Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 239–247 | Cite as

Object-oriented image analysis to extract landscape elements in urban fringes, Central Japan

  • Kazuyuki TakahashiEmail author
  • Noritoshi Kamagata
  • Keitarou Hara
Original Paper


A method enabling the object-oriented image analysis of landscape elements incorporating topographic data was designed and tested on a Japanese countryside target area. IKONOS data (four multispectral bands with a spatial resolution of 4 m and a panchromatic band with a spatial resolution of 1 m) acquired on 23 April 2001 were used. Definiens v.5 software (Definiens AG, München, Germany) was employed for the classification. The initial segmentation was multiresolution and bottom-up, and each segment identified was considered to be one object. Two classifications employing the same landscape elements and ground truth data were implemented. One classification adopted an object-based image analysis classification method based on spectral characteristics; the other utilized an object-oriented image analysis (OOIA) that allows for a suitable scale parameter to be selected independently for each landscape element. In addition, topographic data derived from field surveys (walking surveys) and topographic maps were used to create a topographic database delineating the boundary between valley bottoms and the adjacent slopes (elevation: about 10 m). These data were then integrated into the OOIA analysis. The accuracies of the two classifications were assessed by comparing the results to a master landscape map produced directly from aerial photographs and on-site observations. The object-oriented method using the topographic data resulted in a higher overall kappa coefficients (0.63–0.47) than the object-based method. These results indicate that object-oriented image analysis of very high resolution data used in combination with topographic data can be an effective tool for landscape classification in Japan, where historical land-use patterns have resulted in finely dissected landscapes.


Landscape classification Topographic data Japanese countryside IKONOS VHR satellite data 



The authors would like to thank Professor Kevin M. Short of TUIS for helping to improve the English used in this work. This research was funded in part by the MEXT-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities from 2008-2012 (S0801024).


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuyuki Takahashi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noritoshi Kamagata
    • 2
  • Keitarou Hara
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of InformaticsTokyo University of Information SciencesChibaJapan
  2. 2.Kokusai Kogyo Co. LtdFuchuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Environmental InformationTokyo University of Information SciencesChibaJapan

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