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Tree Crown Mapping in Managed Woodlands (Parklands) of Semi-Arid West Africa Using WorldView-2 Imagery and Geographic Object Based Image Analysis

Journal article
Authors Martin Karlson
Heather Reese
Madelene Ostwald
Published in Sensors
Volume 14
Pages 22643-22669
ISSN 1424-8220
Publication year 2014
Published at Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development (GCGD)
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Pages 22643-22669
Language en
Keywords remote sensing; high spatial resolution; WorldView-2; tree crown mapping; tree crown delineation; geographic object based image analysis; woodland; agroforestry; parkland; Burkina Faso
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Detailed information on tree cover structure is critical for research and monitoring programs targeting African woodlands, including agroforestry parklands. High spatial resolution satellite imagery represents a potentially effective alternative to field-based surveys, but requires the development of accurate methods to automate information extraction. This study presents a method for tree crown mapping based on Geographic Object Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) that use spectral and geometric information to detect and delineate individual tree crowns and crown clusters. The method was implemented on a WorldView-2 image acquired over the parklands of Saponé, Burkina Faso, and rigorously evaluated against field reference data. The overall detection rate was 85.4% for individual tree crowns and crown clusters, with lower accuracies in areas with high tree density and dense understory vegetation. The overall delineation error (expressed as the difference between area of delineated object and crown area measured in the field) was 45.6% for individual tree crowns and 61.5% for crown clusters. Delineation accuracies were higher for medium (35–100 m2) and large (􏱇100 m2) trees compared to small (<35 m2) trees. The results indicate potential of GEOBIA and WorldView-2 imagery for tree crown mapping in parkland landscapes and similar woodland areas.

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