ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2015, 4(3), 1301-1316; doi:10.3390/ijgi4031301 (registering DOI) - published 31 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Monitoring vehicular road traffic is a key component of any autonomous driving platform. Detecting moving objects, and tracking them, is crucial to navigating around objects and predicting their locations and trajectories. Laser sensors provide an excellent observation of the area around vehicles, but the point cloud of objects may be noisy, occluded, and prone to different errors. Consequently, object tracking is an open problem, especially for low-quality point clouds. This paper describes a pipeline to integrate various sensor data and prior information, such as a Geospatial Information System (GIS) map, to segment and track moving objects in a scene. We show that even a low-quality GIS map, such as OpenStreetMap (OSM), can improve the tracking accuracy, as well as decrease processing time. A bank of Kalman filters is used to track moving objects in a scene. In addition, we apply non-holonomic constraint to provide a better orientation estimation of moving objects. The results show that moving objects can be correctly detected, and accurately tracked, over time, based on modest quality Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data, a coarse GIS map, and a fairly accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) navigation solution.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2015, 4(3), 1290-1300; doi:10.3390/ijgi4031290 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Children under the age of five constitute around 7% of the total U.S. population, and represent a segment of the population that is totally dependent on others for day-to-day activities. A significant proportion of this population spends time in some form of day care arrangement while their parents are away from home. Accounting for those children during emergencies is of high priority, which requires a broad understanding of the locations of such day care centers. As concentrations of at risk population, the spatial location of day care centers is critical for any type of emergency preparedness and response (EPR). However, until recently, the U.S. emergency preparedness and response community did not have access to a comprehensive spatial database of day care centers at the national scale. This paper describes an approach for the development of the first comprehensive spatial database of day care center locations throughout the U.S. utilizing a variety of data harvesting techniques to integrate information from widely disparate data sources followed by geolocating for spatial precision. In the context of disaster management, such spatially refined demographic databases hold tremendous potential for improving high-resolution population distribution and dynamics models and databases.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2015, 4(3), 1265-1289; doi:10.3390/ijgi4031265 - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Using Satellite Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, this paper analyzes the land use and land cover change dynamics in the Bosomtwe District of Ghana, for 1986, 2010 thematic mapper and enhanced thematic Mapper+ (TM/ETM+) images, and 2014 Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor (OLI/TIS) image. The three images were geo-referenced and processed for classification, using the maximum likelihood classifier algorithm. A Jeffries-Matusita’s separability check was used in confirming the degree of spectral separation acceptability of the bands used for each of the land use and land cover classes. The best Kappa hat statistic of classification accuracy was 83%. Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) transition analysis in Environmental Systems Research Institute ESRI’s ArcMap was performed. The results of the classification over the three periods showed that built up, bare land and concrete surfaces increased from 1201 in 1986 to 5454 ha in 2010. Dense forest decreased by 2253 ha over the same period and increased by 873 ha by the 2014. Low forest also decreased by 1043 ha in 2010; however, it increased by 13% in 2014. Our findings showed some of the important changes in the land use and land cover patterns in the District. After the urbanization process, coupled with farmland abandonment, between 1986 and 2010, substantial increments in urban land and clear increments in farmland coverage between 1986 and 2014were found to be the reason for vegetation cover decreases. This suggests that major changes in the socio-ecological driving forces affecting landscape dynamics have occurred in the last few decades.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2015, 4(3), 1246-1264; doi:10.3390/ijgi4031246 - published 27 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Web 2.0 enables a two-way interaction between servers and clients. GPS receivers become available to more citizens and are commonly found in vehicles and smart phones, enabling individuals to record and share their trajectory data on the Internet and edit them online. OpenStreetMap (OSM) makes it possible for citizens to contribute to the acquisition of geographic information. This paper studies the use of OSM data to find newly mapped or built roads that do not exist in a reference road map and create its updated version. For this purpose, we propose a progressive buffering method for determining an optimal buffer radius to detect the new roads in the OSM data. In the next step, the detected new roads are merged into the reference road maps geometrically, topologically, and semantically. Experiments with OSM data and reference road maps over an area of 8494 km2 in the city of Wuhan, China and five of its 5 km × 5 km areas are conducted to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the method. It is shown that the OSM data can add 11.96% or a total of 2008.6 km of new roads to the reference road maps with an average precision of 96.49% and an average recall of 97.63%.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2015, 4(3), 1225-1245; doi:10.3390/ijgi4031225 - published 22 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Road infrastructure in countries like India is expanding at a rapid pace and is becoming increasingly difficult for authorities to identify and fix the bad roads in time. Current Geographical Information Systems (GIS) lack information about on-road features like road surface type, speed breakers and dynamic attribute data like the road quality. Hence there is a need to build road monitoring systems capable of collecting such information periodically. Limitations of satellite imagery with respect to the resolution and availability, makes road monitoring primarily an on-field activity. Monitoring is currently performed using special vehicles that are fitted with expensive laser scanners and need skilled resource besides providing only very low coverage. Hence such systems are not suitable for continuous road monitoring. Cheaper alternative systems using sensors like accelerometer and GPS (Global Positioning System) exists but they are not equipped to achieve higher information levels. This paper presents a prototype system MAARGHA (MAARGHA in Sanskrit language means an eternal path to solution), which demonstrates that it can overcome the disadvantages of the existing systems by fusing multi-sensory data like camera image, accelerometer data and GPS trajectory at an information level, apart from providing additional road information like road surface type. MAARGHA has been tested across different road conditions and sensor data characteristics to assess its potential applications in real world scenarios. The developed system achieves higher information levels when compared to state of the art road condition estimation systems like Roadroid. The system performance in road surface type classification is dependent on the local environmental conditions at the time of imaging. In our study, the road surface type classification accuracy reached 100% for datasets with near ideal environmental conditions and dropped down to 60% for datasets with shadows and obstacles.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2015, 4(3), 1201-1224; doi:10.3390/ijgi4031201 - published 14 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents the current state and development of a prototype web-GIS (Geographic Information System) decision support platform intended for application in natural hazards and risk management, mainly for floods and landslides. This web platform uses open-source geospatial software and technologies, particularly the Boundless (formerly OpenGeo) framework and its client side software development kit (SDK). The main purpose of the platform is to assist the experts and stakeholders in the decision-making process for evaluation and selection of different risk management strategies through an interactive participation approach, integrating web-GIS interface with decision support tool based on a compromise programming approach. The access rights and functionality of the platform are varied depending on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in managing the risk. The application of the prototype platform is demonstrated based on an example case study site: Malborghetto Valbruna municipality of North-Eastern Italy where flash floods and landslides are frequent with major events having occurred in 2003. The preliminary feedback collected from the stakeholders in the region is discussed to understand the perspectives of stakeholders on the proposed prototype platform.