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Oil Palm Tree Detection with High Resolution Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery

Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) 120, The Government Complex (Building B), Chaeng Wattana Road, Laksi District Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(10), 9749-9774;
Received: 19 April 2014 / Revised: 20 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
PDF [13092 KB, uploaded 13 October 2014]


Oil palm tree is an important cash crop in Thailand. To maximize the productivity from planting, oil palm plantation managers need to know the number of oil palm trees in the plantation area. In order to obtain this information, an approach for palm tree detection using high resolution satellite images is proposed. This approach makes it possible to count the number of oil palm trees in a plantation. The process begins with the selection of the vegetation index having the highest discriminating power between oil palm trees and background. The index having highest discriminating power is then used as the primary feature for palm tree detection. We hypothesize that oil palm trees are located at the local peak within the oil palm area. To enhance the separability between oil palm tree crowns and background, the rank transformation is applied to the index image. The local peak on the enhanced index image is then detected by using the non-maximal suppression algorithm. Since both rank transformation and non-maximal suppression are window based, semi-variogram analysis is used to determine the appropriate window size. The performance of the proposed method was tested on high resolution satellite images. In general, our approach uses produced very accurate results, e.g., about 90 percent detection rate when compared with manual labeling. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil palm tree; detection; counting; precision farming oil palm tree; detection; counting; precision farming

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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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Srestasathiern, P.; Rakwatin, P. Oil Palm Tree Detection with High Resolution Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 9749-9774.

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