Geospatial Deep Learning

This seminar is an applied study of deep learning methods for extracting information from geospatial data, such as aerial imagery, multispectral imagery, digital terrain data, and other digital cartographic representations. We first provide an introduction and conceptualization of artificial neural networks (ANNs). Next, we explore appropriate loss and assessment metrics for different use cases followed by the tensor data model, which is central to applying deep learning methods. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) are then conceptualized with scene classification use cases. Lastly, we explore semantic segmentation, object detection, and instance segmentation. The primary focus of this course is semantic segmenation for pixel-level classification.

The associated GitHub repo provides a series of applied examples. We hope to continue to add examples as methods and technologies further develop. These examples make use of a variety of datasets (e.g., SAT-6, topoDL, Inria,, vfillDL, and wvlcDL). Please see the repo for links to the data and associated papers. All examples have associated videos that walk through the process, which are also linked to the repo. A variety of deep learning architectures are explored including UNet, UNet++, DeepLabv3+, and Mask R-CNN. Currenlty, two examples use ArcGIS Pro and require no coding. The remaining five examples require coding and make use of PyTorch, Python, and R within the RStudio IDE. It is assumed that you have prior knowledge of coding in the Python and R enviroinments. If you do not have experience coding, please take a look at our Methods in Open Science and/or Open-Source Spatial Analytics (R) courses, which explore coding in Python and/or R.

After completing this seminar you will be able to:

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us. We hope to continue to update and improve this course.

This seminar was produced by West Virginia View ( with support from AmericaView ( This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant/Cooperative Agreement No. G18AP00077. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey. This seminar and associated materials were also supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Federal Award ID No. 2046059: “CAREER: Mapping Anthropocene Geomorphology with Deep Learning, Big Data Spatial Analytics, and LiDAR”).