Classifying tropical deciduous vegetation: A comparison of multiple approaches in Popa mountain park, Myanmar

Naing Zaw Htun, Nobuya Mizoue, Shigejiro Yoshida

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Although several studies have reported that rule-based methods are better than other image classification methods, no study has quantified their performance for tropical deciduous vegetation classification. We compared rule-based and maximum likelihood classification (MLC) approaches in classifying tropical deciduous vegetation in Popa Mountain Park, Myanmar. Classification was primarily based on Thematic Mapper (TM) bands of multi-season Landsat images, normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVIs), NDVI differences, mean NDVI and elevation (advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer digital elevation model (Aster DEM)). We used two main approaches for classification, a single-step approach in which all vegetation types were classified in one procedure, and a two-step approach in which forest and non-forest were discriminated first and then forest was classified into additional classes. Each of those approaches was conducted with and without elevation under the rule-based and MLC approaches, yielding eight separate methods. The two-step approaches generated more accurate results and all classifications improved markedly when elevation was included. The rule-based two-step with elevation approach produced the best overall accuracy and reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8935-8948
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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