Image segmentation technology, which can be used to completely partition a remote sensing image into non-overlapping regions in the image space, plays an indispensable role in high-resolution remote sensing image classification. Recently, the segmentation methods that combine segmenting with merging have attracted researchers’ attention. However, the existing methods ignore the fact that the same parameters must be applied to every segmented geo-object, and fail to consider the homogeneity between adjacent geo-objects. This paper develops an improved remote sensing image segmentation method to overcome this limitation. The proposed method is a hybrid method (split-and-merge). First, a watershed algorithm based on pre-processing is used to split the image to form initial segments. Second, the fast lambda-schedule algorithm based on a common boundary length penalty is used to merge the initial segments to obtain the final segmentation. For this experiment, we used GF-1 images with three spatial resolutions: 2 m, 8 m and 16 m. Six different test areas were chosen from the GF-1 images to demonstrate the effectiveness of the improved method, and the objective function (F (v, I)), intrasegment variance (v) and Moran’s index were used to evaluate the segmentation accuracy. The validation results indicated that the improved segmentation method produced satisfactory segmentation results for GF-1 images (average F (v, I) = 0.1064, v = 0.0428 and I = 0.17).
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