Use of Sentinel-2 for land cover classification on Shar Planina, North Macedonia

2019-12-04T06:42:52Z (GMT) by Daniela Jovanovska
Providing information on the spatial distribution of habitat groups through land cover classification is useful for a wide range of environmental studies, especially those monitoring and managing succession and land cover change. While Corine Land Cover is widely used in standardised land cover comparisons, its strength is primarily its use in coarse scale analyses over large extent. Recently available Sentinel-2 combined with wide availability of open-source remote sensing software allows customised fine-scale land cover classifications to suit research projects applied over a smaller extent. In this regard, this study aims to test the suitability of Sentinel-2 imagery in providing a customised land cover classification for Shar Planina mountain range in North Macedonia, hoping that the results will serve as a background for assessment of its landscape visual quality as part of the ongoing PhD study (Jovanovska, D. 2018-2021). The results show that use of Sentinel-2 multiband high resolution images allows customized medium-large scale image classification that yields great accuracy results. Furthermore, frequent updating of Sentinel-2 database allows comparability and standardised land cover change analysis for the purpose of environmental monitoring. The resulting land cover data classification is uploaded as an .ASCII file accompanied with corresponding .lyr file and can serve as a background for subsequent environmental studies in the region. Finally, any further improvements of the final output, as well as trials on its suitability in studies with different aim and scope are encouraged and welcomed.