" BES Project Abstracts 2006
Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2006 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

An Object-oriented Approach for Analysing and Characterizing Urban Landscape at the Parcel Level
Zhou, Weiqi
Co-Authors: Austin Troy
Abstract: With the expansion of urban areas and residential development, more and more croplands and forestland are being lost. To monitor and assess the ecological and social consequences of urban expansion, the structure of urban landscapes must be first quantified and understood. This paper presents an object-oriented approach for analyzing and characterizing the urban landscape structure at the parcel level using high-resolution digital aerial imagery and LIght Detection and Raging (LIDAR) data. The study area is the GwynnĄŻs Falls watershed, which includes portions of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MD. A three-level hierarchical network of image objects was generated, and objects were classified. At the two lower levels, objects were classified into 5 classes, building, pavement, bare soil, fine texture vegetation and coarse texture vegetation, respectively. The object-oriented classification approach proved to be effective for urban land cover classification. The overall accuracy of the classification was 92.3%, and the overall Kappa Statistics was 0.899. Land cover proportions were then summarized by property parcel. This exercise resulted in a knowledge base of rules for urban land cover classification, which can be applied to other urban areas. As most landscape management decisions are made for private parcels at the household level, the object-oriented approach using parcels as pre-defined patches provides a convenient and effective way for integrated research to incorporate biophysical and social factors, especially the research on relationships between household characteristics and structures of urban landscapes.