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Open AccessArticle

Mapping Woodland Cover in the Miombo Ecosystem: A Comparison of Machine Learning Classifiers

1
Asia Air Survey (AAS) Co., Ltd., Kanagawa 215-0004, Japan
2
TOPS Systems Corp., Tsukuba 305-0032, Japan
3
Department of Computer and Information Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Seikei University, Tokyo 180-8633, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2014, 3(2), 524-540; https://doi.org/10.3390/land3020524
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 13 June 2014 / Accepted: 13 June 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Miombo woodlands in Southern Africa are experiencing accelerated changes due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In order to formulate sustainable woodland management strategies in the Miombo ecosystem, timely and up-to-date land cover information is required. Recent advances in remote sensing technology have improved land cover mapping in tropical evergreen ecosystems. However, woodland cover mapping remains a challenge in the Miombo ecosystem. The objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of decision trees (DT), random forests (RF), and support vector machines (SVM) in the context of improving woodland and non-woodland cover mapping in the Miombo ecosystem in Zimbabwe. We used Multidate Landsat 8 spectral and spatial dependence (Moran’s I) variables to map woodland and non-woodland cover. Results show that RF classifier outperformed the SVM and DT classifiers by 4% and 15%, respectively. The RF importance measures show that multidate Landsat 8 spectral and spatial variables had the greatest influence on class-separability in the study area. Therefore, the RF classifier has potential to improve woodland cover mapping in the Miombo ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zimbabwe; Miombo woodlands; Landsat 8; decision trees; random forests; support vector machines Zimbabwe; Miombo woodlands; Landsat 8; decision trees; random forests; support vector machines
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kamusoko, C.; Gamba, J.; Murakami, H. Mapping Woodland Cover in the Miombo Ecosystem: A Comparison of Machine Learning Classifiers. Land 2014, 3, 524-540. https://doi.org/10.3390/land3020524

AMA Style

Kamusoko C, Gamba J, Murakami H. Mapping Woodland Cover in the Miombo Ecosystem: A Comparison of Machine Learning Classifiers. Land. 2014; 3(2):524-540. https://doi.org/10.3390/land3020524

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kamusoko, Courage; Gamba, Jonah; Murakami, Hitomi. 2014. "Mapping Woodland Cover in the Miombo Ecosystem: A Comparison of Machine Learning Classifiers" Land 3, no. 2: 524-540. https://doi.org/10.3390/land3020524

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