Large-Scale Damage Detection Using Satellite Imagery

Lionel Gueguen, Raffay Hamid; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2015, pp. 1321-1328


Satellite imagery is a valuable source of information for assessing damages in distressed areas undergoing a calamity, such as an earthquake or an armed conflict. However, the sheer amount of data required to be inspected for this assessment makes it impractical to do it manually. To address this problem, we present a semi-supervised learning framework for large-scale damage detection in satellite imagery. We present a comparative evaluation of our framework using over 88 million images collected from 4,665 square kilometers from 12 different locations around the world. To enable accurate and efficient damage detection, we introduce a novel use of hierarchical shape features in the bags-of-visual words setting. We analyze how practical factors such as sun, sensor-resolution, and satellite-angle differences impact the effectiveness of our proposed representation, and compare it to five alternative features in multiple learning settings. Finally, we demonstrate through a user-study that our semi-supervised framework results in a ten-fold reduction in human annotation time at a minimal loss in detection accuracy compared to an exhaustive manual inspection.

Related Material

author = {Gueguen, Lionel and Hamid, Raffay},
title = {Large-Scale Damage Detection Using Satellite Imagery},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2015}