Journal article Open Access
Remote sensing images obtained by remote sensing are a key source of data for studying large-scale geographic areas. From 2013 onwards, a new generation of land remote sensing satellites from USA, China, Brazil, India and Europe will produce in 1 year as much data as 5 years of the Landsat-7 satellite. Thus, the research community needs new ways to analyze large data sets of remote sensing imagery. To address this need, this paper describes a toolbox for combing land remote sensing image analysis with data mining techniques. Data mining methods are being extensively used for statistical analysis, but up to now have had limited use in remote sensing image interpretation due to the lack of appropriate tools. The toolbox described in this paper is the Geographic Data Mining Analyst (GeoDMA). It has algorithms for segmentation, feature extraction, feature selection, classification, landscape metrics and multi-temporal methods for change detection and analysis. GeoDMA uses decision-tree strategies adapted for spatial data mining. It connects remotely sensed imagery with other geographic data types using access to local or remote database. GeoDMA has methods to assess the accuracy of simulation models, as well as tools for spatio-temporal analysis, including a visualization of time-series that helps users to find patterns in cyclic events. The software includes a new approach for analyzing spatio-temporal data based on polar coordinates transformation. This method creates a set of descriptive features that improves the classification accuracy of multi-temporal image databases. GeoDMA is tightly integrated with TerraView GIS, so its users have access to all traditional GIS features. To demonstrate GeoDMA, we show two case studies on land use and land cover change.