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Mark Wilkinson
Professor for GISC 9231: Remote Sensing
Niagara College NOTL Campus
135 Taylor Road
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, L0S 1J0

Dear Mr. Wilkinson


RE: Submission of D1: Unsupervised and Supervised Classification

Please consider this email as my official submission of deliverable 1: Unsupervised and


supervised classification of GISC9271 Digital Image Processing. The report contains answers to
the questions mentioned in the terms of reference supported with screen grabs taken using
ERDAS imagine. The histograms, signature alarms, statistical data of different signatures I
created using the image provided with terms of reference is also attached.
If you have any questions regarding the documents or any difficulties in opening the documents
kindly contact me at (905) 329 2008 or mail me at chandana.mrl@gmail.com.

Regards
Chandana Murali 
Student number:4375788
3816 Panama court 
Niagara Falls
ON,L2J3Z8 
Phone: (905) 329 200
CM/

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GISC9217 – Digital
Image Processing
Unsupervised and Supervised Classification

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Contents
RE: Submission of D1: Unsupervised and Supervised Classification...................................1
GISC9217 – Digital Image Processing........................................................................................................2
Unsupervised and Supervised Classification...............................................................................2
Introduction.................................................................................................................................................4
Purpose.......................................................................................................................................................4
Methodology...............................................................................................................................................4
Equipment/data used..................................................................................................................................4
Section 1: Training Site Creation (Wilkinson, 2020)..................................................................5
Section 2: Signature Evaluation (Wilkinson, 2020)..................................................................10
Section 3: Perform a Supervised and Unsupervised Classification (Wilkinson, 2020)............15
References.................................................................................................................................................20

Table of figures

Figure 1:Area of interest..................................................................................................................5


Figure 2:Closer view of layer table.................................................................................................6
Figure 3:Polygons created in AOI for creating signatures..............................................................7
Figure 4:AOI with signature editor table.........................................................................................8
Figure 5:Closer view of signature editor table................................................................................9
Figure 6:Signature alarm for water................................................................................................10
Figure 7:Signature alarm for vegetation........................................................................................11
Figure 8:Signature alarm for infrastructure...................................................................................11
Figure 9:Histogram of parking lot.................................................................................................12
Figure 10:Signature separability....................................................................................................13
Figure 11:Statistical data of water.................................................................................................14
Figure 12:Supervised classification using maximum likelihood...................................................15
Figure 13:Supervised classification done using Mahalanobis distance.........................................16
Figure 14:Supervised classification using minimum distance.......................................................17
Figure 15:Supervised image..........................................................................................................18
Figure 16:Unsupervised classification...........................................................................................19

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Introduction
This assignment serves as an introduction to Digital image processing in which supervised and
unsupervised classification is done. The study area is chosen from the image that is provided
along with the terms of reference and are of interest is created. The signatures created from the
area of interest includes water, turbid water, infrastructure, vegetation, arid area and parking lots.
Histograms, signature alarms and statistical data of the signatures are taken and are attached with
this report. As the final task supervised and unsupervised classification of the image is done and
the comparison between them is written in the report.

Purpose
 Creation of training area
 Supervised classification of the image
 Unsupervised classification of the image[CITATION Mar20 \l 1033 ]

Methodology
For completing this assignment, I have gone through the terms of reference thoroughly and as the
first step the study area is created. Signatures are made for different spatial features namely
water, turbid water, vegetation, arid area, infrastructure and parking lots. Histograms are created
for all the signatures and the questions mentioned in the terms of reference is answered.
Signature alarms are created for water and vegetation and statistical data of water and turbid
water is created and discussed. As the final step unsupervised classification is done and is
compared with the results of supervised classification.

