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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 360;

Designing an Experiment to Investigate Subpixel Mapping as an Alternative Method to Obtain Land Use/Land Cover Maps

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede 7500, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ioannis Gitas and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 13 December 2015 / Revised: 19 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [11915 KB, uploaded 26 April 2016]   |  


Various subpixel mapping (SPM) methods have been proposed as downscaling techniques to reduce uncertainty in classifying mixed pixels. Such methods can provide category maps of a higher spatial resolution than the original input images. The aim of this study was to explore and validate the potential of SPM as an alternative method for obtaining land use/land cover (LULC) maps of regions where high-spatial-resolution LULC maps are unavailable. An experimental design was proposed to evaluate the feasibility of SPM for providing the alternative LULC maps. A case study was implemented in the Jingjinji region of China. SPM results for spatial resolutions of 500–100 m were derived from a single 1-km synthetic fraction image using two representative SPM methods. The 1-km synthetic fraction image was assumed to be error free. Accuracy assessment and analysis showed that overall accuracies of the SPM results were reduced from about 85% to 75% with increasing spatial resolution, and that producer’s accuracies varied considerably from about 62% to 93%. SPM performed best when handling areal features in comparison with linear and point features. The highest accuracies were achieved for areas with the lowest complexity. The study concluded that the results from SPM could provide an alternative LULC data source with acceptable accuracy, especially in areas with low complexity and with a large proportion of areal features. View Full-Text
Keywords: subpixel mapping; downscaling; land use/land cover; experimental design subpixel mapping; downscaling; land use/land cover; experimental design

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Ge, Y.; Jiang, Y.; Chen, Y.; Stein, A.; Jiang, D.; Jia, Y. Designing an Experiment to Investigate Subpixel Mapping as an Alternative Method to Obtain Land Use/Land Cover Maps. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 360.

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