Image Segmentation and Object-Based Image Analysis for Environmental Monitoring: Recent Areas of Interest, Researchers’ Views on the Future Priorities

In Remote Sensing
Volume (Issue): 12 (11)
Peer-reviewed Article

Image segmentation and geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) were proposed around the turn of the century as a means to analyze high-spatial-resolution remote sensing images. Since then, object-based approaches have been used to analyze a wide range of images for numerous applications. In this Editorial, we present some highlights of image segmentation and GEOBIA research from the last two years (2018–2019), including a Special Issue published in the journal Remote Sensing. As a final contribution of this special issue, we have shared the views of 45 other researchers (corresponding authors of published papers on GEOBIA in 2018–2019) on the current state and future priorities of this field, gathered through an online survey. Most researchers surveyed acknowledged that image segmentation/GEOBIA approaches have achieved a high level of maturity, although the need for more free user-friendly software and tools, further automation, better integration with new machine-learning approaches (including deep learning), and more suitable accuracy assessment methods was frequently pointed out.