The requirements for advanced knowledge on forest resources have led researchers to develop efficient methods to provide detailed information about trees. Since 1999, orbital remote sensing has been providing very high resolution (VHR) image data. The new generation of satellite allows individual tree crowns to be visually identifiable. The increase in spatial resolution has also had a profound effect in image processing techniques and has motivated the development of new object-based procedures to extract information. Tree crown detection has become a major area of research in image analysis considering the complex nature of trees in an uncontrolled environment. This chapter is subdivided into two parts. Part I offers an overview of the state of the art in computer detection of individual tree crowns in VHR images. Part II presents a new hybrid approach developed by the authors that integrates geometrical-optical modeling (GOM), marked point processes (MPP), and template matching (TM) to individually detect tree crowns in VHR images. The method is presented for two different applications: isolated tree detection in an urban environment and automatic tree counting in orchards with an average performance rate of 82% for tree detection and above 90% for tree counting in orchards.
Part of the book: Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing