Segmentation and Cover Classification Analyses of Seabed Images

What is Seascape?

Seascape is a free software application for GNU/Linux, Windows platforms (XP/Windows 7), and also easily portable to Macintosh, which obtains semi-automatically segmented images (homogenous regions) from underwater photographs of benthic communities and computes for each individual patch its cover area and perimeter. Benthic cover area is the basis of studies on biodiversity, characterization of communities, evaluation of changes over spatial and temporal scales, and benthic ecosystem health. We developed Seascape due to the greater use of underwater digital photos combined with the increasing demand to better understand ecosystem function, change, health and services. This combination produces a growing need for automatic or semi-automatic analytical methods to obtain ecological relevant data (cover area and perimeter) from benthic images. For more scientific information about quantifying areal coverage of benthic communities, please read the article Mar Ecol Prog Ser 431:45-53. Download the paper (3,42 Mb PDF).

Seascape is an open-source platform and the compiled software, source code, developer guide, and user manual are available online at this site. Seascape is available as free software under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License (GPLv3) in source code form.

Seascape is a simple, robust, and high resolution software that is based on hierarchical segmentation algorithms (Guigues 2003, Guigues et al. 2006). Seascape consists of two main components: a graphical user interface and the core program (written in C++), which contains libraries that are invoked during the execution of a run. Two main libraries involved are Lgl (an image analysis library) and SxS (Segmentation x Scale: segmentation library) (Guigues 2003, Guigues et al. 2006). This application was originally written by Laurent Guigues. Thomas Prelot and Anton Albajes-Eizagirre adapted and upgraded it to the analysis of marine benthic communities.

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