Northern Australia is a vast, rugged, and preserved destination, hosts plenty of natural, cultural, and historical attractions that can range from deserts, beaches, and mountains. These destinations of the territory carter for a variety of special activities, such as inland fishing, stargazing, bird watching, hiking, diving, camping, and four wheel driving as well as some of the world’s best rural experiences. The territory destinations possess various genuine heritage attractions and spirited rustic towns that bring the legends and the folk stories of the ‘outback’ to life.
Despite its population, the Outback plays an essential role in the Northern Territory’s financial development and Gross Regional Product, with a dominating cultivating and agricultural industry encouraged by fast-developing mining and resources industry. With such rapid development in the mining industry over the past few decades, the tourism in the territory has confronted expanding rivalry as a need for monetary turn of events. Then again, the mining boom has additionally brought about quick growth and infrastructure development for some towns across the territory, giving vital foundation to support future tourism industry improvement.
The Northern Territory, by and large, have more than 50 national parks, bioreserves, marine protected territories, and refuge regions. There are additionally a few main 4WD tracks dissipated all through the state which provides picturesque sees on the off chance that you have the nerves to handle them. However, less individuals notice that Northern Territory is one of the well-known regions in Australia for 4WD devotee. In addition, Individuals from interstate visit Northern Australia and its outback areas using 4WD via off-road tracks. Most of those off-road tracks are covered in Google and OSM maps. Apart from that, there are some specific offline 4WD maps services such as Hema Maps that helps to explore Australian’s 4WD tracks. However, there are numerous 4WD tracks which are yet not covered in above mentioned map services. Thus, this research aims to discover productive methods of mapping these unmarked road tracks follows less human mediation.



Effective Transport Infrastructure is a fundamental part of availability to imperative social services, financial integration, and a method for mitigation in times of emergency. Outback territories in Australia are largely characterized by deficient transport infrastructure. This inadequate condition of rural road network adds to the weakness of communities in developed nations by hampering access to fundamental social services and opportunities. Furthermore, maps of road systems are fragmented, and not up to date in those areas. Absence of accurate maps of these outback areas impede assurance of access to social services and opportune reaction to emergencies in remote locations.


The account of accessibility and inadequate mapping of road network issues in regional Australia is fundamentally the same as other affluent countries with declining population, low service densities and significant distances, for example, the US and Canada. In terms of mapping road network, the situation in outback Australia is described by two major features, such as Connectivity barriers, both in a digital and physical sense, and Infrastructure needs are tremendous and shifted, and quality of service is regularly poor. Regional areas in many pieces of the world include various geographic domains and different populace bunches with their own qualities and issues. Outback Australia is no exception to this characterisation and is encountering a significant issue in the decay of public and private rural services. Rural and remote areas cover most of Australia’s land mass but have only 12% of population and death rates of people living in remote areas are 2.5 times higher than those living in major cities. Apart from that, 75% of Australian continent has no mobile network coverage. Mining, Agriculture and Tourism are the key Industries of these areas and above-mentioned facts directly influence to those industries in numerous ways.


The Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities portfolio adds to the thriving of the economy and the prosperity of all Australians through the design and execution of the Australian Government’s rural area development, infrastructure and transport arrangements and projects. The portfolio advances new opportunities, efficiency upgrades, monetary development, and sustainability through huge social and foundation interest in every aspect of Australia, incorporating to communities in outback Australia.

Because of these advancements in rural areas, it has directly affected to human portability, openness to indispensable administrations territorial network, financial development, and convenient moderation during crises. In most outback regions in Australia, efficient road mapping and network system are still to a great extent insufficient and unregulated, which has added to negative wellbeing results, specially in emergencies. Moreover, outback travel is some of the time considered “imperceptible” because of deficient road mapping of provincial transport infrastructure. In addition, even in situations where streets exist, the focal point of their structure and development is for the most part on improving physical network between major centres absent a lot of thought on availability to these streets from rural residences and towns and develop the digital network between those streets to improve the accessibility and connectivity.



