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Open AccessArticle

Multi-Temporal Land-Cover Classification of Agricultural Areas in Two European Regions with High Resolution Spotlight TerraSAR-X Data

Institute of Environmental Planning, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Herrenhäuserstr. 2, D-30419 Hannover, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2011, 3(5), 859-877;
Received: 28 January 2011 / Revised: 10 March 2011 / Accepted: 14 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 100 Years ISPRS - Advancing Remote Sensing Science)
PDF [2164 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Functioning ecosystems offer multiple services for human well-being (e.g., food, freshwater, fiber). Agriculture provides several of these services but also can cause negative impacts. Thus, it is essential to derive up-to-date information about agricultural land use and its change. This paper describes the multi-temporal classification of agricultural land use based on high resolution spotlight TerraSAR-X images. A stack of l4 dual-polarized radar images taken during the vegetation season have been used for two different study areas (North of Germany and Southeast Poland). They represent extremely diverse regions with regard to their population density, agricultural management, as well as geological and geomorphological conditions. Thereby, the transferability of the classification method for different regions is tested. The Maximum Likelihood classification is based on a high amount of ground truth samples. Classification accuracies differ in both regions. Overall accuracy for all classes for the German area is 61.78% and 39.25% for the Polish region. Accuracies improved notably for both regions (about 90%) when single vegetation classes were merged into groups of classes. Such regular land use classifications, applicable for different European agricultural sites, can serve as basis for monitoring systems for agricultural land use and its related ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; land use; radar; multi-temporal classification agriculture; land use; radar; multi-temporal classification

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bargiel, D.; Herrmann, S. Multi-Temporal Land-Cover Classification of Agricultural Areas in Two European Regions with High Resolution Spotlight TerraSAR-X Data. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 859-877.

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