The classification of hill country vegetation from hyperspectral imagery

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Fertilizer & Lime Research Centre
Remotely sensed hyperspectral data provides the possibility to categorise and quantify the farm landscape in great detail, supplementing local expert knowledge and adding confidence to decisions. This paper examines the novel use of hyperspectral aerial imagery to classify various components of the hill country farming landscape. As part of the Ravensdown / MPI PGP project, “Pioneering to Precision”, eight diverse farms, five in the North and three in the South Island were sampled using the AisaFENIX hyperspectral imager. The resulting images had a 1m spatial resolution (approx.) with 448 spectral bands from 380 – 2500 nm. The primary aim of the PGP project is to develop soil fertility maps from spectral information. Images were collected in tandem with ground sampling and timed to coincide with spring and autumn seasons. Additional classification of the pasture components of two farms are demonstrated using various data pre-processing and classification techniques to ascertain which combination would provide the best accuracy. Classification of pasture with Support Vector Machines (SVM) achieved 99.59% accuracy. Classification of additional landscape components on the same two farms is demonstrated. Components classified as non-pasture ground cover included; water, tracks/soil, Manuka, scrub, gum, poplar and other tree species. The techniques were successfully used to classify the components with high levels of accuracy. The ability to classify and quantify landscape components has numerous applications including; fertiliser and farm operational management, rural valuation, strategic farm management and planning.
Occasional Report Number 30, 2017, pp. 1 - 9 (9)