change, Linköping University, Linköping 58183, Sweden
2
Section of Forest Remote Sensing, Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå 901 83, Sweden
3
Centre for Environment and Sustainability, GMV, University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg 405 30, Sweden
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2014 / Revised: 13 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

Detailed information on tree cover structure is critical for research and monitoring programs targeting African woodlands, including agroforestry parklands. High spatial resolution satellite imagery represents a potentially effective alternative to field-based surveys, but requires the development of accurate methods to automate information extraction. This study presents a method for tree crown mapping based on Geographic Object Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) that use spectral and geometric information to detect and delineate individual tree crowns and crown clusters. The method was implemented on a WorldView-2 image acquired over the parklands of Saponé, Burkina Faso, and rigorously evaluated against field reference data. The overall detection rate was 85.4% for individual tree crowns and crown clusters, with lower accuracies in areas with high tree density and dense understory vegetation. The overall delineation error (expressed as the difference between area of delineated object and crown area measured in the field) was 45.6% for individual tree crowns and 61.5% for crown clusters. Delineation accuracies were higher for medium (35–100 m2) and large (≥100 m2) trees compared to small (<35 m2) trees. The results indicate potential of GEOBIA and WorldView-2 imagery for tree crown mapping in parkland landscapes and similar woodland areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; high spatial resolution; WorldView-2; tree crown mapping; tree crown delineation; geographic object based image analysis; woodland; agroforestry; parkland; Burkina Faso remote sensing; high spatial resolution; WorldView-2; tree crown mapping; tree crown delineation; geographic object based image analysis; woodland; agroforestry; parkland; Burkina Faso
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Karlson, M.; Reese, H.; Ostwald, M. Tree Crown Mapping in Managed Woodlands (Parklands) of Semi-Arid West Africa Using WorldView-2 Imagery and Geographic Object Based Image Analysis. Sensors 2014, 14, 22643-22669.

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