Large Scale High-Resolution Land Cover Mapping With Multi-Resolution Data

Caleb Robinson, Le Hou, Kolya Malkin, Rachel Soobitsky, Jacob Czawlytko, Bistra Dilkina, Nebojsa Jojic; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2019, pp. 12726-12735


In this paper we propose multi-resolution data fusion methods for deep learning-based high-resolution land cover mapping from aerial imagery. The land cover mapping problem, at country-level scales, is challenging for common deep learning methods due to the scarcity of high-resolution labels, as well as variation in geography and quality of input images. On the other hand, multiple satellite imagery and low-resolution ground truth label sources are widely available, and can be used to improve model training efforts. Our methods include: introducing low-resolution satellite data to smooth quality differences in high-resolution input, exploiting low-resolution labels with a dual loss function, and pairing scarce high-resolution labels with inputs from several points in time. We train models that are able to generalize from a portion of the Northeast United States, where we have high-resolution land cover labels, to the rest of the US. With these models, we produce the first high-resolution (1-meter) land cover map of the contiguous US, consisting of over 8 trillion pixels. We demonstrate the robustness and potential applications of this data in a case study with domain experts and develop a web application to share our results. This work is practically useful, and can be applied to other locations over the earth as high-resolution imagery becomes more widely available even as high-resolution labeled land cover data remains sparse.

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author = {Robinson, Caleb and Hou, Le and Malkin, Kolya and Soobitsky, Rachel and Czawlytko, Jacob and Dilkina, Bistra and Jojic, Nebojsa},
title = {Large Scale High-Resolution Land Cover Mapping With Multi-Resolution Data},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2019}