What’s the difference between a supervised and unsupervised image classification?

landcover viriginaClassified tree canopy layer in the Virginia Urban Tree Canopy Mapper – http://www.utcmapper.frec.vt.edu

Two major categories of image classification techniques include unsupervised (calculated by software) and supervised (human-guided) classification.

Unsupervised classification is where the outcomes (groupings of pixels with common characteristics) are based on the software analysis of an image without the user providing sample classes. The computer uses techniques to determine which pixels are related and groups them into classes. The user can specify which algorism the software will …