The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

A linearised pixel-swapping method for mapping rural linear land cover features from fine spatial resolution remotely sensed imagery

Thorton, M.W., Atkinson, P.M. and Holland, D.A. (2007) A linearised pixel-swapping method for mapping rural linear land cover features from fine spatial resolution remotely sensed imagery Computers & Geosciences, 33, (10), pp. 1261-1272. (doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2007.05.010).

Record type: Article


Accurate maps of rural linear land cover features, such as paths and hedgerows, would be useful to ecologists, conservation managers and land planning agencies. Such information might be used in a variety of applications (e.g., ecological, conservation and land management applications). Based on the phenomenon of spatial dependence, sub-pixel mapping techniques can be used to increase the spatial resolution of land cover maps produced from satellite sensor imagery and map such features with increased accuracy. Aerial photography with a spatial resolution of 0.25 m was acquired of the Christchurch area of Dorset, UK. The imagery was hard classified using a simple Mahalanobis distance classifier and the classification degraded to simulate land cover proportion images with spatial resolutions of 2.5 and 5 m. A simple pixel-swapping algorithm was then applied to each of the proportion images. Sub-pixels within pixels were swapped iteratively until the spatial correlation between neighbouring sub-pixels for the entire image was maximised. Visual inspection of the super-resolved output showed that prediction of the position and dimensions of hedgerows was comparable with the original imagery. The maps displayed an accuracy of 87%. To enhance the prediction of linear features within the super-resolved output, an anisotropic modelling component was added. The direction of the largest sums of proportions was calculated within a moving window at the pixel level. The orthogonal sum of proportions was used in estimating the anisotropy ratio. The direction and anisotropy ratio were then used to modify the pixel-swapping algorithm so as to increase the likelihood of creating linear features in the output map. The new linear pixel-swapping method led to an increase in the accuracy of mapping fine linear features of approximately 5% compared with the conventional pixel-swapping method.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Submitted date: 5 June 2005
Published date: October 2007
Keywords: Sub-pixel mapping, sper-resolution, feature extraction, land cover mapping, sub-pixel, classification


Local EPrints ID: 54985
ISSN: 0098-3004
PURE UUID: 155e9c9e-fe65-4d8b-a224-f5ef634fa633

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:34

Export record



Author: M.W. Thorton
Author: P.M. Atkinson
Author: D.A. Holland

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.