AN OPEN-SOURCE CANOPY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM USING MACHINE-LEARNING TECHNIQUES WITHIN A PYTHON FRAMEWORK
Studying deforestation has been an important topic in forestry research. Especially, canopy classification using remotely sensed data plays an essential role in monitoring tree canopy on a large scale. As remote sensing technologies advance, the quality and resolution of satellite imagery have significantly improved. Oftentimes, leveraging high-resolution imagery such as the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery requires proprietary software. However, the lack of insight into the inner workings of such software and the inability of modifying its code lead many researchers towards open-source solutions. In this research, we introduce CanoClass, an open-source cross-platform canopy classification system written in Python. CanoClass utilizes the Random Forest and Extra Trees algorithms provided by scikit-learn to classify canopy using remote sensing imagery. Based on our benchmark tests, this new canopy classification system was 283 % to 464 % faster than commercial Feature Analyst, but it produced comparable results with a similarity of 87.56 % to 87.62 %.