A Self-Supervised Approach to Land Cover Segmentation

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A Self-Supervised Approach to Land Cover Segmentation


Charles Moore Mississippi State University, Dakota Hester Mississippi State University


Land use/land cover change (LULC) maps are integral resources in earth science and agricultural research. Due to the nature of such maps, the creation of LULC maps is often constrained by the time and human resources necessary to accurately annotate satellite imagery and remote sensing data. While computer vision models that perform semantic segmentation to create detailed labels from such data are not uncommon, litle research has been done on self-supervised and unsupervised approaches to labelling LULC maps without the use of ground-truth masks. Here, we demonstrate a self-supervised method of land cover segmentation that has no need for high-quality ground truth labels. The proposed deep learning employs a frozen pre-trained ViT backbone transferred from DINO in a STEGO architecture and is fine-tuned using a custom dataset consisting of very high resolution (VHR) sattelite imagery. After only 10 epochs of fine-tuning, an accuracy of roughly 52% was observed across 5 samples, signifying the feasibility of self-supervised models for the automated labelling of VHR LULC maps.

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