Equipment/data used
 Data provided by Mr. Mark Wilkinson in terms of reference
 ERDAS imagine 2018 32 bits
 Microsoft word

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Section 1: Training Site Creation[ CITATION Mar201 \l 1033 ]


The training area is created using the image attached with terms of reference as shown in Figure
1 and Figure 2

Figure 1:Area of interest [CITATION Mar20 \l 1033 ]

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Figure 2:Closer view of layer table

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Signatures are created by creating different classes in signature editor table. Polygons are created
in each of the spatial features and are assigned as classes in the signature editor table as shown in
Figure 3

Figure 3:Polygons created in AOI for creating signatures

The classes and signatures created can be seen in the signature editor table as shown in Figure 4
and Figure 5.
The signatures namely Water, turbid water, parking lot, infrastructure, vegetation and arid area
can be seen in the image.

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Figure 4:AOI with signature editor table

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Figure 5:Closer view of signature editor table

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Section 2: Signature Evaluation[ CITATION Mar201 \l 1033 ]

Signature alarm for different signatures area created as a part of signature evaluation. The
signature alarm is also created using the signature editor table which creates a new layer named
alarm layer for the selected signatures. The signature alarms for water, vegetation and
infrastructure is created as shown in Figure 6, Figure 7 and Figure 8 respectively.

Figure 6:Signature alarm for water

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Figure 7:Signature alarm for vegetation

Figure 8:Signature alarm for infrastructure

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Signature alarms are used to highlight specific pixels for selected signatures so that the layer can
be interpreted more closely and clearly. It is created using the parallelpiped rule[CITATION
Mar20 \l 1033 ] with which the values for the alarm are created between maximum and
minimum. In the case of water layer in the image(Figure 6) by turning off all the layer except the
alarm layer for water , the resultant image have only the pixels which represents water in the
image. It is the same with both vegetation and infrastructure (Figure 7,Figure 8)

“Histograms are created for each of the signatures so that the pixel which records the number of
pixels that are similar within a single band”.[ CITATION ERD \l 1033 ]. Here, the histograms are
created using single bands i.e. only one signature and its band is used to make histograms. As an
example, histogram of parking lot is shown in the figure below (Figure 9)

Figure 9:Histogram of parking lot

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How can the histograms help with your evaluation of your classification? What does the x-
axis show and what does the y-axis show?[CITATION Mar20 \l 1033 ]
The X axis of the histogram shows the pixel value of the band or the brightness and Y axis
shows the frequency. As shown in Figure 9, The frequency value of parking lot is fluctuating and
for certain pixels or brightness values the frequency is considerably low. The brightness value is
widely distributed in this case as the parking lot occupies a large area.

“Signature Separability is calculated as the statistical difference between pairs of spectral


signatures”. [CITATION Mar20 \l 1033 ]. The signature separability data of the image is shown
in Figure 10

Figure 10:Signature separability

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The signature separability is calculated using the Euclidean distance which is the simple distance
between two objects i.e. the distance measured in the straight line. The report shows that the
average distance between the bands is 190 and the minimum distance between them is 49.

Statistical data for the image can be obtained using the report button the signature editor tool. It
gives the mean, covariance and average of the pixel data which helps in interpreting the image.
The statistical data of the water signature is shown in Figure 11

Figure 11:Statistical data of water

In the case of water, the mean of the pixel is lowest in Band 8 which means it is darkest in band
8 i.e. the pixels with appear the darkest in band 8.The highest sigma value is in band 7 which
means the reflectance of the pixels is more in band 7 and the sigma value is lowest for band 4.

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Section 3: Perform a Supervised and Unsupervised Classification[ CITATION Mar201 \l


1033 ]

Discuss the differences between the following three types of Parametric Decision Rules
(Maximum Likelihood, Mahalanobis Distance and Minimum Distance).[CITATION
Mar20 \l 1033 ]
Given below (Figure 12) is the screen grab of supervised classification done using the maximum
likelihood classification.

Figure 12:Supervised classification using maximum likelihood

In maximum likelihood classification the pixels with specific values are classifies into groups
that ERDAS thinks is suitable.” Unless you select a probability threshold, all pixels are classified. Each
pixel is assigned to the class that has the highest probability (that is, the maximum likelihood). If the highest
probability is smaller than a threshold you specify, the pixel remains unclassified.” [ CITATION L3H \l
1033 ]. Since all the pixels are classifies it makes it easy to interpret the image that the other two parametric
decision rules[CITATION Mar20 \m Mar20 \m Mar201 \l 1033 ].

