Integrating Multi-Sensor Remote Sensing Data for Land Use/Cover Mapping in a Tropical Mountainous Area in Northern Thailand
Accurate mapping of land use/cover conditions provides essential information for managing natural resources and is critical for further examination of land use/ cover change and its subsequent impacts on the environment. Remote sensing offers a means of acquiring land use/cover data in a timely manner, with optical remote sensing images commonly being used in land use/cover related studies. The persistent cloud cover during the rainy season in Southeast Asia, however, presents a challenge for
... ing optical images in land use/cover mapping. Integrating multi-sensor images of different spectral domains is thus desirable because more information can be extracted to improve the mapping accuracy. The purpose of this study is to assess the potential of using multi-sensor data sets for land use/cover mapping in a tropical mountainous area in northern Thailand. Optical data from Landsat Thematic Mapper, radar images from Advanced Land Observing Satellite/Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), and topographical data were used, providing complementary information on land use/cover. Classification and accuracy assessment were conducted for 12 different combinations of the data sets. The results suggested that short crop mapping using multi-temporal Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar images offered insights into the distributions of crop and paddy fields. Because of the mountainous environment of the study area, combining topographic data of elevation and slope into the classification greatly reduced the confusion between different land use/cover types. Improvement of classification accuracy was evident especially in separating evergreen and deciduous forests from other vegetation types and discriminating urban village and the fallow field classes.