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Increasing the spatial resolution of agricultural land cover maps using a Hopfield neural network

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2003
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number7
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)647-672
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Land cover class composition of remotely sensed image pixels can be estimated using soft classification techniques increasingly available in many GIS packages. However, their output provides no indication of how such classes are distributed spatially within the instantaneous field of view represented by the pixel. Techniques that attempt to provide an improved spatial representation of land cover have been developed, but not tested on the difficult task of mapping from real satellite imagery. The authors investigated the use of a Hopfield neural network technique to map the spatial distributions of classes reliably using information of pixel composition determined from soft classification previously. The approach involved designing the energy function to produce a ‘best guess’ prediction of the spatial distribution of class components in each pixel. In previous studies, the authors described the application of the technique to target identification, pattern prediction and land cover mapping at the sub-pixel scale, but only for simulated imagery. We now show how the approach can be applied to Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) agriculture imagery to derive accurate estimates of land cover and reduce the uncertainty inherent in such imagery. The technique was applied to Landsat TM imagery of small-scale agriculture in Greece and largescale agriculture near Leicester, UK. The resultant maps provided an accurate and improved representation of the land covers studied, with RMS errors for the Landsat imagery of the order of 0.1 in the new fine resolution map recorded. The results showed that the neural network represents a simple efficient tool for mapping land cover from operational satellite sensor imagery and can deliver requisite results and improvements over traditional techniques for the GIS analysis of practical remotely sensed imagery at the sub pixel scale.

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