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Given below is the screen grab of supervised classification done using Mahalanobis distance.

Figure 13:Supervised classification done using Mahalanobis distance

Mahalanobis classification is like maximum likelihood but it depends on the covariance value of
the pixels. It depends on the direction from the observation point[ CITATION Mad \l
1033 ].Since it depends on the distance between the pixels and considers the covariance to be
same there is a chance of assigning the pixels differently which makes it difficult to interpret the
image.

Given below (Figure 14)is the supervised classification done using minimum distance:

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Figure 14:Supervised classification using minimum distance

The minimum distance classification as the name indicates calculates the minimum distance
between the pixels, the distance is calculated in straight line. This helps in assigning the pixels
into different classes which is done in a way that the pixels are assigned to the closest spatial
signature[ CITATION Mad \l 1033 ]. Since it calculates the distance between the pixels it makes
it easy to interpret the image.

Write a two-page summary of the two procedures outlining the advantages, disadvantages
and the differences between unsupervised classification and the supervised classification.
[CITATION Mar20 \l 1033 ]

Supervised and unsupervised classification are entirely different from each other except both are
used to interpret images in remote sensing.
Given below (Figure 15) is the screen shot of the supervised image:

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Figure 15:Supervised image

The supervised classification is a very wide process which is time consuming. For doing
supervised classification first the area of interest should be decided and classes and signatures for
the spatial signatures should be made. The signatures are assigned to signature editor table in
which signatures are created using the polygon tool in drawing tab. Different polygons are
created as class for the same spatial feature and is assigned to the table which allows to change
the name of the class. In this case about 6 signatures are made which creates a layer and is saved.
The layer is then opened as a raster layer which allows to see the attribute table of the layer with
different classes. The colour of the signatures can be changed in the attribute table which makes
the image even clearer. The supervised classification thus has many advantages which allows the
user to create as many classes as the user likes to make the image interpretation easier. The only
disadvantage is that it is a time taking process.

Given below (Figure 16) is the image in which unsupervised classification is done:

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Figure 16:Unsupervised classification

Unsupervised classification is a simple process which ERDAS allows to do directly by using the
unsupervised classification button in the Raster tab. In this type of classification, the software
does not allow the user to make classes, all the classes are made by ERDAS itself which is both
ana advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage because it saves a lot of time of the user but
at the same time it makes the user difficult to view the image since the resultant image may not
be that clear. It does not allow the user to make classes which makes it user unfriendly than the
supervised classification. But the user can change the colours of the classes from the attribute
table as done in the case of supervised classification. One of the main differences between these
two classifications is that unsupervised classification allows the using to decide the number of
“iterations”[ CITATION Wil20 \l 1033 ]. If a greater number of iterations are given to the image
while doing unsupervised classification the clearer the image becomes i.e. the interpretation
becomes easy. Even though giving a greater number of iterations is good it is a time taking
process. The more iterations you give the more time it takes to provide the resultant image which
is another disadvantage of unsupervised classification.

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References
ERDAS 1. (n.d.). Retrieved from Introduction to ERDAS:
https://www.cpp.edu/~sagarver/GEO420/exercises/ERDAS_1.pdf
L3 Harris geospatial solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved from
https://www.harrisgeospatial.com/docs/MaximumLikelihood.html
Madhura M1, S. V. (n.d.). Comparison of Supervised Classification Methods. Retrieved from
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f132/ccd8465f5577bab46fec9de907dfc0a1c34b.pdf
Supervised classification. (n.d.). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6rjV2k-s18.
wilkinson, M. (2020). Terms of reference.
.
Wilkinson, M. (2020). Workshop 2 Unsupervised classification.

[ CITATION Sup \l 1033 ]

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