TESTING THE POTENTIAL OF VEGETATION INDICES FOR LAND USE/COVER CLASSIFICATION USING HIGH RESOLUTION DATA
Accurate and reliable land use/land cover (LULC) information obtained by remote sensing technology is necessary in many applications such as environmental monitoring, agricultural management, urban planning, hydrological applications, soil management, vegetation condition study and suitability analysis. But this information still remains a challenge especially in heterogeneous landscapes covering urban and rural areas due to spectrally similar LULC features. In parallel with technological developments, supplementary data such as satellite-derived spectral indices have begun to be used as additional bands in classification to produce data with high accuracy. The aim of this research is to test the potential of spectral vegetation indices combination with supervised classification methods and to extract reliable LULC information from SPOT 7 multispectral imagery. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Ratio Vegetation Index (RATIO), the Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) were the three vegetation indices used in this study. The classical maximum likelihood classifier (MLC) and support vector machine (SVM) algorithm were applied to classify SPOT 7 image. Catalca is selected region located in the north west of the Istanbul in Turkey, which has complex landscape covering artificial surface, forest and natural area, agricultural field, quarry/mining area, pasture/scrubland and water body. Accuracy assessment of all classified images was performed through overall accuracy and kappa coefficient. The results indicated that the incorporation of these three different vegetation indices decrease the classification accuracy for the MLC and SVM classification. In addition, the maximum likelihood classification slightly outperformed the support vector machine classification approach in both overall accuracy and kappa statistics.