Multi-scale/multi-level geographic object-based image analysis (MS-GEOBIA) methods are becoming widely-used in remote sensing because single-scale/single-level (SS-GEOBIA) methods are often unable to obtain an accurate segmentation and classification of all land use/land cover (LULC) types in an image. However, there have been few comparisons between SS-GEOBIA and MS-GEOBIA approaches for the purpose of mapping a specific LULC type, so it is not well understood which is more appropriate for this task. In addition, there are few methods for automating the selection of segmentation parameters for MS-GEOBIA, while manual selection (i.e., trial-and-error approach) of parameters can be quite challenging and time-consuming. In this study, we examined SS-GEOBIA and MS-GEOBIA approaches for extracting residential areas in Landsat 8 imagery, and compared naïve and parameter-optimized segmentation approaches to assess whether unsupervised segmentation parameter optimization (USPO) could improve the extraction of residential areas. Our main findings were: (i) the MS-GEOBIA approaches achieved higher classification accuracies than the SS-GEOBIA approach, and (ii) USPO resulted in more accurate MS-GEOBIA classification results while reducing the number of segmentation levels and classification variables considerably.
Johnson, B. A., Bragais, M., Endo, I., Magcale-Macandog, D. B., & Macandog, P. B. M. (2015). Image segmentation parameter optimization considering within-and between-segment heterogeneity at multiple scale levels: Test case for mapping residential areas using landsat imagery. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 4(4), 2292–2305. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi4042292