Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Fast Unsupervised Multi-Scale Characterization of Urban Landscapes Based on Earth Observation Data

Abstract : Most remote sensing studies of urban areas focus on a single scale, using supervised methodologies and very few analyses focus on the “neighborhood” scale. The lack of multi-scale analysis, together with the scarcity of training and validation datasets in many countries lead us to propose a single fast unsupervised method for the characterization of urban areas. With the FOTOTEX algorithm, this paper introduces a texture-based method to characterize urban areas at three nested scales: macro-scale (urban footprint), meso-scale (“neighbourhoods”) and micro-scale (objects). FOTOTEX combines a Fast Fourier Transform and a Principal Component Analysis to convert texture into frequency signal. Several parameters were tested over Sentinel-2 and Pleiades imagery on Bouake and Brasilia. Results showed that a single Sentinel-2 image better assesses the urban footprint than the global products. Pleiades images allowed discriminating neighbourhoods and urban objects using texture, which is correlated with metrics such as building density, built-up and vegetation proportions. The best configurations for each scale of analysis were determined and recommendations provided to users. The open FOTOTEX algorithm demonstrated a strong potential to characterize the three nested scales of urban areas, especially when training and validation data are scarce, and computing resources limited.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Christelle Raynaud Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 3:13:58 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 3:26:03 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 6:42:21 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Claire Teillet, Benjamin Pillot, Thibault Catry, Laurent Demagistri, Dominique Lyszczarz, et al.. Fast Unsupervised Multi-Scale Characterization of Urban Landscapes Based on Earth Observation Data. Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2021, 13 (12), pp.2398. ⟨10.3390/rs13122398⟩. ⟨hal-03294302⟩



Record views


Files downloads