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Journal Articles Remote Sensing Year : 2021

Fast Unsupervised Multi-Scale Characterization of Urban Landscapes Based on Earth Observation Data

Marc Lang
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  • PersonId : 1105939
Quentin Gunther
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  • PersonId : 1105940

Abstract

Most remote sensing studies of urban areas focus on a single scale, using supervised methodologies and very few analyses focus on the “neighborhood” scale. The lack of multi-scale analysis, together with the scarcity of training and validation datasets in many countries lead us to propose a single fast unsupervised method for the characterization of urban areas. With the FOTOTEX algorithm, this paper introduces a texture-based method to characterize urban areas at three nested scales: macro-scale (urban footprint), meso-scale (“neighbourhoods”) and micro-scale (objects). FOTOTEX combines a Fast Fourier Transform and a Principal Component Analysis to convert texture into frequency signal. Several parameters were tested over Sentinel-2 and Pleiades imagery on Bouake and Brasilia. Results showed that a single Sentinel-2 image better assesses the urban footprint than the global products. Pleiades images allowed discriminating neighbourhoods and urban objects using texture, which is correlated with metrics such as building density, built-up and vegetation proportions. The best configurations for each scale of analysis were determined and recommendations provided to users. The open FOTOTEX algorithm demonstrated a strong potential to characterize the three nested scales of urban areas, especially when training and validation data are scarce, and computing resources limited.
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hal-03294302 , version 1 (21-07-2021)

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Claire Teillet, Benjamin Pillot, Thibault Catry, Laurent Demagistri, Dominique Lyszczarz, et al.. Fast Unsupervised Multi-Scale Characterization of Urban Landscapes Based on Earth Observation Data. Remote Sensing, 2021, 13 (12), pp.2398. ⟨10.3390/rs13122398⟩. ⟨hal-03294302⟩
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