ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume X-2-2024
10 Jun 2024
 | 10 Jun 2024

Open-source automatic extraction of Urban Green Space: Application to assessing improvement in green space access

Ian Estacio, Cristian Román-Palacios, Joseph Hoover, Xiaojiang Li, and Chris Lim

Keywords: Google Earth Engine, Dynamic World, Object-based image analysis, Edge detection, Neighborhood analysis, Urban parks

Abstract. Urban Green Space (UGS) is vital for improving the public health and sustainability of cities. Vector data on UGS such as open data from governments and OpenStreetMap are available for retrieval by interested users, but the availability of UGS data is still limited on global and temporal scales. This study develops the UGS Extractor, a web-based application for the automatic extraction of UGS given user inputs of Area of Interest and Date of Interest. To accommodate various types of green spaces, such as parks or lawns, the application additionally allows users to set parameters for the minimum size of each UGS and the Minimum Urban Neighbor Density, enabling customization of what qualifies as UGS. The UGS Extractor implements a methodological framework that applies object-based image processing, edge detection and extraction, and image neighborhood analysis on the near real-time 10m Dynamic World collection of Land Use/Land Cover images. The application’s utility was demonstrated through two case studies. In the first, the UGS Extractor accurately mapped major parks when compared to open data sources in New Orleans, USA. In the second, the UGS Extractor demonstrated significant increases in the total area of UGS from 2015 to 2023 in Songdo, South Korea, which consequently improved green space accessibility. These results underscore the UGS Extractor’s utility in extracting specific types of UGS and analyzing their temporal trends. This user-friendly application overall offers higher spatial resolution compared to publicly available satellite-based methods while facilitating temporal studies not possible with vector datasets.