Introducing mapping standards in the quality assessment of buildings extracted from very high resolution satellite imagery

S. Freire, Teresa Santos, A. Navarro, F. Soares, J. D. Silva, N. Afonso, A. Fonseca, J. Tenedório

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Many municipal activities require updated large-scale maps that include both topographic and thematic information. For this purpose, the efficient use of very high spatial resolution (VHR) satellite imagery suggests the development of approaches that enable a timely discrimination, counting and delineation of urban elements according to legal technical specifications and quality standards. Therefore, the nature of this data source and expanding range of applications calls for objective methods and quantitative metrics to assess the quality of the extracted information which go beyond traditional thematic accuracy alone. The present work concerns the development and testing of a new approach for using technical mapping standards in the quality assessment of buildings automatically extracted from VHR satellite imagery. Feature extraction software was employed to map buildings present in a pansharpened QuickBird image of Lisbon. Quality assessment was exhaustive and involved comparisons of extracted features against a reference data set, introducing cartographic constraints from scales 1:1000, 1:5000, and 1:10,000. The spatial data quality elements subject to evaluation were: thematic (attribute) accuracy, completeness, and geometric quality assessed based on planimetric deviation from the reference map. Tests were developed and metrics analyzed considering thresholds and standards for the large mapping scales most frequently used by municipalities. Results show that values for completeness varied with mapping scales and were only slightly superior for scale 1:10,000. Concerning the geometric quality, a large percentage of extracted features met the strict topographic standards of planimetric deviation for scale 1:10,000, while no buildings were compliant with the specification for scale 1:1000.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Accuracy
  • Buildings
  • Feature extraction
  • Lisbon
  • QuickBird
  • Urban


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