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Integrated Airborne LiDAR Data and Imagery for Suburban Land Cover Classification Using Machine Learning Methods.

Sensors (Basel); 19(9)2019 Apr 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31035415
It is valuable to study the land use/land cover (LULC) classification for suburbs. The fusion of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and aerial imagery is often regarded as an effective method for the LULC classification; however, more in-depth analysis would be required to explore effective information for enhancing the suburban LULC classification. In this study, first, both aerial imageries and point clouds were simultaneously collected. Then, LiDAR-derived models, i.e., normalized digital surface model (nDSM) and surface intensity model (IM), were generated from the elevation and intensity of point clouds. Further, considering the surface characteristics of ground objects in suburb, we proposed a new LiDAR-derived model, namely surface roughness model (RM), to reveal the degree of surface fluctuations. Additionally, various combinations of aerial imageries and the LiDAR-derived data were used to analyze the effects of multi-variable fusion under different scenarios and optimize the multi-variable integration for suburban LULC classification. The mean decrease impurity method was used to identify the importance of variables; three machine learning classifiers, i.e., random forest (RF), k-nearest neighbor (KNN) and artificial neural network (ANN) were adopted in various scenarios. The results were as follows. The fusion of aerial imagery and all the LiDAR-derived models, i.e., nDSM, RM and IM, with RF classifier performs best in the suburban LULC classification (overall accuracy = 84.75%, kappa coefficient = 0.80). Variable importance analysis shows that nDSM has the highest variable importance proportion (VIP) value, followed by RM, IM, and spectral information, indicating the feasibility of this proposed LiDAR-derived model-RM. This research presents effective methods relating to the application of aerial imagery and LiDAR-derived model for the complex suburban surface scenarios.