This paper proposes an improved FastICA model named as Purposive FastICA (PFICA) with initializing by a simple color space transformation and a novel masking approach to automatically detect buildings from high resolution Google Earth imagery. ICA and FastICA algorithms are defined as Blind Source Separation (BSS) techniques for unmixing source signals using the reference data sets. In order to overcome the limitations of the ICA and FastICA algorithms and make them purposeful, we developed a novel method involving three main steps: 1-Improving the FastICA algorithm using Moore-Penrose pseudo inverse matrix model, 2-Automated seeding of the PFICA algorithm based on LUV color space and proposed simple rules to split image into three regions; shadow + vegetation, baresoil + roads and buildings, respectively, 3-Masking out the final building detection results from PFICA outputs utilizing the K-means clustering algorithm with two number of clusters and conducting simple morphological operations to remove noises. Evaluation of the results illustrates that buildings detected from dense and suburban districts with divers characteristics and color combinations using our proposed method have 88.6% and 85.5% overall pixel-based and object-based precision performances, respectively. (C) 2014 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.