ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information

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EISSN : 2220-9964
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 3,215
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ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060420

Image segmentation is of significance because it can provide objects that are the minimum analysis units for geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA). Most segmentation methods usually set parameters to identify geo-objects, and different parameter settings lead to different segmentation results; thus, parameter optimization is critical to obtain satisfactory segmentation results. Currently, many parameter optimization methods have been developed and successfully applied to the identification of single geo-objects. However, few studies have focused on the recognition of the union of different types of geo-objects (semantic geo-objects), such as a park. The recognition of semantic geo-objects is likely more crucial than that of single geo-objects because the former type of recognition is more correlated with the human perception. This paper proposes an approach to recognize semantic geo-objects. The key concept is that a single geo-object is the smallest component unit of a semantic geo-object, and semantic geo-objects are recognized by iteratively merging single geo-objects. Thus, the optimal scale of the semantic geo-objects is determined by iteratively recognizing the optimal scales of single geo-objects and using them as the initiation point of the reset scale parameter optimization interval. In this paper, we adopt the multiresolution segmentation (MRS) method to segment Gaofen-1 images and tested three scale parameter optimization methods to validate the proposed approach. The results show that the proposed approach can determine the scale parameters, which can produce semantic geo-objects.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060421

Under normal circumstances, people’s homes and work locations are given by their addresses, and this information is used to create a disaster management plan in which there are instructions to individuals on how to evacuate. However, when a disaster strikes, some shelters are destroyed, or in some cases, distance from affected areas to the closest shelter is not reasonable, or people have no possibility to act rationally as a natural response to physical danger, and hence, the evacuation plan is not followed. In each of these situations, people tend to find alternative places to stay, and the evacuees in shelters do not represent the total number of the displaced population. Knowing the spatial distribution of total displaced people (including people in shelters and other places) is very important for the success of the response activities which, among other measures, aims to provide for the basic humanitarian needs of affected people. Traditional methods of people displacement estimation are based on population surveys in the shelters. However, conducting a survey is infeasible to perform at scale and provides low coverage, i.e., can only cover the numbers for the population that are at the shelters, and the information cannot be delivered in a timely fashion. Therefore, in this research, anonymized mobile Call Detail Records (CDRs) are proposed as a source of information to infer the spatial distribution of the displaced population by analyzing the variation of home cell-tower for each anonymized mobile phone subscriber before and after a disaster. The effectiveness of the proposed method is evaluated using remote-sensing-based building damage assessment data and Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) from an individual’s questionnaire survey conducted after a severe cyclone in Beira city, central Mozambique, in March 2019. The results show an encouraging correlation coefficient (over 70%) between the number of arrivals in each neighborhood estimated using CDRs and from DTM. In addition to this, CDRs derive spatial distribution of displaced populations with high coverage of people, i.e., including not only people in the shelter but everyone who used a mobile phone before and after the disaster. Moreover, results suggest that if CDRs data are available right after a disaster, population displacement can be estimated, and this information can be used for response activities and hence contribute to reducing waterborne diseases (e.g., diarrheal disease) and diseases associated with crowding (e.g., acute respiratory infections) in shelters and host communities.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060422

Simplification of 3D building models is an important way to improve rendering efficiency. When existing algorithms are directly applied to simplify multi-component models, generally composed of independent components with strong topological dependence, each component is simplified independently. The consequent destruction of topological dependence can cause unreasonable separation of components and even result in inconsistent conclusions of spatial analysis among different levels of details (LODs). To solve these problems, a novel simplification method, which considers the topological dependence among components as constraints, is proposed. The vertices of building models are divided into boundary vertices, hole vertices, and other ordinary vertices. For the boundary vertex, the angle between the edge and component (E–C angle), denoting the degree of component separation, is introduced to derive an error metric to limit the collapse of the edge located at adjacent areas of neighboring components. An improvement to the quadratic error metric (QEM) algorithm was developed for the hole vertex to address the unexpected error caused by the QEM’s defect. A series of experiments confirmed that the proposed method could effectively maintain the overall appearance features of building models. Compared with the traditional method, the consistency of visibility analysis among different LODs is much better.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060419

The concepts of ecotopes and forest sites are used to describe the correlative complexes defined by landform, vegetation structure, forest stand characteristics and the relationship between soil and physiography. Physically heterogeneous landscapes such as karst, which is characterized by abundant sinkholes and outcrops, exhibit diverse microtopography. Understanding the variation in the growth of trees in a heterogeneous topography is important for sustainable forest management. An R script for detailed stem analysis was used to reconstruct the height growth histories of individual trees (steam analysis). The results of this study reveal that the topographic factors influencing the height growth of silver fir trees can be detected within forest stands. Using topography modelling, we classified silver fir trees into groups with significant differences in height growth. This study provides a sound basis for the comparison of forest site differences and may be useful in the calibration of models for various tree species.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060416

The aims of this study were to determine surface urban heat island (SUHI) effects and to analyze the land use/land cover (LULC) and land surface temperature (LST) changes for 11 time periods from the years 2002 to 2020 using Landsat time series images. Bursa, which is the fourth largest metropolitan city in Turkey, was selected as the study area, and Landsat multi-temporal images of the summer season were used. Firstly, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), modified normalized difference water index (MNDWI) and index-based built-up index (IBI) were created using the bands of Landsat images, and LULC classes were determined by applying automatic thresholding. The LST values were calculated using thermal images and SUHI effects were determined. The results show that NDVI, SAVI, MNDWI and IBI indices can be used effectively for the determination of the urban, vegetation and water LULC classes for SUHI studies, with overall classification accuracies between 89.60% and 95.90% for the used images. According to the obtained results, generally the LST values increased for almost all land cover areas between the years 2002 and 2020. The SUHI magnitudes were computed by using two methods, and it was found that there was an important increase in the 18-year time period.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060417

