Pixel-level land cover classification
This repository contains a tutorial illustrating how to create a deep neural network model that accepts an aerial image as input and returns a land cover label (forested, water, etc.) for every pixel in the image. Microsoft's Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) is used to train and evaluate the model on an Azure Geo AI Data Science Virtual Machine or an Azure Batch AI GPU cluster. The method shown here was developed in collaboration between the Chesapeake Conservancy, ESRI, and Microsoft Research as part of Microsoft's AI for Earth initiative.
We recommend budgeting two hours for a full walkthrough of this tutorial. The code, shell commands, trained models, and sample images provided here may prove helpful even if you prefer not to complete the walkthrough: we have provided explanations and direct links to these materials where possible.
How to Get Started
The training and evaluation steps of this tutorial can be performed on either:
- an Azure Geo AI Data Science VM
- Train a model on a data sample using Jupyter notebooks
- Deploy the trained model directly in ESRI's ArcGIS Pro
- an Azure Batch AI GPU cluster
- Set up your cluster and submit jobs to it from your command line
- Learn how to scale to large clusters for faster training on larger datasets
- (Optional) After training, you may download your model and deploy it in ArcGIS Pro on a Geo AI DSVM (see provisioning instructions to get started)
This tutorial will train a pixel-level land cover classifier for a single epoch: your model will produce results similar to bottom-left. By expanding the training dataset and increasing the number of training epochs, we achieved results like the example at bottom right. The trained model is accurate enough to detect some features, like the small pond at top-center, that were not correctly annotated in the ground-truth labels.
- Keynote demo from Microsoft Ignite
- Blog post
- Main AI for Earth website
- Publicity video on the Chesapeake Conservancy collaboration with Microsoft
- Video clip showing real-time local application of the trained CNTK model through ESRI's ArcGIS software
- Geo AI DSVM product page and documentation
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