Land cover classification provides valuable information for prioritizing management and conservation operations across large landscapes. Current regional scale land cover geospatial products within the United States have a spatial resolution that is too coarse to provide the necessary information for operations at the local and project scales. This paper describes a methodology that uses recent advances in spatial analysis software to create a land cover classification over a large region in the southeastern United States at a fine (1 m) spatial resolution. This methodology used image texture metrics and principle components derived from National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photographic imagery, visually classified locations, and a softmax neural network model. The model efficiently produced classification surfaces at 1mresolution across roughly 11.6 million hectares (28.8 million acres) with less than 10% average error in modeled probability. The classification surfaces consist of probability estimates of 13 visually distinct classes for each 1 m cell across the study area. This methodology and the tools used in this study constitute a highly flexible fine resolution land cover classification that can be applied across large extents using standard computer hardware, common and open source software and publicly available imagery.
St. Peter, Joseph; Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel; Drake, Jason; Medley, Paul. 2018. Fine resolution probabilistic land cover classification of landscapes in the southeastern United States. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 7(3): 107.