PIXEL-BASED LAND COVER CLASSIFICATION BY FUSING HYPERSPECTRAL AND LIDAR DATA
Land cover classification has many applications like forest management, urban planning, land use change identification and environment change analysis. The passive sensing of hyperspectral systems can be effective in describing the phenomenology of the observed area over hundreds of (narrow) spectral bands. On the other hand, the active sensing of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems can be exploited for characterising topographical information of the area. As a result, the joint use of hyperspectral and LiDAR data provides a source of complementary information, which can greatly assist in the classification of complex classes. In this study, we fuse hyperspectral and LiDAR data for land cover classification. We do a pixel-wise classification on a disjoint set of training and testing samples for five different classes. We propose a new feature combination by fusing features from both hyperspectral and LiDAR, which achieves competent classification accuracy with low feature dimension, while the existing method requires high dimensional feature vector to achieve similar classification result. Also, for the reduction of the dimension of the feature vector, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is used as it captures the variance of the samples with a limited number of Principal Components (PCs). We tested our classification method using PCA applied on hyperspectral bands only and combined hyperspectral and LiDAR features. Classification with support vector machine (SVM) and decision tree shows that our feature combination achieves better classification accuracy compared to the existing feature combination, while keeping the similar number of PCs. The experimental results also show that decision tree performs better than SVM and requires less execution time.