Canadian Forest Service Publications

An automated object-based approach for the multiscale image segmentation of forest scenes. 2005. Hay, G.J.; Castilla, G.; Wulder, M.A.; Ruiz, J.R. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 7(4): 339-359.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25960

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Over the last decade the analysis of Earth observation data has evolved from what were predominantly per-pixel multispectral-based approaches, to the development and application of multiscale object-based methods. To empower users with these emerging object-based approaches, methods need to be intuitive, easy to use, require little user intervention, and provide results closely matching those generated by human interpreters. In an attempt to facilitate this, we present multiscale object-specific segmentation (MOSS) as an integrative object-based approach for automatically delineating image-objects (i.e., segments) at multiple scales from a high-spatial resolution remotely sensed forest scene. We further illustrate that these segments cognitively correspond to individual tree crowns, ranging up to forest stands, and describe how such a tool may be used in computer-assisted forest inventory mapping. MOSS is composed of three primary components: object-specific analysis (OSA), object-specific upscaling (OSU), and a new segmentation algorithm referred to as size constrained region merging (SCRM). The rationale for integrating these methods is that the first two provide the third with object-size parameters that otherwise would need to be specified by a user. Analysis is performed on an IKONOS-2 panchromatic image that represents a highly fragmented forested landscape in the Sooke Watershed on southern Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.