A Scalable Approach for Detecting Dumpsites using Automatic Target Recognition with Feature Selection and SVM through Satellite Imagery

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Avdelningen för visuell information och interaktion

Abstract: Throughout the world, there is a great demand to map out the increasing environmental changes and life habitats on Earth. The vast majority of Earth Observations today, are collected using satellites. The Global Watch Center (GWC) initiative was started with the purpose of producing a global situational awareness of the premises for all life on Earth. By collecting, studying and analyzing vast amounts of data in an automatic, scalable and transparent way, the GWC aims are to work towards reaching the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The GWC vision is to make use of qualified accessible data together with leading organizations in order to lay the foundation of the important decisions that have the biggest potential to make an actual difference for the common awaited future. As a show-case for the initiative, the UN strategic department has recommended a specific use-case, involving mapping large accumulation of waste in areas greatly affected, which they believe will profit the initiative very much. This Master Thesis aim is, in an automatic and scalable way, to detect and classify dumpsites in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, by using available satellite imagery. The hopes are that showing technical feasibility and presenting interesting remarks will aid in spurring further interest in coming closer to a realization of the initiative. The technical approach is to use a lightweight version of Automatic Target Recognition. This is conventionally used in military applications but is here used, to detect and classify features of large accumulations of solid-waste by using techniques from the field of Image Analysis and Data Mining. Choice of data source, this study's area of interest as well as choice of methodology for Feature Extraction and choice of the Machine Learning algorithm Support Vector Machine will all be described and implemented. With a classification precision of 95 percent will technical results be presented, with the ambition to promote further work and contribute to the GWC initiative with valuable information for later realization.

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