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A new method has been developed to automatically extract moving vehicles and subsequently determine their speeds from a pair of QuickBird (QB) panchromatic (PAN) and multispectral (MS) images. Since the PAN and MS sensors of QB have a slight time lag (approximately 0.2 s), the speed of a moving vehicle can be determined from the difference in the positions of the vehicle observed in the PAN and MS images due to the time lag. An object-based approach can be used to extract a vehicle from the PAN image, which has a resolution of 0.6 m. However, it is difficult to accurately extract the position of a vehicle from an MS image because its resolution is 2.4 m. Thus, an area correlation method is proposed to determine the location of a vehicle from an MS image at a sub-pixel level. The speed of the moving vehicle can then be calculated by using the vehicle extraction results. This approach was tested on several parts of a QB image covering central Tokyo, Japan, and the accuracy of the results is demonstrated in this study.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:4 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: March 2011