Developing an intelligent cloud attention network to support global urban green spaces mapping

Urban green spaces (UGS) play an important role in understanding of urban ecosystems, climate, environment, and public health concerns. Satellite derived UGS maps provide an efficient and effective tool for urban studies and contribute to targets and indicators of the sustainable development goals, at the global level, set by the United Nations. However, clouds create a challenging issue in optical satellite image processing, leading to significant uncertainty in UGS mapping. In this study, we propose an automatic UGS mapping method by integrating satellite images with crowdsourced geospatial data while aiming to reduce the uncertainty caused by cloud contamination. The proposed method consists of three parts: (1) auxiliary data pre-processing module; (2) cloud attention intelligent network (CAI-net); and (3) non-cloud scenes classification module. The auxiliary data pre-processing module was used to convert crowdsourcing geospatial data into auxiliary maps. The CAI-net was proposed to retrieve detailed UGS classes within clouds from satellite image patches and auxiliary maps, while non-cloud scenes classification module was used to extract UGS from satellite image patches. The proposed method was applied to generate spatial continuous global UGS map products, considering the uncertainty caused by cloud contamination. The results show the proposed method yielded a high-quality global UGS map with average overall accuracy as high as 92.96% when satellite images had cloud coverage ranging from 0% to 50%. The geospatial AI, specifically CAI-net, can provide more accurate UGS mapping regardless of different geographical and climatic conditions of the study areas, which is especially significant for humid tropical and subtropical regions with frequent clouds and rains.

The architecture of the proposed cloud attention intelligent network
Urban green space coverage in different climatic zones

How to cite

Chen, Y., Weng, Q., Tang, L., Wang, L., Xing, H., & Liu, Q. (2023). Developing an intelligent cloud attention network to support global urban green spaces mapping. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 198, 197-209.