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Open AccessArticle

Assessing Riyadh’s Urban Change Utilizing High-Resolution Imagery

King Abdulaziz University, Al Ehtifalat Street, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Geospatial Information Sciences, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2019, 8(12), 193;
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 13 December 2019
The implications of change on local processes have attracted significant research interest in recent times. In urban settings, green spaces and forests have attracted much attention. Here, we present an assessment of change within the predominantly desert Middle Eastern city of Riyadh, an understudied setting. We utilized high-resolution SPOT 5 data and two classification techniques—maximum likelihood classification and object-oriented classification—to study the changes in Riyadh between 2004 and 2014. Imagery classification was completed with training data obtained from the SPOT 5 dataset, and an accuracy assessment was completed through a combination of field surveys and an application developed in ESRI Survey 123 tool. The Survey 123 tool allowed residents of Riyadh to present their views on land cover for the 2004 and 2014 imagery. Our analysis showed that soil or ‘desert’ areas were converted to roads and buildings to accommodate for Riyadh’s rapidly growing population. The object-oriented classifier provided higher overall accuracy than the maximum likelihood classifier (74.71% and 73.79% vs. 92.36% and 90.77% for 2004 and 2014). Our work provides insights into the changes within a desert environment and establishes a foundation for understanding change in this understudied setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: Riyadh; SPOT 5; maximum likelihood classification; object-oriented classification; urban change Riyadh; SPOT 5; maximum likelihood classification; object-oriented classification; urban change
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Alghamdi, A.; Cummings, A.R. Assessing Riyadh’s Urban Change Utilizing High-Resolution Imagery. Land 2019, 8, 193.

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