A significant hindrance to the design of exact and cutting-edge road maps of rustic transport infrastructure and mobility has been the likely significant expense of actualizing enormous scope field data assortment for the mapping exercise. Moreover, most official mapping agencies in Australia face legal and technical difficulties on the most proficient method to integrate data from Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) into official geodatabases of transport framework. Subsequently, data to map outback road network has generally been digitized and refreshed from aerial photogrammetry (which of late incorporate information from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)) and from satellite picture examination. Due to the moderately significant expense of utilizing the traditional techniques, their execution has primarily been limited to urban zones or to major streets that connection main centres in a country/region. So as to dodge the high cost that are related with traditional techniques for mapping, recent studies recommended that professionals should follow and exploit the rising geospatial tools and methods as an option in contrast to mapping in a quickly evolving condition.
In late decades, the rise of strategies for Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), along with the advances in media transmission, sensor, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology have supported worldwide mapping endeavours. This is all the more so in light of the fact that it is currently conceivable to include an enormous cross-segment of residents in catching spatial information, validating geographic data, and in naming features on maps. A portion of the regular web-mapping activities that depend on Volunteered Geographic Information incorporate Google maps, OpenStreetMap (OSM), GeoCommons, and Wikimedia.
While resident-focused web mapping activities have been to a great extent effective in the developed world and in huge urban areas, low mobile network coverage with expensive and unreliable internet in the rural areas keeps on hampering the adoptions of the methodologies in deprived rustic zones. Geographic coverage of crowed-sourced information, web-based, remains a challenge for global and continental observations, especially in scantily populated or underserved territories. In these underserved territories, just a moderately limited number of volunteers and mediators may get in touch with internet through which to add to mapping and verification spatial data in their remote neighbourhoods. Therefore, coverage of crowdsourced spatial data of framework in country regions is still excessively little, with huge extents of provincial infrastructure, including transport systems staying unmapped.
To improve the geographic coverage of spatial information and maps of rural road network specially off-road tracks which are not popular among resident and tourists, it is fitting to create systems that can motive inhabitants of the rural zones and travellers to persistently be involved and to take an interest in the mapping exercise. Also, it is fitting for professionals to adopt proper enabling tools and technologies that may not be essentially constrained by financial conditions of the rural areas of interest. For example, tools that are not so much dependent on access to internet, mobile communication and electricity might be the most suitable for resource-deprived provincial regions in outback Australia. Besides, tools and techniques that can capture the location as well as the off-road routes of territory and it may help to provide significant information to mapping outback roads and for comprehension.


With the advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology and sensors, it is easy to record exact locational data about substances in their environment. The substances may incorporate people, creatures, vehicles, cruisers, ships, and so forth. Sensors and GPS trackers have been applied to address inquiries in many different fields including human wellbeing, vehicle tracking and navigation, environmental pollution, and sustainable energy management, among others. Moreover, a mix of strategies from VGI and sensor/GPS tracking have been applied to examine human mobility patterns in geographic space, to implement a GeoCitizen approach to deal with urban area planning, disaster management, and animal monitoring.
When consider about mapping rural area roads specially 4WD tracks, it is not possible to rely only on GPS tracking technologies, because the resources are limited, In other words, the number of people who use these tracks are very few. Therefore, Image processing tools and technologies be required to combined with GPS tracking services. However, Conventional pixel-based classification procedure neglects to remove streets productively from the pictures as it utilizes just otherworldly properties of pixels. The street might be confounded with comparative otherworldly highlights like water, open grounds and so forth. The equivalent might be separated if the logical data can additionally be utilized with ghastly properties.


In this thesis, off-road track extraction process will be carried out utilizing Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MRIS) satellite images followed by USGS earth explorer, Landviewer and Sentinel Hub images of various resolutions, considering about accessibility and cost adequacy. The off-road track extraction in OBIA structure will be defined utilizing two strategies

  • Nearest Neighbour Classification
  • Multiresolution Segmentation
    The significant explanation behind selecting both these strategies is to survey the quality of these strategies and extricating off-road track features for additional arranging.
    The OBIA procedure begins with image pre-processing (Geo-referencing, Image Registration and Radiometric Remedy) followed by Image Segmentation Process.
     Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MRIS) Satellite Images
     USGS earth explorer
     Landviewer
     Sentinel Hub
    Object-based Nearest Neighbour classification is an advanced characterization procedure that allows to utilize intelligent image objects combined with multiresolution segmentation.

Figure 1: Object-based Image Analysis (OBIA) using Nearest Neighbour classification (GIS Geography, 2020)
The multiresolution segmentation algorithm successively combines pixels or existing image objects. This methodology recognizes single image objects of one-pixel size and unites them with their neighbours, in view of a relative homogeneity criterion. The homogeneity standard is a mix of spectral and shape standards.

Figure 2: Object-based Image Analysis (OBIA) using Multiresolution Segmentation (GIS Geography, 2020)


Unmapped 4WD off-road track extraction using high resolution imagery and develop a mobile application to integrate those extracted images as maps to boost outback tourism industry is the main objective behind this research. The surfaced tracks need to be extracted accurately using image processing technologies and this process is challenging task as there are several difficulties such as connectivity barriers, infrastructure needs. OBIA analysis approaches need to be followed to extract unmapped 4WD tracks in rural outback areas and this methodology also shows the relevance of various road extraction approaches explicitly for provincial zones. The current rule-based approach with high resolution panchromatic layers can be additionally utilized to analysis other rural infrastructure.  

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