Extraction of Land Cover Units from Land Cover Components Based on Geometric Rules

Eliseo Clementini, Stefano Natali


Land cover units are aggregations of land cover components that are obtained by using criteria of homogeneity and proximity of basic components. For example, residential urban settlements can be defined as aggregations of single buildings, neighboring green spaces, paved surfaces and small roads, which are separated by more prominent land cover components, such as main roads or rivers. Land cover components belong to standard classes typically obtained by an automated classification process applied to aerial or satellite images, such as buildings, constructed areas, bare soil, water, vegetation, and the like. Land cover units belong to more general classes, obtained by a combination of land cover components, such as residential areas, industrial areas, road networks, river systems, and agricultural units. In this paper, we describe an approach based on the application of geometric rules and semantic constraints to extract land cover units from land cover components. We use spatial operators to extract composite land cover units from land cover databases, where spatial operators are taken from standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium. Expert knowledge needs to be translated into specific automatic procedures, called complex object definitions or CODs. Finally, we build a prototype system, where the user can choose among a set of available CODs to build a sequence of actions that lead to the discovery of knowledge. We discuss several study cases, such as the recognition of urban settlements, agricultural land units, and road networks.


land cover unit; land cover components; geometric rules; topological information

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18517/ijaseit.9.6.8784


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