Physician shortages are more pronounced in rural than in urban areas. The geography of medical school application and matriculation could provide insights into geographic differences in physician availability. Using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), we conducted geospatial analyses, and developed origin–destination (O–D) trajectories and conceptual graphs to understand the root cause of rural physician shortages. Geographic disparities exist at a significant level in medical school applications in the US. The total number of medical school applications increased by 38% from 2001 to 2015, but the number had decreased by 2% in completely rural counties. Most counties with no medical school applicants were in rural areas (88%). Rurality had a significant negative association with the application rate and explained 15.3% of the variation at the county level. The number of medical school applications in a county was disproportional to the population by rurality. Applicants from completely rural counties (2% of the US population) represented less than 1% of the total medical school applications. Our results can inform recruitment strategies for new medical school students, elucidate location decisions of new medical schools, provide recommendations to close the rural–urban gap in medical school applications, and reduce physician shortages in rural areas.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060418

Austria aims to meet 100% of its electricity demand from domestic renewable sources by 2030 which means, that an additional 27 TWh/a of renewable electricity generation are required, thereof 11 TWh/a from photovoltaic. While some federal states and municipalities released a solar rooftop cadastre, there is lacking knowledge on the estimation of the potential of both, ground mounted installations and rooftop modules, on a national level with a high spatial resolution. As a first, in this work data on agricultural land-use is combined with highly resolved data on buildings on a national level. Our results show significant differences between urban and rural areas, as well as between the Alpine regions and the Prealpine- and Easter Plain areas. Rooftop potential concentrates in the big urban areas, but also in densely populated areas in Lower- and Upper Austria, Styria and the Rhine valley of Vorarlberg. The ground mounted photovoltaic potential is highest in Eastern Austria. This potential is geographically consistent with the demand and allows for a production close to the consumer. In theory, the goal of meeting 11 TWh/a in 2030 can be achieved solely with the rooftop PV potential. However, considering the necessary installation efforts, the associated costs of small and dispersed production units and finally the inherent uncertainty with respect to the willingness of tens of thousands of individual households to install PV systems, installing the necessary solar PV on buildings alone is constrained.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060414

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is generally understood as an effective urban design model for encouraging the use of public transportation. Inspired by TOD, the node-place (NP) model was developed to investigate the relationship between transport stations and land use. However, existing studies construct the NP model based on the statistical attributes, while the importance of travel characteristics is ignored, which arguably cannot capture the complete picture of the stations. In this study, we aim to integrate the NP model and travel characteristics with systematic insights derived from network theory to classify stations. A node-place-network (NPN) model is developed by considering three aspects: land use, transportation, and travel network. Moreover, the carrying pressure is proposed to quantify the transport service pressure of the station. Taking Shanghai as a case study, our results show that the travel network affects the station classification and highlights the imbalance between the built environment and travel characteristics.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060415

Urban area hotspots are considered to be an ideal proxy for spatial heterogeneity of human activity, which is vulnerable to urban expansion. Nighttime light (NTL) images have been extensively employed in monitoring current urbanization dynamics. However, the existing studies related to NTL images mainly concern detection of urban areas, leaving inner spatial differences in urban NTL luminosity poorly explored. In this study, we propose an innovative approach to explore the spatiotemporal trajectory of urban area hotspots using monthly Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) NTL images. Firstly, multi-temporal VIIRS NTL intensity was decomposed by time-series analysis to obtain annual stable components after data preprocessing. Secondly, the support vector machine (SVM) regression model was utilized to identify urban area hotspots. In order to ensure the model accuracy, the grid search and cross-validation method was integrated to achieve the optimized model parameters. Finally, we analyzed the spatiotemporal migration trajectory of urban area hotspots by the center of gravity method (i.e., shift distance and angle of urban area hotspot centroid). The results indicate that our method successfully captured urban area hotspots with a regression coefficient over 0.8. Meanwhile, the findings give an intuitive understanding of coupling interaction between urban area hotspots and socioeconomic indicators. This study provides important insights for further decision-making regarding sustainable urban planning.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10060412

With the recent increase in the use of sea transportation, the importance of maritime surveillance for detecting unusual vessel behavior related to several illegal activities has also risen. Unfortunately, the data collected by surveillance systems are often incomplete, creating a need for the data gaps to be filled using techniques such as interpolation methods. However, such approaches do not decrease the uncertainty of ship activities. Depending on the frequency of the data generated, they may even confuse operators, inducing errors when evaluating ship activities and tagging them as unusual. Using domain knowledge to classify activities as anomalous is essential in the maritime navigation environment since there is a well-known lack of labeled data in this domain. In an area where identifying anomalous trips is a challenging task using solely automatic approaches, we use visual analytics to bridge this gap by utilizing users’ reasoning and perception abilities. In this work, we propose a visual analytics tool that uses spatial segmentation to divide trips into subtrajectories and score them. These scores are displayed in a tabular visualization where users can rank trips by segment to find local anomalies. The amount of interpolation in subtrajectories is displayed together with scores so that users can use both their insight and the trip displayed on the map to determine if the score is reliable.
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