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Sensors 2008, 8(11), 7125-7143; doi:10.3390/s8117125

Rapid Urban Mapping Using SAR/Optical Imagery Synergy

1,* , 2
Received: 11 September 2008 / Revised: 7 November 2008 / Accepted: 10 November 2008 / Published: 12 November 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR))
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This paper highlights the potential of combining Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical data for operational rapid urban mapping. An algorithm consisting of a completely unsupervised procedure for processing pairs of co-registered SAR/optical images is proposed. In a first stage, a texture analysis is conducted independently on the two images using eight different chain-based Gaussian models. In a second stage, the resulting texture images are partitioned by an unsupervised fuzzy K-means approach. Finally, a fuzzy decision rule is used to aggregate the results provided by the classification of texture images obtained from the pair of SAR and optical images. The method was tested and validated on images of Bucharest (Romania) and Cayenne (French Guiana). These two study areas are of different terrain relief, urban settlement structure and land cover complexity. The data set included Radarsat-1/ENVISAT and SPOT-4/5 images. The developed SAR/optical information fusion scheme improved the capabilities of urban areas extraction when compared with the separate use of SAR and optical sensors. It also proved to be suitable for monitoring urbanization development. The encouraging results thus confirm the potential of combining information from SAR and optical sensors for timely urban area analysis, as required in cases of disaster management and planning in urban sprawl areas.
Keywords: SAR sensors; optical sensors; texture analysis; fuzzy K-means classification; information fusion; rapid urban mapping SAR sensors; optical sensors; texture analysis; fuzzy K-means classification; information fusion; rapid urban mapping
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.

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Corbane, C.; Faure, J.-F.; Baghdadi, N.; Villeneuve, N.; Petit, M. Rapid Urban Mapping Using SAR/Optical Imagery Synergy. Sensors 2008, 8, 7125-7143.

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