Implicit Land Use Mapping Using Social Media Imagery

Connor Greenwell, Scott Workman, Nathan Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Land use classification is a central remote sensing task with a broad range of applications. Typically this is represented as a supervised learning problem, the first step of which is to develop a taxonomy of discrete labels. However, such categories are restricted in the range of uses they can convey and arbitrary decisions are often required when defining the categories. Instead, we argue that the abstract notion of land use can be indirectly characterized by the types and quantities of common objects found in an area. To capture the presence of such objects, we propose an implicit approach to defining and estimating land use that relies on sparsely distributed social media imagery but retains the benefits of dense coverage provided by satellite imagery. Our method is formulated as a convolutional neural network that operates on satellite imagery and outputs a probability distribution over quantities of objects common in social media imagery at that location. We show that the learned feature representation is discriminative for existing land use categories.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop, AIPR 2019
ISBN (Electronic)9781728147321
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Event2019 IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop, AIPR 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: Oct 15 2019Oct 17 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop
ISSN (Print)2164-2516


Conference2019 IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop, AIPR 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of NSF CAREER grant IIS-1553116.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 IEEE.


  • data fusion
  • multi-task learning
  • semantic transfer
  • weak supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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