Integrated usage of historical geospatial data and modern satellite images reveal long-term land use/cover changes in Bursa/Turkey, 1858-2020

Ettehadi Osgouei P., Sertel E. , Kabadayi M. E.

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.12, no.1, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-022-11396-1
  • Title of Journal : SCIENTIFIC REPORTS


Land surface of the Earth has been changing as a result of human induced activities and natural processes. Accurate representation of landscape characteristics and precise determination of spatio-temporal changes provide valuable inputs for environmental models, landscape and urban planning, and historical land cover change analysis. This study aims to determine historical land use and land cover (LULC) changes using multi-modal geospatial data, which are the cadastral maps produced in 1858, monochrome aerial photographs obtained in 1955, and multi-spectral WorldView-3 satellite images of 2020. We investigated two pilot regions, Aksu and Kestel towns in Bursa/Turkey, to analyze the long-term LULC changes quantitatively and to understand the driving forces that caused the changes. We propose methods to facilitate the preparation of historical datasets for the LULC change detection and present an object-oriented joint classification scheme for multi-source datasets to accurately map the spatio-temporal changes. Our approach minimized the amount of manual digitizing required for the boundary delineation of LULC classes from historical geospatial data. Also, our quantitative analysis of LULC maps indicates diverging developments for the selected locations in the long period of 162 years. We observed rural depopulation and gradual afforestation in Aksu; whereas, agricultural land abandonment and deforestation in Kestel.