Water body is a fundamental element in urban ecosystems and water mapping is critical for urban and landscape planning and management. As remote sensing has increasingly been used for water mapping in rural areas, this spatially explicit approach applied in urban area is also a challenging work due to the water bodies mainly distributed in a small size and the spectral confusion widely exists between water and complex features in the urban environment. Water index is the most common method for water extraction at pixel level, and spectral mixture analysis (SMA) has been widely employed in analyzing urban environment at subpixel level recently.
In this paper, we introduce an automatic subpixel water mapping method in urban areas using multispectral remote sensing data. The objectives of this research consist of: (1) developing an automatic land-water mixed pixels extraction technique by water index; (2) deriving the most representative endmembers of water and land by utilizing neighboring water pixels and adaptive iterative optimal neighboring land pixel for respectively; (3) applying a linear unmixing model for subpixel water fraction estimation.
Specifically, to automatically extract land-water pixels, the locally weighted scatter plot smoothing is firstly used to the original histogram curve of WI image . And then the Ostu threshold is derived as the start point to select land-water pixels based on histogram of the WI image with the land threshold and water threshold determination through the slopes of histogram curve .
Based on the previous process at pixel level, the image is divided into three parts: water pixels, land pixels, and mixed land-water pixels. Then the spectral mixture analysis (SMA) is applied to land-water mixed pixels for water fraction estimation at subpixel level. With the assumption that the endmember signature of a target pixel should be more similar to adjacent pixels due to spatial dependence, the endmember of water and land are determined by neighboring pure land or pure water pixels within a distance. To obtaining the most representative endmembers in SMA, we designed an adaptive iterative endmember selection method based on the spatial similarity of adjacent pixels. According to the spectral similarity in a spatial adjacent region, the spectrum of land endmember is determined by selecting the most representative land pixel in a local window, and the spectrum of water endmember is determined by calculating an average of the water pixels in the local window.
The proposed hierarchical processing method based on WI and SMA (WISMA) is applied to urban areas for reliability evaluation using the Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) images. For comparison, four methods at pixel level and subpixel level were chosen respectively. Results indicate that the water maps generated by the proposed method correspond as closely with the truth water maps with subpixel precision. And the results showed that the WISMA achieved the best performance in water mapping with comprehensive analysis of different accuracy evaluation indexes (RMSE and SE).
Huan Xie, Xin Luo, Xiong Xu, Chen Wang, Haiyan Pan, Xiaohua Tong, and Shijie Liu, "Estimation of urban surface water at subpixel level from neighborhood pixels using multispectral remote sensing image (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10004, Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing XXII, 100040O (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 27, 2016; Published: 8 December 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242367.5229527630001.
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